Enhancing Home Décor with Indirect LED Lighting

Enhancing Home Decor with Indirect LED Lighting

You're loading the dishwasher on a weeknight after dinner. You look around the kitchen at the cabinets and appliances you've had for 15 years and the color scheme you've had for 10 and let out an audible, despondent sigh. Moving on to the living room for a glass of pinot noir and a good book, you again scan your surroundings to take in the well-loved but plain décor. Exhausted from a long day, you proceed to the bedroom and, in the midst of drifting off to slumber, you think, "This isn't me. I'm not meant to settle for this ho hum existence." Your home's drab atmosphere is affecting your outlook on life. What can you do to brighten the mood throughout your house? Getting new furniture and appliances would be too expensive. Painting takes too much time and effort. A simple solution is indirect LED lighting. Let's explore the basics of LED lighting and how it can make your home's prosaic aesthetic pop.

LED Basics

LEDs (Light Emitting Diodes) use a solid-state illumination method in which a semi-conducting material directly harnesses electricity and converts it into light. It has numerous advantages over the older lighting systems, incandescence and fluorescence. LEDs operate with prodigious efficiency. It only takes a little over 20% - 25% of the wattage for an LED to achieve the same brightness as an incandescent bulb. Because LEDs use 90% of the electricity channeled through them to emit light, it radiates only a negligible amount of heat, which allows them to be used in a wide range of applications from car headlights, to traffic signals, to, yes, household lighting.

Warm LED Lighting

Until recently, there were two disadvantages that prevented LED lights from being used domestically: prohibitive price and light quality. Mass production resolved the former. For the latter, let's first take a brief look at what determines light quality. Along with brightness, light is measured in temperature by Kelvin units (K). Humans enjoy light that is "warm" or "yellow", in the range of 2700 K and 3200 K. When they were first developed, LEDs strictly emitted 5000 K. This is comparable to fluorescent bulbs, which are adequate for use in public and commercial settings, but much too intense or "blue" to light a home. As time progressed, filtering technology was improved to subdue the light's concentration and achieve the satisfying warmth that people prefer in their homes.

LED Fixtures and Accessories

WLE140C32K098 Alico Puck Lights

Alico WLE140C32K098 Puck Lights - These are small circular disks that can be installed individually or wired together in succession. They can be installed as recessed or protruding fixtures, depending on the look you desire. This Alico puck light radiates a warm glow that effectively illuminates almost any space while functioning on only 3 watts.

LEDT24352INWT WAC Tape Lights

WAC LEDT24352INWT Tape Lights - LED tape is sold on a roll in various lengths. The strip can be cut to fit a specific width. LED tape offers a low profile to aid in task or decorative lighting in the home. WAC tape lights are among the most versatile in the market. They can provide up to 3500 K of inviting light and can be dimmed as needed.

EN1275RAR WAC Transformer

WAC EN1275RAR Transformer - To utilize your LED elements to their fullest extent, they need to be operated in tandem with a transformer or driver. This device regulates electricity use in the elements and prevents overloaded circuits. The WAC transformer can also control the dimming functions in your LED fixtures.

Kitchen Lighting

Overhead and under counter cabinets in kitchens give ample opportunity for indirect LED lighting. Placing LEDs under the cabinets makes for a striking yet unobtrusive look. One of the great aspects of using LEDs to liven up existing décor is how adaptable they are to different themes. Whether you have a more traditional look with wooden cabinets and appliances in muted colors, or a more modern style, all clean lines, stainless steel, and laminates, LEDs can be customized to suit. With the former, you may wish to limit yourself to subdued lighting and unassuming colors such as white and pale yellows. Going too mental will almost certainly result in garish weirdness. Contemporary design gives you agency to be whimsical with diode colors and lighting placement to give an air of delightful eccentricity. Whichever course you choose, under cabinet LED lighting has practical benefits as well as decorative. They light work space for common kitchen tasks like cutting vegetables and other culinary prep work. Additionally, the lights can be left on without excessive expense or energy usage for safety of movement even in the middle of the night.

Living Room Lighting

The living room is an excellent canvas for indirect LED lighting. Because there aren't as many natural places to install indirect LED elements as in the kitchen, some minor renovation is called for. With rudimentary carpentry skills, anyone can install what is called a cove lining the ceiling edges adapted from crown molding. This cove feature disperses the LED output, bathing the walls with light. Depending on the intensity of the lighting used, this can be your main light source for the room or it can merely supplement a central lighting feature. The effect is quite a dramatic enhancement to the space. Another area in the living room that can be given a visual boost by LEDs is behind a flat screen television that sits or hangs in front of a wall. You can do something as simple as attaching LED tape to the rear perimeter of the television. If you're feeling ambitious, you can construct something of a light box similar in design to the ceiling cove. What results is a theater-like ambience with your television taking the stage. All this gives the feel that you've entirely revamped the look of the room with minimal effort.

Bedroom Lighting

You might think that the visual impact exuded by indirect LED lighting might feel a bit gauche in the bedroom. However, with a subtle touch, you can affect artistic verve without venturing into the territory of tackiness. The cove lighting used in the living room can be implemented with beautiful results to finely augment the space's color scheme. Installing some modestly colored LED tape to the bottom of the outside edges of the bed can make for a dreamlike feel as you enter the room. When lighting your bedroom, remember to consider the intensity and color of the lighting so as not to have any adverse repercussions when you're trying to go to bed. Studies have shown that "blue" lighting inhibits the body's ability to achieve restful sleep and the effects can linger for some time even after the light is turned off.

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