Light is at the core of our daily lives. Its quality affects the way we feel, influences our moods and is vital to our health and wellbeing.
As technology provides new and exciting solutions, it has become easier to control the atmosphere in the home through lighting. Despite its importance in helping people to relax, enjoy themselves and carry out a variety of everyday tasks, lighting does not tend to be very high on most people’s list of priorities.
Over the past few years, LED technology has rapidly evolved and has helped to focus attention on lighting design in the domestic space. It is not an exaggeration to say that LED has driven a profound shift in the industry, probably as great as the invention of the filament bulb in the 1880s.
Controlling luminosity using LEDs is leading to a transformative shift in the essence of lighting design as it is allowing for new ways of planning and utilising life-enhancing illumination. Dynamic effects made possible through LED controls give home designers the power to paint with light and, in doing so, create an atmosphere that more closely meshes with people’s moods and the ambience of a room.
What’s more, LED advances mean that designers can now play with millions of colour variations and, at the same time, homeowners have the added psychological benefit of knowing that low-energy LEDs are good for the planet.
The eco benefits of LEDs include the low heat – 90% of the electricity burned by traditional light bulbs is diffused as heat – and the very long lifespan of the lamps, with most lasting for up to 50,000 hours.
Advanced brightness controls are an increasingly sought after feature when refurbishing the home. From the simple dimmers to total home-control systems, an intelligent design and application can radically improve quality of life.
Good design, whether attempted by the homeowner or directed by a professional, aims to achieve a perfect balance between efficiency, convenience, economy and aesthetics. A poorly deployed dimmer solution can lead to a gloomy domestic space. To achieve a pleasant atmosphere, dimming should be countered with varied and well place light sources.
It almost goes without saying that any homeowner who values light quality will avoid CFLs like the plague. While they certainly cut electricity consumption, the quality is truly woeful and more or less uncontrollable.
It is also important to invest in the highest quality fittings available within a given budget. When redecorating or making more radical changes, the right bulbs, fittings and controls should be a central design component. Good controls also help with practical or “task” lighting for homework, cooking, reading and hobbies.
Comfort and convenience is provided through the astute positioning of table lamps, which are essential in adding accents and a varied intensity to a living space. Controls add further potential, giving users the opportunity to create a cinema-like mood when watching a film, for example, or increase brightness to read or work.
The ability to dim effectively can help to set a romantic scene. An intimate dinner can be enhanced through an instant, one-button touch to create a candlelit ambience.
If a homeowner is particularly confident and knowledgeable when it comes to design, they may undertake a project to transform their homes by themselves. However, it’s advisable to seek the advice of a professional where feasible. Experts can steer households to lighting nirvana by helping them to make decisions, from choosing simple dimmer solutions to total home control systems.
This guest post is written by Mark Sait. He is managing director of SaveMoneyCutCarbon.com, a full-service efficiency partner helping businesses and households reduce energy and water consumption, and cutting carbon emissions to improve sustainability.
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