Below is a guest post on the subject of using LED lighting options for the interior and exterior of your home (or office for that matter!). S Interior Design specifies LED light options for all of our client projects. Even if it is simply replacing existing recessed can light bulbs with an LED option, the new light output can make a big difference in how the space looks.
Attractive and Smart Indoor & outdoor LED Lights For your Homes
People keep going on about climate change – There is all this talk of gloom and doom and death as a result of it. This talk is not totally unfounded. There are lots of problems with greenhouse gases, and energy wasting, and all kinds of other things that are causing serious harm. As a result of this, the name of the game has become energy efficiency. It is one way to help out with the environment.
Besides all of the greater good stuff, energy efficiency is also just smart. In the long run, efficiency equals more money saved. And LED lights are an example of energy efficiency at its finest.
A question that a lot of people have is what LED lights are exactly. Simply put, they are a replacement for the current florescent light bulbs we use. Another question many people have is why should I care? For one, LED lights are environmentally friendly. They help to reduce dangerous emissions such as aforementioned greenhouse gases. LED lights also make use of renewable energy. They are very kind to the environment indeed. But it isn’t only the environment that benefits. If you don’t have to keep buying new light bulbs you will be saving money as well. All in all, LED lights are a great substitute for traditional lighting.
LED lights are great and all, but they suffer from a problem that many environmentally sound resources do. The problem is that people know almost nothing about them. (this is the sort of Con)
Because of this, a lot of people don’t want to take the time to learn how to install and/or make use of LED lights. They don’t want to jump over that extra hurdle. It is simply easier to stick with the old light bulbs you have than try and figure out how LED lights work.
Well that’s what this article is for, to show how the ins and outs of LED lights in a practical sense so that you can be using them that much quicker.
The main thing this article can do to help you get cracking with your new LED lights is to dispel the mysticism that comes with them. Like with a lot of new energy saving technologies like wind or solar power, there are these ideas that they are some kind of alien thing that is beyond us. Really, LED lights are just an alternate form of lighting, much like light bulbs. You still use the same lamps and other lighting fixtures you would normally use, you are just replacing the light source inside them. And what you are replacing it with is a light emitting diode (or LED).
How to make use of LEDs? Well, for the most part, they aren’t going to function much differently from your traditional old fashioned light bulbs. One of the main things that you need to remember when dealing with LED lights is the problem with heat. One of the nice things about LED lights is that they don’t burn out like a regular light bulb will. Over time an LED light will dim. It will slowly die out over a very long period. However, if you want to maximize the usage you get out of your LED lights you need to make sure that it does not get overheated.
A heat sink is one of the most common devices used by LED light manufacturers to make sure this does not happen. What a heat sink does is take the excess heat let off by the LED light and disperse it. The heat spreads throughout the air and dissipates over a large area. Using such a device, an LED light can last for a very long time without the need for replacements. As long as you manage your heat sources properly the LED lights will not cause any problems and you can enjoy sustainable lighting at your fingertips.
As mentioned before, the concept of LED lights is often made out to be this foreign thing. People fail to realize that we already make use of LED lights in our daily lives all the time. If you have ever seen a traffic light or exit sign, that is a prime example of LED lights at work. One of the most common examples of LED lights is emergency lighting. Police and other such sirens use LED lights, as do other such warning indicators.
There is all the standard stuff like lamps and chandelier type installations you can have in your home. It is easy enough to put overhead lights into the ceiling itself. This is all the standard stuff, but you can also easily get more creative. If you want to have an artistic look, LED lights can easily accommodate that as well. The way LED lights are designed, they can fit into almost anything you want them to. You can put lights in your walls. You can have various artistic structures in your home that make use of LED lights. LED lights can be suited to whatever style of home you want to have. The other beautiful thing about LED lights is that you can find them in a wide variety of colors.
The truth is white LED lights do not exist. Multiple LEDs are combined together with various filters and such to create the white light look. If you want deep purple or bright red lights in your home it is simple. But as said before, LED lights can still easily accommodate the more traditional look if that is what you want.
Now don’t go thinking that LED lights are just for indoor use. People often overlook the benefit of outdoor lighting. Though the season has just passed, LED lights can make great holiday decorations. If you want decorations for any time of year, LED lights work wonders in your yard. The LED lights can also be used to simply extend your evening hours during the warmer months. If you want to keep sitting outside and enjoying the nice weather, then just install a few LED lights.
I mean, obviously you don’t need an article to tell you to use lights to give you more light. The thing is LED lights are especially good for outdoor furnishing. The problem many people have is that they want to lighten up their yard and/or garden so they can enjoy it for longer periods of time, but they don’t want a large prison spotlight blaring over their property. Clearly you want the lights to compliment your existing arrangement.
When coming up with design ideas for outdoor lighting, you do not want to think of your garden as an obstacle to overcome. Think of your garden as an artistic amplifier. You can make use of the plants and shrubs. Say you have a trellis or arch with vines snaking up it. Well, it is a simple matter to thread a string of LED lights in between them. It can give you a very nice visual effect. You can also place various LED lights throughout the garden itself. Use them to accentuate the plants. Strategically put LED lights behind some of your shrubs to give them a beautiful glow. You can even hide them so that the LED lights themselves are not visible because the plants are obscuring them. Always a crowd pleaser is the lighted pathway. You can have a bright and beautiful walk through your garden at night. There are nigh on infinite ways to make use of your garden to really get good mileage out of your LED lights.
Of course, when thinking about lighting up your garden, you are primarily thinking about personal use. You can have the simple wall lights that illuminate your patio at night if you want. As mentioned previously, LED lights can be great for complex and artistic as well as simple and functional.
Another thing you can think about as far as outdoor decorations go, is adding in features specifically to compliment the lights. If you want you can have a lit fountain in the center of your garden or yard. If you have a low stone wall you can shine light on it for dramatic effect. The real trick to outdoor LED lighting is to work with the features you already have and play off them, rather than to try and work around them. And while you can, do not feel like you have to buy additional items to go with the LED lights. You do not have to turn your backyard into an artistic display, though you totally can if that is what you want.
The thing to remember with LED lights is that they come in all shapes and sizes and forms. It will be no problem to find LED lights that will work with whatever outdoor environment you have. You can also set up timers or other devices to ensure you get the most energy efficiency for you dollar. Furnishing your outdoors with LED lights is easy.
Despite what you might think, LED lights are not all that expensive. A lot of people think that new and innovative technology means bigger price, but that is not always the case. Often times it means cheaper rather than steeper. In a lot of cases, the new models or newer technologies are easier and cheaper to make than the older less efficient versions, so they can afford to sell them for less. And with a product like LED lights that is made with renewable energy, there’s simple more resources available to produce them so there is not going to be a lack of supply to drive the demand up really high. Also the thing is with energy efficient products such as LED lights, the companies that use them often do not have profit as their primary motivation. Yes, every company wants to make money. But a lot of times, people start companies that sell things like LED lights because they want people to start using more energy efficient equipment, so they try hard to make it affordable. Even if it isn’t the company, you can always find people who want to bend over backwards to help others become more energy efficient. There are plenty of other tips and tricks if you want to save money. Buying in bulk often helps you to get discount prices. Especially if you can tag your purchase on with another. For instance, if your office is upgrading to LED lights you can add your own supply on to the order, that way you can save on shipping and often get bulk discount rates. Also, if you have the time and/or skill, you can do a self-installation of the LED lights. This can save a lot. And like I said before, if you take good care of the LED lights they will be much much longer lasting than a normal light bulb could ever be, so you will not have to buy nearly as many.
All in all, LED lights are an investment. They pay off in the long run, if you can afford to wait that long you will end up saving money by making the switch. Also, they are designed to save you money. And getting them is easy. Plenty of companies sell LED lights. The two mentioned previously in this article (OSRAM and Energy Star) are just a couple of examples. It is a simple matter of one Google search or phone call and you can find the LED lights that work for you and are within your price range.