Light Up the Room: Why LED Downlights Will Always Serve Your Home Well
contributed by Emma Jacques
Downlighting has long been a trendy design feature in offices, bars and hotel suites the world over and in recent years, it has become increasingly popular in the home too. LED downlights are your best bet for adding subtle style to your home without the headaches that come with traditional halogen bulbs. Traditional halogen downlights and ceiling fixtures sap energy and money from your household and are far from reliable. LED bulbs on the other hand use up to 90% less energy than traditional light sources (and they actually perform longer too!) Whether you use LEDs to highlight the decorative elements in your home or make dim areas of a room safer and more inviting, energy-efficient LED downlights will not disappoint.
Setting the Mood
Unlike traditional incandescent bulbs, LED lights provide a broad range of ‘colour temperatures’, i.e. a larger scale of colour hues ranging from ‘warm’ white light to ‘cold’ blue. In a domestic setting, this scale of colour temperature makes all the difference between achieving an appropriately inviting and homely atmosphere to the harsh, invasive kind of light that is typically reserved for museum display cabinets.
This wide spectrum of correlated colour temperature (CCT) enables you to light each room suitably, ensuring that each room can function as well as possible. LED downlights can be used en masse to flood kitchen work surfaces for a cook-friendly space, for example, or used sparingly to illuminate an office or work environment. What’s more, many LED bulbs are dimmable – an attractive feature in the modern home where the ability to enhance the mood with lighting is more essential than ever.
Adding Value and Interest to the Home
LEDs are not known merely for their green credentials – they also have very creative design potential. LED lighting has the ability to transform dull corners of the home into tidy and streamlined areas with the aid of a few well-placed downlights. Recessed down lighting in particular is ideal for accentuating focal points of the home such as the staircase or hallway. Homes with character and personality are the ones that take great pride in personal possessions and downlights can perfectly compliment this. As well as winning the admiration of visitors, LED lighting provides the perfect opportunity to influence buyers and viewers when you come to sell on your property. Downlights may be used to accentuate and exhibit artwork and other decorative pieces to give them more presence and cut corners to achieve a luxe feel. This false luxury can also extend to your home’s exterior too. Revamp garden walkways and patios with soft illuminating downlights to create the illusion of expense at a fraction of the cost.
Won’t Contribute to Heat
With the frequent heat waves that accompany the summer months, the average American household can accumulate a considerable amount of heat in a typical year and this is not helped by large volumes of high powered electric lighting. Typical incandescent bulbs in the home can produce an 11 degree F rise in just one hour whilst on. This will obviously vary depending on how well ventilated or large the room is but the fast rate in which they heat up is staggering nonetheless. In contrast, LED bulbs stick to a consistent and cool temperature, owing to the aluminium struts surrounding the lower bulb known as ‘heat sinks’. This helps keep the bulbs operating at a low temperature, ensuring they won’t overheat or burnout as so many traditional incandescent bulbs do.
Stretch Your Savings
Don’t be discouraged by the initial high price tag of LED light bulbs. LEDs are a far smarter investment than any other lighting option as you will soon start to notice upon receiving your monthly utility bills. Due to their exceptional lifespan (between 30,000 and 50,000 hours) maintenance is minimal and the savings you recoup will amount to roughly $50 per light fixture per year that you switch to LED bulbs. When you consider that around 25% of our average household costs are down to lighting, the long-term savings and increased performance of LED downlights can transform how you choose to decorate your home’s interior as well as your outdoor space.