LED’s, or Light Emitting Diodes as they’re know as by the intelligent types, always conjure up the image of year 7 science lessons. These involved masses of wire, a few AA batteries, crocodile clips and the task of somehow joining all previous mentioned parts together to create a little tiny light. Only to discover, 30 minutes of wearing crocodile clips on your ears later, it wasn’t really worth the effort after all. They never had any relevance to home use, they were used for traffic lights and exit signs, the closest they got to homes were in remote controls and Christmas tree lights, but now it seems their importance and value in the residential spaces is changing.
LED’s have many advantages over the traditional bulb, and without going into technical details as to why (okay, I don’t know technical things, I wore crocodile clips on my ears), here are a few of them; LEDs have a lower energy consumption- meaning smaller electric bills and a longer life span- which is great for use on high ceilings or hard to reach places as you will rarely need to change them. They are more robust, smaller in size and faster switching and give out much less heat. They also come in millions of colours, so if you’re a fan of psychedelic things man, you’re in luck. The best thing about them is that they are fully controllable, from colour to brightness and with atmospheric or mood lighting being key to complete an interior space, their popularity is rising.
They come in many forms, and with many different uses;
Spot Light – Unlike conventional bulbs in Cheap Table Lamps that scatter light around a room, LEDs are highly directional. This means that they are ideal for use as spotlights, whether several are used on the ceiling of a bathroom or kitchen to create great working light or to accentuate certain architectural features. Or even in display cupboards to highlight a certain prized ornament, they really make a difference.
Mood Lighting – With their high quality beam and colour versatility, they create ambience in rooms when used directed on a plain wall and colour wash it, giving the room an entirely new feeling and dynamic.
Flexible Strip Lighting (Tape) – This is so versatile. It can be fixed to light shelves, architraves, inside of cupboards or wardrobes or under kitchen cupboards to emphasize the worktop space beneath, practically on anything that needs lighting. Especially good in children’s rooms if they are not fans of the dark, as they can choose where they want light coming from.
Recessed light units – These contain 16 plus LED light bulbs contained in a square metal and glass case. They are perfect to recess into the walls of a staircase for example, highlighting the features or every other step. Or into outdoor decking, making it a feature, and also safer to walk out to after dark. They can come in circular cases too, with different numbers of bulbs depending on the size and amount of light you require.
The key to using LED lighting in the home is to understand what you hope to achieve with it. Research the many different products available, the sizes, the powers, how much light they emit where they are suitable for etc. It can offer some of the most elegant ‘wow factor’ style lighting if used correctly, or the ‘ouch, my eyes factor’ if not.