By: Melissa Kilgore, Lighting Specialist
Light emitting diodes, commonly called LEDs, have made their way into many of the products we use every day. From clocks to laptops, to lamps and TVs, many of the devices we rely on have much longer life spans thanks to this brilliant electronic innovation.
Unlike ordinary incandescent bulbs, LEDs don’t have a filament that burns out, and they don’t get especially hot. In fact, the life span of an LED surpasses the life of an incandescent bulb by thousands of hours. And you know what that means? Far fewer trips to the market for light bulbs and fewer trips up the ladder to change them. Generating far less heat, LEDs will dramatically reduce your cooling bills, and since they’re mercury free, they don’t have to be treated as hazardous waste like fluorescents do.
Where are you considering installing LED lighting? Outdoors? Indoors?
With low energy consumption, LED is great for landscaping because there’s virtually no voltage drop, and you can light an entire house with a single transformer. While there are hundreds of LED landscaping options available, Kichler® is the preferred line, with the most complete selection of path lights, step lights, underwater lights, well lights, wet location tape light, accent lights and bullets.
House Mounted — Title 24 compliance required?
If so, you must have dedicated LED fixtures.
Kichler and Maxim® have a limited number of options. Title 24 compliance not required? Save up to 85 percent in energy consumption by retrofitting any fixture with LED light bulbs. But stick to one brand to maintain color temperature.
Recessed — Accent and kitchen cabinet applications lend themselves best to the use of LEDs. When using LEDs for recessed applications, be aware of ceiling heights. Use a tighter beam on higher ceilings. Be sure to double-check spacing, too, to avoid making the area look spotty, like a stage. The beam circles should overlap, giving even illumination to the whole area.
Accent — Illuminate bookshelves, undersides of stair rails and toe kicks in bathrooms with LED. Puck lights, tape light, bar lights and miniature accent lights come in various shades of white, colors and even color-changing varieties, making it possible to create almost limitless lighting effects.
Kitchen Under-Cabinet — Do your fixtures have to be hardwired? If so, Kichler’s hard-wired LED under-cabinet lights provide a wide beam and good lumens at the work surface level. They are dimmable and available in four sizes. No need for hardwiring? LED bar or tape lights are a good option. Be sure to specify a color temperature that will complement stone or wood tones in your kitchen. Cool white brightens white surfaces, but it washes out wood tones and can give a green caste to skin. Use it carefully. Most people prefer a temperature between 2700 and 3000 degrees Kelvin.
When it comes to LED lighting, color rendering is key.
Color rendering describes how a light source makes the color of an object appear to human eyes and how well subtle variations in color shades are revealed. If your desired lighting effect is “warm,” use light sources in the 2700 Kelvin to 2800 Kelvin range. For a cold light, use 3200K and above, which modernists like for its crispness.
For more information, stop by Ferguson Bath, Kitchen & Lighting Gallery at 1200 Alden Road, Orlando or call (407) 893-5452. Walk-ins are welcome, but appointments are recommended. Ferguson.com