When LED lighting was first introduced into the home, the best features were the significant energy savings and long bulb life. They weren’t well received because they were limited to color hues that were not appealing and they were also quite expensive. There was a benefit; LED bulbs can last up to 25,000 hours which is about 5 years of normal use, and they burn about 75% less energy than incandescent bulbs. That equals a significant savings on the utilitiy bill. Fast forward to today—LED lighting is the darling of interior designers and remodelers. They are available in many assorted color hues, shapes and sizes. When used creatively, they can add accent and mood to a room. They are still more expensive than traditional bulbs but the benefits far outweigh the costs. LED bulbs have low heat emission so they can be used where other bulbs were considered unsafe. Designers are using them throughout the home as uplighting, downlighting and accent lighting. Additionally, they are now compatible with dimmer switches.
I’ve compiled a gallery of lighting with a little help from Houzz.com to demonstrate the creativity of LED lighting.
- White-light LED tape placed under the counter and cabinet in this kitchen creates a glowing silhouette.
- Tape lighting illuminates the upper edge of each of these stairs. It’s ideal for lighting stairways at night; someone can take the stairs without having to turn on all the overhead lights.
- Strips backlight this mirror above and below, creating a soft but dramatic look. Because of an additional covering, strip lights are moisture resistant, which makes them a great choice for lighting a bathroom vanity.
- Strips lights give this ceiling cove crowning the room a soft glow. Strips can do double duty as accent and overhead lighting because of the high lumen output.
Under this kitchen cabinet, six energy-saving LED recessed puck lights illuminate the countertop work area while highlighting the quartzite backsplash. LED puck lights are a great replacement for xenon puck lighting fixtures, which give off heat.
Puck lights under these bookshelves create pools of light and dark for drama and task lighting. Pucks tend to produce areas of brightness and darkness, whereas LED tape and strips provide an even distribution of light.
Color-changing LED tape in this ceiling cove casts different hues around the perimeter of the room. The lighting transitions from white to warm amber, much like the sunlight does as it cycles from day to evening.
Color-changing tape works with a remote control to change the colors. You can program color-changing tape (also known as ribbon) to stay a certain color, fade in and out, flash or even sync with music.
Color-changing strips trace the outline of this vanity mirror. This lighting can go anywhere in the home where you want to get creative and play with color and light.
Rope light illuminates this family room’s tray ceiling.
Recessed cans are available as self-contained modules with the LED light built into the housing or a simple LED recessed can lightbulb. An LED recessed can module has its own engine to remove heat, so it lasts longer and produces better-quality light than simple LED bulbs.
The latest LED product to come on the market is known as the smart bulb, because you can control it from your smart phone, tablet or Wi-Fi network.
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