Lighting Today’s Home with LED’s
No one can debate the importance of lighting in a room. The right lighting can enhance the mood of the room, create an inviting atmosphere in which one wants to linger, but most importantly enhance the beauty of the room itself. The importance of lighting is more than just a beautiful fixture or a seemingly perfectly placed lamp, it is also the color of the light itself and it’s brightness. Light color, or color temperature, is measured using the Kelvin (K) scale and determines the color of light produced by your bulb. Brightness of your bulb is determined by the lumen (lm) count and the power given to the bulb by its switch. With so many options on the market due to the revolution of the LED bulb, lighting needs to be purchased and used with more thought and planning.
Let’s touch upon the concept of the Kelvin (K) rating first as it is the least understood yet most influential of all lighting specifications. As stated previously, the Kelvin scale is used to rate color temperature. The higher the Kelvin the whiter the light, the lower the Kelvin the softer or warmer the light. A bulb rated at 5000K is great for the garage or a display case where you want to see into the deep dark corners as well as highlighting every detail, however it is not a good choice for relaxing in the living room or enjoying an intimate meal. For rooms where ambiance is important for reading and relaxing look for bulbs in the 2500-3000K level as this will create a warmer, softer, more inviting space. Everyone wants their kitchen to look its best all while being a comfortable inviting space, therefore choose a bulb in the 3500-4000K range. This will create a beautiful space in which the colors stand out and one can enjoy conversations had at the dinner table.
Brightness levels are controlled by two things, your light switch and the Lumens (lm) rating of your bulb. Want to change the mood of a room with just a touch, install a dimmer switch. All rooms, excluding the garage and such spaces as pantries and utility rooms, should have dimmers. Dimmers are the least expensive investment for creating the perfect light for any room. Dimmer switches add diversity to any room. Simply by dimming the lights, a romantic ambiance can be achieved. Whereas, by turning the dimmer up to its brightest setting, the space has instantly changed to a work area.
Lumens (lm) effect the brightness of a room and are used to rate LED lights. The (lm) rating on the bulb tells you the brightness of the bulb. This rating is easier to understand because of our familiarity with the bulbs of old being measured in watts. Watts measure the energy it takes to light a bulb, and Lumens measure the amount of light produced. So a bulb of 300lm is a third as bright as a bulb of 900lm. Use the room dimmer with the right (lm) bulb and enjoy the brightness level exactly how you want it.
Lighting is the most important element of any space you are remodeling or already living in. Before purchasing lighting for a room, take some time to think how you use it, how you want to use it and how the existing light is working for you.