Home lighting design has changed dramatically over the last couple of decades. Interior designers began the trend when new technologies started to arrive. Then, large corporations made it possible for us to access an affordable range of lighting solutions for the home. Companies such as the Swedish giant, IKEA, have taken it to a new level by reproducing some amazing lighting products while slashing the prices dramatically.
Improvements in Home Lighting Design
Regardless of your space, there are an incredible amount of lighting options to give you the atmosphere you want. Gone are the days where all you had to suggest romance was a couple of candles and a dimmer switch. Today, we have integrated LED lighting, underfloor lighting, lights that can switch themselves on and off, and even change color with the touch of a button. You can turn a large, cold looking room into a cozy and warm experience. It is an exciting industry and one you should pay a little attention to. There are some incredibly cool lighting products coming your way.
Save Money and Energy with LED Lights
LED stands for light-emitting diode. It is a tiny device that is extremely energy efficient. LED is now used in everyday light bulbs and more and more consumers are replacing their old, energy-zapping traditional bulbs with these not-so-new kids on the block. The bulbs themselves are more expensive to buy, the payoff comes from the money you save on your bills, and the fact you don’t have to change bulbs so often. In fact, a LED light bulb will last you 50,000 hours of usage compared to the incandescent bulbs which have an average span of 1200 hours per bulb. That is a staggering amount, and I’m sure you are all aware how easy it is to damage the delicate elements of the incandescent variety.
Replacing your old bulbs with their LED compadre might save you money, but it probably isn’t going to change the atmosphere of your home. So how can you use LED’s to give your home lighting design an incredible and dramatic look? For that, you need to check out some of the technologies being used by companies such as luminart.
LED strip lights can produce multiple color combinations. It isn’t uncommon for high street versions containing RG and B to deliver a standard of 128 different color options. All from one strip light! So by installing these into your home, you can change the feel of your house at the touch of a button, without decorating at all.
Common Areas for LED Lights
Common areas LED lights are used are in the kitchen, especially in the bright white theme of the modern, minimalist kitchens. Whether under the units or integrated into the floor tiles, you can project a multitude of colors which will bounce off your marble, granite or wood. It’s an especially good effect when you want to throw a dinner party, as you can control some products from your phone and set them to change colors. You can even hook it up to your musical device so your lighting changes with the sound of the beat. I recommend consulting an automation professional to get the right connectivity.
LED Lighting Offers Many Options
The technology in LED lights means you only need a very low wattage to power them. Now, more feature lighting is available without the use of wires. A few 1.5volt batteries can power up to 20 LED lights for a number of hours. The battery will give out way before the bulb ever will. There’s been a rise in the number of companies creating illuminated letters. They range from small lettering to place in your home, spelling out a word that means something to you, large room dominating letters to help you celebrate a party, or maybe just as an incredible feature in a room. While the lights can be bright, they are easily diffused if placed under a soft opaque glass or surrounded by a light softening bulb case. This means you can have the dramatic bright look in your kitchen, and a diffused look in your living room.
Home Lighting Design in Bathrooms
Bathrooms are a really fun space to play with lighting. Especially when you use dramatic mirrors or glass dividers. Luxury hotels are making the most out of LED lighting. Realizing that their guests demand to be impressed, many boutique hotels are adding maximum impact into their bathrooms with double showers, and floor to ceiling glass and mirrored walls. Bouncing off every angle are LED lights which are hooked up to a wireless app in the hotel suite. With a few button touches, you can have a rich red bathroom or shower under a ‘rainforest’ effect where the light mood changes to recreate the feel of the jungle. Themed lighting is opening up options so that one room can have a thousand looks and as many different atmospheres. It is really exciting.
You can recreate this home lighting design in your own home by heading to your local lighting or home store and finding the strip LED lighting. Just make sure you are opting for the waterproof strips if you are using them in your bathroom. While they look their best integrated into the design, it is possible to retrofit if you make clever use of hidden corners or secret holes. Mirror and glass can be made to measure so you can recreate that drama in your own home, increasing the size of your space. With bathrooms, you tend to get limescale. This can ruin the effect and make your lighting diffuse in ways you may not have intended. It’s worth having quarterly visits from a company like Lucid Clean to ensure everything is spotless and free of scale.
You can master your bedroom lighting by using strips under the bed frame. This will project light onto the floor and give you an alternative way of adding a warm glow to your room without any lamps or the main ceiling lights turned on. This is another great room to use light artworks like these brilliant illuminating prints. You can even have your own personalized prints which will bring a real stamp of yourself to the room. If you have a tiny budget, then use large glass vases and fill them full of LED fairy lights. Battery operated means you can avoid ugly wiring. You will then have created beautiful light features at a fraction of the cost.
Accent Lighting Using LED Technology
So how else can you use LED in your home? Due to their compact nature, they are easily disguised. If you have glass shelving, you can slip a three bulb unit at the back of the glass shelf and aim it through the glass itself. The projection will come out on the cut edge of your shelf giving you a pretty illumination to help throw some light on your favorite art or books. Another incredible invention that hit the market is LED wallpaper. Emitting a soothing glow, the luminous wall panels can be configured in myriad combinations of color. Phillips designed the prototype which could put paint suppliers out of business! Who wants to spend time redecorating when the tech is out there to do it at the flip of a switch?!
How about a little extra sunshine? Remember the amazing glow of fireflies in a jar? Consol has created the Sunshine in a Bottle lamp. Currently only available in South Africa, you leave the bottle out all day to collect the sun’s rays. Then you illuminate the single LED which is powered by the sun’s energy. These were originally designed for families who weren’t on the grid, so they could double up as a cool alternative to torchlight in a powercut and are a lot safer than candles.
Outdoor LED Lighting
You don’t have to stay indoors with your home lighting design. Heading into your garden to illuminate the front of your house is just as important. Due to the low energy consumption of LED, you can have more lights on without it costing you a fortune. So, make the most of any features you are proud of on the outside. The cheapest way would be retrofit solutions. However, you can have small LED’s worked into your paving to light the path or your driveway. Again, this can be color changing to give off a different feel depending on your mood or to work with a celebration or a sporting match.
If after all this you feel obsessed with LED lighting, then you could also invest in some LED eyelashes. Yes, bizarre, and we aren’t entirely sure how you could handle a row of lights on your eyelashes. However, according to the designer Soomi Park, lit-up lashes make the eyes look larger. They contain a mechanism which can switch them off when you tilt your head. Bizarre, but if they are out there then it’s certainly not going to be a long before the pop culture set in Japan start making these a must have! So maybe you can be your own lighting feature when you invite friends over.
There are so many different options for home lighting design to make your home a comfortable and fun space. Use the tips and examples above to transform your home, and create an environment that you really enjoy being in.
Patricia, like her blog, is not a one-dimensional designer, which is evident in her accolades of 17 national design awards. Over a 38-year career in the industry, she has carved a niche in several areas of design. Licensed in interior design and certified in kitchen and bath design, she offers a full menu of design services ranging from whole house interior design, kitchen and bath design, lighting design, full remodels, commercial design and universal (ADA) design.Patricia is a sought-after speaker in the industry and has been published in many publications as seen on her interior design firm’s website, https://www.patriciadavisbrowndesigns.com/. She writes for such publications as QuinStreetinc, Relaxed Remodeler, and eHow.com talent offering design tips.
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