The Importance of Lighting – Part 2 (of 2)

The Importance of Lighting

There’s new information out there on new lighting options for your building or remodel lighting. It was 141 years ago that the first light bulb was lit by Thomas Edison! There are big and exciting changes coming to the lighting industry.

If you remember when we referred to lighting as 40, 60, or 100 watts, then you might need help understanding current lighting and how it can make a big difference in your overall interior design- how it will feel when you’re in a room.  We were limited when we could only select a bulb based on watts, which actually just tells one how much electricity it uses when it’s turn on.  While it’s true that a higher number would produce more light, there is more to consider. 

LED Lighting

An acronym for light-emitting diode, an LED light bulb has a semiconductor diode that radiates in the visible region of the spectrum. Many people once associated LED lighting with the bright red or white display panels of digital clocks or appliances, but advancements in LED technology mean it has become the light bulb of choice in the home. It is extremely energy efficient, and models may soon appear with color characteristics similar to incandescent; currently available LED light bulbs have color rendering or CRI ratings of 75-95 and warm CCT ratings.

The Good News

LEDs have been improved on a regular basis, which is at least the 20th generation of this most exciting development in lighting. These new editions are:

  • Energy efficient
  • Able to last 50,000 hours (16-17 years of illumination for 8 hours/day!)
  • Small in size as needed
  • Easy to install
  • Used in under-cabinet fixtures, interior cabinet fixtures, toe kick / soffit lighting, and pendants (among others.)
  • Able to be combined with angle power strips to avoid unsightly placement on walls/backsplashes.
  • Able to work with dimmers, GFCI, Maestro IR, Maestro RA, Radio RA
  • Able to be used in a damp locations in some fixtures.

FTC Regulations

Since 2012, the Federal Trade Commission has required manufacturers of light bulbs to list:

  • light output measured in lumens
  • energy used in watts
  • life in hours

When choosing LED lighting, look for:

The CRI (Color Rendering Index) is a measure of a light’s ability to reproduce color compared to natural light.  Traditional incandescent bulbs scored high: a 100 rating, but are no longer available.  Even mass market LED bulbs score around 90, which is considered a good rating.

QualityCRIAttributes
Excellent100Daylight
95
90
Good85
80
75
70
65
60Cool White
Poor55Warm White
50
45
40
35
30
25
20
15
10
5
0

Light Output, called lumens is a number that refers to the amount of light produced. (A 100 watt incandescent bulb produced around 1600 lumens, and a 60 watt incandescent produced about 840 lumens.)

Color temperature is the scale of warmness or coolness of a light source, measured in kelvins.  Pay attention, now as this is counterintuitive:  Warm light is found in the lower temperature range (2,700-3,000k) similar to an incandescent bulb. It produces a yellowish-white to red appearance, which enhances skin tones.  Cool light is found at a higher temperature range (over 5,000k) often used for performing visual tasks.  It’s commonly found in offices, and can actually appear a bit bluish.

Kelvin Color Temperature1500 K2000 K2700 K3000 K3500 K4100 K5000 K6500 K
AmbianceCozy, PersonalRelaxingFriendlyCleanInstitutionalCool
ApplicationLiving rooms,family rooms, dining rooms, bedroomsLiving rooms,family rooms, dining rooms, bedroomsKitchens & bathroomsGarage & basementCommercial & industrialCommercial & industrial
Overall FeelCandle lightSunriseWarm whiteSomewhat warm whiteSomewhat cooler light for when you need it.Household fluorescent; MoonlightNoon- direct sunlightOvercast Daylight; cool light

New website:Check out our NEW website at https://TFI.design which will launch on Tues., 6/9/20.  Take a few minutes to peruse its content- we’re very exited to share it with you.   If you need help with your space, we’d love to support you, and we always make time for our readers.  Reach Shelley her new email address as well:  shelley@TFI.design

In conclusion:What comments, queries, or thoughts has this subject brought up for you?  We’d love to receive your responses.  If you haven’t tried the better quality LEDs, then think about purchasing them for your kitchen, master bathroom, or home office) first, where task lighting is necessary and more frequently used.  Just remember: it may be the last time you change a light bulb!

Zhù nǐ men jiā tíng xìng fú (Wishing your family blessings!)