LED lighting solutions present many advantages over incandescent lights, including low energy consumption, long life and small size. LEDs emit more light per watt than other lights. For example an 8-watt LED provides the same illumination as a 60-watt incandescent or a 12-watt compact fluorescent. This equates to electricity consumption that is 85 percent less than incandescent and 33 percent less than CFL. While conventional light sources waste energy by generating heat, LEDs are cooler running and will not damage or fade fabrics.
Other advantages of LEDs are that output is unaffected by shape or size, and they can produce color without filters. LED’s compact size opens doors to lighting in places you may not have previously considered, for instance, near the kick plate of your cabinetry to provide floor lighting or submerged in a fountain.
For many years, LEDs have been popular in commercial spaces for their brightness and long life, but they have not found the same favor in residential settings because they lacked a warm ambiance. But new technology allows dimming of LEDs, so creating the perfect atmosphere for any setting — even the most intimate spaces — is possible.
Planning ahead for LED is essential. Here are some things to keep in mind.
LED powerful-enough-for-room lighting is relatively expensive. However, the higher initial cost is offset by a very long life — up to 40 times longer than incandescent and six times longer than CFL.
LEDs require more precise current and heat management than other light sources of comparable output. These lamps are sensitive to supplied voltage and often need voltage regulators. However, many LED fixtures have the necessary heat sinks and voltage regulators incorporated into the fixture.
Unlike incandescent lighting, LEDs must be wired with the correct polarity.
If you intend to dim your LED lighting, this usually requires a “driver” device that is installed at the control or fixture location.
Hiring a qualified professional designer who has experience developing LED lighting plans will allow you to take advantage of using this light source both indoors and out to create a unique, stunning and energy-efficient environment.
Principal Interior Designer
Allied Member ASID, NKBA
Anne Parsons Interiors