Light emitting diodes, or LEDs, have long been used in motor vehicles and exterior lighting applications, but have really taken off in interior home design. Lighting manufacturers often offer their most popular fittings with regular bulb and LED options. LED light fittings, in general, are more expensive than the older technology. Their advantages, however, are numerous.
LEDs are available in every color in the visual spectrum, from ultra violets and deep blues to warm reds and luscious greens. LED control gear can be fitted so that colors change or pulse. LEDs tend to have a much longer lifespan than regular fittings, making them the ideal choice for difficult to reach places. They often need less electricity to run, so any up front costs are likely to be clawed back over their lifespan. Interior designers use them extensively in high class bars and hotels and their use in homes is now quite common place.
Recessed LED Fittings.
Most people are familiar with LEDs when they are used as a recessed ceiling light. Because changing the bulbs in a fitting that has been recessed into a ceiling can be an awkward job, LEDs are often selected for no other reason than they will need to be changed less often. Recessed LED lights often need only conventional wiring, but sometimes require control gear to regulate the flow of electricity.
This is like a small power supply unit. Before selecting your LED fittings it is worth checking whether the type you want needs control gear. If so, you will need a space to house it that will remain accessible for maintenance. Even if they are recessed in a ceiling unlikely to get splashed, LEDs fitted in a bathroom should have the necessary ingress protection from moisture, known as an IP rating. Check with your stockist before buying.
LEDs look great in kitchens, especially if you like to entertain there. Use LED fittings underneath your wall mounted storage units so that you can flood your countertops with light. This is ideal for when you are working in the kitchen, without making the place too bright for guests. Give your kitchen a sophisticated, metropolitan feel by installing feature LED lighting at ankle height under your floor mounted units. Allow the light to spill across your kitchen’s floor surface. The effect works particularly well with kitchen island units.
If you are never sure which outfit to pick out from your closet, fitting a few LEDs in your walk in wardrobe or dressing room can cast your clothes in a whole new light – literally. As LEDs can be arranged in virtually any layout, from circular arrays to single strips, try using them within the clothes rail itself, or mounting them right at the back of your closet.
The most impressive thing about LEDs is that they offer a great choice of color. LED light fittings are usually sold as a single color, so you are bound to find something to suit and compliment your room’s color scheme. Use a splash of color wash to make a feature of an area of your home, like a stairwell, which might be a little dull otherwise.
Some colorful LED fittings have red, green and blue diodes and these types can be set to any color that you want, by varying the relative intensity of the primary colors. With control gear, the LEDs are able to switch colors in different ways. Simple computer software will allow you to programme color changing to suit your mood. For instance, you can set a quick change and dynamic programme to go with party music, or a more subtle and slower pulsing color change which will help you to relax.
LEDs allow your imagination to take over because they can be used in ways that conventional light fittings cannot. Think about new ways to use them, like back lighting a wall mounted screen. Use LED lighting with other design elements, like glazing, to create innovative and unique effects in your home.