It’s no secret, LED is changing the ways of illumination. The technology is advancing, prices are dropping, and lighting manufacturers have been embracing this wave of change with integration of the new lamping systems directly into their product designs, in lieu of the old “socket and bulb” assembly. There is much to be excited about with this LED advancement- but we have a few of our favorite new examples of the integration currently hanging on the showroom floor.
An architectural dream, this beautiful bridge-like structure by LBL Lighting serves as a piece of hanging modern art. The bold, angular framework supports both indirect up-light AND direct task down-light lamping systems- which equal a total of 29 watts of LED illumination.
We all love a little bling in our lives, and this crystal pendant from Elan is no exception. A polished chrome frame and clear, geometric crystals are combined with over 43 watts of LED technology to create an alluring ring of illumination. This fixture is a feast for the eyes and will surely add elegance to any space it suspends in.
Hubbardton knocks it out of the park again! Beautiful hand-formed ribbons create visual movement in this stunning LED pendant by Hubbardton Forge. This suspended lighting sculpture is available in three different finish options, and houses 37 watts of LED lamping within six separate edge-lit guides. An illuminated work of art, indeed.
Koncept has taken task lighting to a wonderful new dimension with their sleek Z-Bar LED desk lamp series. Flexible positioning, compact sizing and touch and go dimming controls, make this lamp selection stand tall within the crowd. Offering a wide variety of size, color and light options, the Z-Bar collection is a perfect example of seamless LED integration.
Not your Mama’s ceiling fan. The sleek 5 blade design of this 52″ DC motor fan from Minka Aire, offered in 3 different finishes, comes equipped with a 17 watt 3000k dimmable LED light kit, proving that form and function can unite (and move air while doing it)!
What’s ahead? MORE! More lighting manufacturers are getting on board and integrating their newest product designs with LED systems. These designs have a sleeker, more sophisticated look, and are able to showcase the artistry within LED innovation with their concealed lamping systems and minimal projections. Hubbardton Forge is among our favorites, releasing two brand new product lines: Vermont Modern and Synchronicity. Both lines exude Hubbardton’s exceptional quality and design aesthetic, but with slightly different personalities. Vermont Modern has an urban edge and is filled with minimalist contemporary designs, integrating LED lamping systems within it’s low profile bodices. Synchronicity takes glamorous lighting to an entire new level with whimsical creations incorporating artisanal glass and crystal into beautiful LED works of art. Stay tuned for more updates and product information regarding both of these new lines in upcoming blogs!
There’s a lot to know about the ever-evolving LED lighting situation.
We used to think in terms of lamp wattage, or soft white vs. clear bulb choices. The conversation has shifted now to lumen output and color temperature. It can be confusing to say the least, which is why we have put together a few tips on how to best choose the right LED lamp type for your illumination needs.
Lets Talk Lumens-
Lumen- the unit of measure of visible light. The lighting game has changed. A 60 watt incandescent lamp is the compared lighting equivalent of a 42 watt eco-halogen lamp, which is of similar equivalence to a 13 watt compact fluorescent lamp, or an 11 watt LED lamp. Scratching your head? You are not alone. Depending upon which type of light source you choose, the rated wattage- or the amount of energy consumed- will be different. This is why we now have to look at each lamp type’s lumen rating, or the measure of visible light produced from a specific source. Tami explains this in further detail in the video below-
It is important to know how many lumens your bulb choice is providing you with in order to properly illuminate your space. As a general rule of thumb, we recommend the following:
GENERAL FLOOR SPACE= 20 LUMENS PER SQUARE FOOT
DINING AREAS= 30 LUMENS PER SQUARE FOOT
HIGH TASK AND WORK AREAS= 50 LUMENS PER SQUARE FOOT
What is Degrees Kelvin?-
The Kelvin is the Standard International unit of thermodynamic temperature. What does this mean? In regards to LED lighting, color temperature is a characteristic of visible light and is stated in units of absolute temperature, known as Kelvin. We typically separate this into categories known as “warm white” or “cool white”. Incandescent light has a lower color temperature- around 2700 degrees Kelvin. This is considered “warm white”, and will possess reddish-yellow tones. Warm white has a temperature range of 2000-2800 degrees Kelvin. Lamps rated between 3000-4000 degrees Kelvin fall within the “neutral white” category, while lamps rated at 4100 degrees kelvin or higher are labeled as “cool white”, and will have blue-violet color tones. We recommend matching your bulb temperature to the color of other light sources in your home for consistency and evenly matched illumination. Watch Tami explain more in this short video about color temperature-
Integrated LED vs. LED Replacement Lamping: Pros and Cons-
We often get asked about the differences between lighting fixtures with integrated LED lamping systems, and lighting fixtures with standard socket systems where we simply use an LED replacement light bulb in lieu of a standard incandescent light bulb. What’s the big difference? Well, some of it simply involves the timing of product development and the ability to have efficiency with your own current lighting fixtures. Have some table lamps that you absolutely love, but desire a more efficient version? Simply replace the existing bulb with an LED one! But, many have posed the question: are there benefits to purchasing fixtures where the LED lamp source is integrated and there are no actual “bulbs”? There are layers to this answer, but we have provided a simple breakdown to help you weigh out each option and give you a list of Pros and Cons within each category.
INTEGRATED LED FIXTURE PROS:
Stronger efficiency and longer life ratings than LED replacement bulbs alone.
Better dimming and lighting control capabilities.
Lower rated fixture wattages- which allows greater advantage if meeting Title 24 standards, or strict new construction building codes.
INTEGRATED LED FIXTURE CONS:
Higher up-front product cost.
Often difficult, if not impossible, to upgrade product with newer LED technologies as they emerge.
More timely and/or costly installation.
REPLACEMENT LED LAMP PROS:
Allows you to keep current fixtures while upgrading to more efficient technology.
Quick and easy installation.
Easy to upgrade with continuing LED technological advancements- just switch out the bulb!
REPLACEMENT LED LAMP CONS:
Inconsistent dimming and control compatibility.
Shorter life expectancy than integrated LED systems.
Less efficient illumination than that of integrated LED systems.
Need some more information? Head into the showroom and speak with one of our trained lighting specialists. We can show you examples of all of the above categories, and help you decide what LED option will best suit your illumination situation!
Darker evenings require the right illumination. Is your outdoor space ready for the long, dark months ahead?
There is still time to update your current exterior lighting situation to best illuminate the night. We have developed a five category check-list to help walk you through the process, and make sure that you have the right type of illumination in your outside areas.
Front Entrance– Size and Scale are important here.Your front door has a big impact on the overall look and feel of your home, not to mention can add the perfect amount of curb appeal when properly lit. There is a common sizing formula we often use to determine the right proportion for your front entry fixtures. If you have two wall mounted fixtures flanking your exterior entrance, we suggest selecting a size that is approximately 1/4 of your overall door height. Only one fixture on the wall? Up this dimension to 1/3 of the height of your door. Check out this tutorial from Hinkley Lighting explaining this process-
Proper illumination is also important. We recommend having a minimum of 1200-1600 lumens of light by your exterior entrances, as well as each overhead garage door. This would equal the amount of light projected from a standard 75-100 watt regular incandescent lamp, or an 18-22 watt LED. Live in a secluded neighborhood, or a dark rural area? We recommend a minimum of 1800-2000 total lumens in each of these same locations. For more information on lumen output as compared to lamp wattages, click here.
Remember to also stay true to the style and architecture of your home when choosing the look of your fixtures. When in doubt, transitional fixtures and simple structures usually stand the test of time. Be careful not to force a look that is more modern or too traditional for the style of your house. Need a little more guidance in this department? Snap a picture or two and head into the showroom. Our talented lighting consultants can help make this selection process a breeze.
Steps, Sidewalks and Paths– Safety is Key in these areas.You want to be able to have a clear sight-line while walking, as well as make sure your guests have a well illuminated path to the entrances and exits of your home. Layering your lighting sources is important. The combination of wall mounted lanterns along with low-level landscape lighting will ensure the proper amount of lumen output in these specific areas where you need to increase visibility. Adding exterior post-mounted lanterns near entrances or stair railings is another optional addition for extra illumination on your exterior walkways.
Outside the Garage– Make a Statement.Your exterior garage lighting serves as a primary source of your driveway illumination, as well as a direct tie into the other main entrances of your home. These fixtures should coordinate with the rest of your exterior lighting, and be of an appropriate scale to the garage doors themselves. The same formula used for your front entrance does not directly apply here. However, it is important to keep the large scale of the garage structure in mind when selecting the correct size of these fixtures. These are typically the same size, if not a step larger than the fixtures selected for the front entrance. As with many aspects in lighting, there is never a “one size fits all” formula to use. Manufacturers provide varying size options to choose from throughout their product offerings, as everyone’s home is unique in shape, size and scale.
In many instances, the light from the fixtures on the garage exterior are used to illuminate some of the driveway to the home, as well. Because of this, it is important to make sure that each fixture has a minimum rating of 1200-1600 lumens, as referred to above.
Decks and Porches- Enjoy the Outdoors. Living in the Midwest has many advantages, but the cold winter months are not always one of them. With limited time to spend enjoying the warmer seasons, it is important to take full advantage of the good weather and sit outside! If you are lucky enough to have a beautiful deck or front porch at your home, make sure it has proper exterior lighting to create a cozy enough environment for you to utilize the space. Adding additional wall lanterns or deck mounted tread lighting will allow you to enjoy the outdoors into the evenings, and until the first snowflake falls!
Patios and Exterior Living– Extend your Living Space.Your yard is an extension of your home. Even in chillier fall temperatures, your outside environments can serve as great entertaining areas with the proper amount of illumination. There are several ways to add light to these spaces- Post or Pier Mounted Lanterns, Low Voltage Landscape Lighting, or Decorative String Light Kits. Adding one or all of these products will not only provide you with enough illumination for your entertainment needs, but will add unique character and charm that you and your guests will enjoy.
With any of the categories listed above, be sure to consider the right lamping option for your personal needs. Many exterior light fixtures today will come with an LED lamping option, or will accept a conversion type LED lamp in the standard socket assembly that is included. By switching to this option, you will be saving time and money, considering most LED fixtures have a rated longevity of 40,000 hours or 15 years! And, they use about 75% less energy than the incandescent lamps of the past.
Confused on where to start? Come visit us in the showroom and let us help you prep your exterior environment with the right amount of illumination this year!