LED – Lighting the Way
September 23, 2013 by Reed Design Build
The Team at Reed Design Build
Ok, I’m finally convinced. LED lighting IS an acceptable alternative to our old tried and true Edison light bulb (standard incandescent). This is not a statement I make lightly (no pun intended) and I can’t help but feel a little guilty over ditching my, up to now, favorite light source. Feels like the end of an era. But the incandescent bulb is an energy hog, with 90% of energy used generating heat and only 10% actually creating light, there had to be a better solution*.
I never could jump on the compact fluorescent bandwagon. I wanted to, I needed to, but I just couldn’t get behind the little twisted bulbs. As a Designer, I have a strong sense of responsibility to specify the most energy efficient and eco-friendly light source possible for my clients. But I have been unwilling to trade off quality of light for the long-term savings. I know, I know, they’ve come a long way, available in “warm white” color temps in the 2750-2800K range. Which means they are finally similar to the warm glow of a standard incandescent, but there is still something about the light quality that leaves me cold. Additionally, inside the base of the compact fluorescent bulb is a small ballast, a mechanism needed by all fluorescents to operate. This ballast is just another item added to our landfill with the toss of very bulb. If you’re interested in the safety concerns of fluorescent bulbs, check out the EPA instructions for handling a broken bulb in your home. Wow, pretty scary stuff! http://www2.epa.gov/cfl/cleaning-broken-cfl
As you can tell, not a big fan of fluorescent, so I’ve been very excited about LED as an option for the average household. Keep in mind, not all LED lighting is created equal. The less expensive versions may not offer dimming capabilities or enough light output. When a client tells me “I don’t like LED lighting” it’s likely due to the type of LED bulb used. With LED, you definitely get what you pay for. The technology is only now advancing to the point of integrating all the benefits of our old Edison bulbs while maintaining the energy efficiency comparable to fluorescents. My advice is to consult the professionals, either your designer or a lighting showroom with trained and educated personnel. The lighting world is changing so quickly, it’s a full time job staying on top of new product and options for specific uses.
I’ve seen a broad range of products and I’m sold! With the right selection of LED lighting, you can have beautiful, warm light which is dimmable and very long-lasting (20+ years). AND you can feel good that you’re doing your part to save the planet! It’s a win-win.
*The Future of Light Is the LED By Dan Koeppel http://www.wired.com/magazine/2011/08/ff_lightbulbs/
Cover Photo courtesy of: www.agreensupply.com