Category Archives: led lighting

Updating Your Lighting and Where to Start

updating-your-lighting-and-where-to-startUpdating your lighting to LED fixtures will save energy costs. You will have lower electrical bills and the LED bulbs will last much longer than incandescent or halogen lights. LED lighting will increase the value of your home when the lights are used in permanent fixtures.

There are no filaments in LED bulbs. Light is emitted by electrons passing across a semiconductor diode with a reflector. The diodes are capped with a clear or tinted lens. LED lights give off very little heat compared to standard incandescent bulbs. LEDs usually do not contain glass or other hazardous materials.

Getting started

Take a long look at your home and analyze the following:

  • What rooms, including the kitchen, use the most lights?
  • What is the lighting cost on your electric utility bill?
  • What is your budget for replacing lights?

The first question is easy. Your kitchen and other work areas probably use the most lights. You may have halogen bulbs in the ceiling or a fluorescent light overhead. Other rooms may have overhead lights or lamps. Lamp bulbs are the easiest to replace with LED bulbs. They give off the same illumination or lumens.

Estimating the lighting cost in your utility bill is a little more difficult. Approximate the cost by the number of hours you illuminate your home multiplied by the cost per kilowatt hour. This is a vague estimate but it will help with LED versus incandescent light costs evaluation.

Comparisons

There are several charts available that compare LEDs with CFL or spiral lights and standard incandescent lights. A standard 60-watt incandescent light uses only 10 watts with a LED bulb. The CFL uses about 14 watts. The incandescent bulb will last for about 1,200 hours and the CFL is good for 10,000 hours while the LED equivalent is good for 50,000 hours.

The LED bulb will use about 500 kWh of power over 50,000 hours while the incandescent bulb will have been replaced up to 40 times and burned up 3,000 KWh of power. This gives you a general idea of the difference. Since LEDs use less power, they are ideal for solar-powered homes and fixtures, including outdoor lights.

Types of LED fixtures

LED bulbs come in all sizes and configurations. Colors are available from standard bright white to pink and yellow tones. LED fixtures, including chandeliers, work with dimmers to control the amount of light in a room.

Standard screw bulbs fit into any traditional lamp or lighting fixture. Pin sockets are also available. LEDs work great for track and recessed lighting. LEDs fit into tracks and modern task light hanging fixtures in kitchens and other work areas. Basic bright white light is good for kitchens and workplaces while softer lights may be used in living and dining rooms.

Candle flame shapes, round globes, and tube lights can be used anywhere. Modern lamps are designed exclusively for use with LED bulbs. Swimming and spa pool lights include floating battery-powered LEDsSpecial LED strip lights or ribbons fit under cabinets and on walkways for subtle illumination and safety.

Prices have lowered substantially for LED products. They are more popular than ever since they last for many years. A LED bulb with 11 watts and 1100 lumens will replace a 75-watt incandescent bulb for under $10. While it is more expensive than a standard incandescent light, the savings on energy and replacement makes it a good value.

Consider updating your home with LED lighting. This is important for the present and the future as saving energy is necessary for a sustainable lifestyle.

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Filed under Interior Design, Interior Lighting, LED Lightbulbs, led lighting, Light, Lighting, Lighting Hardware

Outdoor Lighting and the Style of Your Home

outdoor-lighting-and-the-style-of-your-home

The short days and long nights are back in session. It’s a time many homeowners (and renters!) really begin to notice just how well (or not) their driveways, pathways, and porches are lit at night. Having a well-lit exterior makes a home safer to navigate, more welcoming, and more versatile.

But with so many different types and styles of exterior lighting available on the market, finding the right options for your property can sometimes feel overwhelming. The following is a short breakdown of the primary types of outdoor lighting and how to choose options that best match your home’s style and lighting needs.

  • Post Lanterns.  Post lanterns are dramatic standalone exterior lights that are sure to make a dramatic statement whether you put them along your driveway or in the middle of your back yard. These standout lights are ideal for bringing much-needed brightness to outdoor entertaining areas, such as near a pool entryway or grilling stations, but shouldn’t be used for more intimate spaces or where you want a more subdued aesthetic.
  • Outdoor Wall Lights.   Wall lanterns and sconces can be easily attached to any exterior wall to provide an effective and efficient source of indirect uplighting and downlighting. These wall lights are available in a variety of styles and materials so that you can match the unique look and feel of your house with the right style. Of course, most people find the best look comes with a bit of a mix and match. Consider using dimmable wall sconces near often utilized spaces, such as above an outdoor seating area, windows, and doors. If you have your address numbers attached to your home, wall lights are an ideal solution for illuminating them ensuring your friends and delivery drivers never miss your address. LED lights are ideal for these uses thanks to their long life and enhanced energy efficiency.
  • Outdoor Hanging Lights. Outdoor hanging lights, also known as pendant lights, are often used more to enhance curb appeal and act as an interesting design element than to provide general lighting — although they certainly can be used as task lighting in the right circumstances. These style lights have perhaps the greatest range of materials, colors, and styles as you can opt for everything from Eastern-inspired bamboo lanterns to more industrial-based designs. Whichever style you choose, be sure to stay consistent with all your outdoor hanging lights to keep a more cohesive appearance. For a truly intimate appearance, consider adding an open flame torch or its flameless LED cousin near porches, gazebos, and similar spaces.
  • Flood Lights.  Flood lights are generally not chosen for their appearance, but rather for security purposes. Flood lights are generally built to be equipped with a motion sensor so that whenever a person or large animal enters a defined space, they cast out a bright light over the area. Flood lights don’t come in too many options, as they are more of a utilitarian accessory, but you can still find the right shape and color to match your home’s architecture. For best effect, install all flood lights a minimum of 9 feet off the ground both so that they cannot be easily accessed by would-be intruders and can create the widest possible field of illumination.

Before purchasing and installing any of the above lights, grab a friend and walk through your property at night with a flashlight and all other lights turned off. Experiment with how the flashlight interacts with your exterior features and landscaping and use this as a basis to map out your lighting options.

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Filed under Exterior Lighting, led lighting, Light, Lighting, Outdoor Lighting

Why LED Lightbulbs Beat Them All!

why-led-lightbulbs-beat-them-allThere are many advantages to using light emitting diodes (LED) illumination in homes, commercial buildings and outside lighting.

Advantages include:

  1. Small to large sizes in many different shapes
  2. Economy
  3. Low energy costs
  4. Eco-friendly

Types of lighting

LED lights are available in all sizes and shapes for accent lighting, mood lighting, task lights, outdoor illumination and general room lights.

You can flip a switch and have LED lighting on your ceiling illuminate a room. You can also control the lights with a dimmer switch.

LEDs  lights usually send the beams in one direction. This makes them ideal for task, can or track lighting in ceilings that focus light in one direction. Energy Star approved LED lighting includes bulbs that send light in all direction, similar to incandescent bulbs.

The many size and shapes of LED bulbs make them ideal for any type of use. LEDs come in strips for illuminating walkways and outdoor areas. LED strips work under cabinets in kitchens and bathrooms. They are especially popular during holiday seasons for decorations.

LED bulbs can come in any color for any mood or affect. Red, green, blue and amber are the most popular along with the usual cool and warm white.

Economy and energy savings

A six-watt LED bulb replaces a 60-watt incandescent bulb or a 13-15-watt compact fluorescent bulb (CFL). The LED light will last 50,000 hours while most incandescent bulbs last about 8,000 hours.

New labeling on LED lights shows their wattage and lumens. This is a means of comparison with incandescent lights.

The investment in LED lighting actually saves about 25% on your energy costs. The lights last years longer than regular or CFL bulbs. LEDs also dim slowly when they finally do wear out. They don’t burn out in a flash or simple refuse to work since they do not have a filament.

The lights are much cooler than incandescent bulbs. That is why they use less power. They may use about 3.4 btu’s and hour compared to 85 btu’s for the average incandescent bulb.

The tiny lights in a LED bulb are powered by semiconductors with reflectors. This is solid-state digital electronics. The bulbs are compact and there is no glass to break and shatter.

They travel well, a feature that makes LEDs ideal for vehicles and maritime use. Most newer cars feature LED headlamps and tail lights.

The tiny LED bulbs are clustered into fixtures that may contain up to 180 bulbs. The combinations are usable in all lighting fixtures, including 3-way bulbs.

Eco-friendly

There is no mercury in a LED lights. They do not contain toxic substances. Their low-power demands make them ideal for homes and buildings using solar power. They also work in remote areas where power comes from a generator. LEDs are used in flashlights and work lights.

They are cool since there are no filaments in glass to heat up and add to the warmth of a room. This saves on air conditioning costs.

LED lights save on greenhouse gas emissions by not using as much energy. They are practical as well as economical.

Take the opportunity to invest in LED bulbs when you are replacing lights in your home. This is a one-time purchase that will save money and energy over time.

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Filed under Benefits, LED Lightbulbs, led lighting, Light, Lighting