LED Lighting is the (Light) Wave of the Future

by Matt Goering

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LED lighting is one of the most exciting products to hit the home improvement sector in years, and its future is only getting brighter. LED lights (LED stands for Light Emitting Diode) are made possible by technology that utilizes semiconductors to convert electricity to light. Sounds boring, but that technology has great promise when it comes to creating soft, energy-efficient, and durable lighting that is perfectly suited for just about any residential application.

LED Lighting and Energy Efficiency
As of this writing, the LED?s you can purchase at the store are not the most energy efficient lighting available to homeowners. That prize goes to compact fluorescents, which still take the cake when it comes to watts per lumen (or the amount of energy it take to produce one lumen of light). The second place standing of LED home lighting won't last for long, however. Tests of new LED?s released in the last several years show watts per lumen ratings six times that of a regular incandescent bulb, making them second-to-none, not even to compact fluorescents. With that kind of performance and today's rising concern about energy savings and environmental impact, it's only a matter of time until LED?s transform the residential lighting industry.

Efficiency is just One Benefit of LED Lighting
LED's have other benefits as well. For starters, they last much longer than other light bulbs (up to six years, even when left burning around the clock), and they are also more durable when it comes to vibrations and impacts. Another plus of LED home lighting is that it doesn't "burn out." Instead LED lighting simply loses luminosity over its lifetime, so you won't ever find yourself in the dark when using LED's to light your home (though you will have to replace them when they begin to fade). Finally, LED's are much more directional than either incandescent or fluorescent bulbs, making them the perfect light source for accent lighting that illuminates artwork, stairways, countertops, and landscaping.

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Some LED Lighting Ideas for Your Home
While LED home lighting isn't perfect as a blanket lighting source in your home just yet, it's still an excellent lighting solution in many areas. From reading lamps to LED strips, LED lights have proven themselves to be an attractive, efficient, and useful home addition. Here are some proven LED applications to get you thinking about the wonders of LED home lighting.

  • Outdoor Lighting & Decks: LED's are perfect for outdoor lighting because of their relatively low luminosity when used individually and their versatility. Lighting strips are perfect for lining deck ledges and railings, for example, and the directional qualities of LED's make them excellent choices for spotlighting, landscaping, and architectural features on your home.

  • Cabinets & Kitchens: LED strips are an excellent solution for undercabinet lighting, to highlight the topside of cabinets, and they are also perfect as task lighting that illuminates cutting boards and countertops.

  • Accent Lighting: Whether it's lighting up your favorite painting or providing a soft glow around the stairs to prevent falls at night, LED lights are the perfect addition if you're in the need for quality accent lighting, as well.

These are just a few of the most popular applications of LED lighting, but there are many more. Talk to an electrician or lighting specialist about how you can use LED's to save money and add light to your home. With the help of their professional expertise, you can't go wrong when you install LED home lighting.

Matt Goering, formerly a carpenter and house painter, is a freelance writer for the home improvement industry who has published over 600 articles.