Light-emitting diodes – sounds futuristic or like something from a funky nightclub, doesn’t it? Better known as LEDs, they are shaping up to be the future in lighting.
The incandescent light bulbs we grew up with are notoriously inefficient and don’t last very long. Compact florescent bulbs were touted as the answer to all our lighting woes, but they were woefully unsatisfactory. They are expensive, they flicker, and people didn’t warm to their twisty design. Add to that their poor color rendering (see Designing with Light), the dangerous cleanup when the mercury escapes from a broken bulb, and potential fire hazards, and it’s no wonder CFRs never took off.
Enter LEDs. They have actually been around for a long time as indicator lights but since CFRs failed to replace incandescents, they are beginning to be taken more seriously for general household uses. They still don’t compete in color rendering but they are long-lasting, safe and versatile.
LEDs come in seemingly endless design options, making lighting more fun than ever! You can find them in tape, panels, pucks, ropes, cans and bulbs. You can change colors and switch from cool to warm light all with one bulb. You can even download apps to control them from your phone! Here are some bright ideas for LEDs in your home:
- This strip lighting uses energy-saving LEDs to illuminate the countertop.
- Small LEDs can light up any drawer.
- LED tape tucked under the lip of these steps make for surer footing.
- LED toekicks make interesting accent lighting and good nightlights.
What cutting-edge uses can you think of for LEDs in your home?