LEDs have been an innovative lighting solution since the advent of electricity. LED lighting is a step towards practicality and sustainability. This technology, although relatively young, continues to confidently oust its competitors. The popularity of LED light sources is growing every year, replacing the lighting we are used to. LED lamps have been successfully used in industrial and office buildings, in sales areas and in apartments..
Advantages and disadvantages
It is already difficult to surprise someone with LED lighting. These devices of high brightness, high efficiency and economical energy consumption continue to conquer our homes, replacing incandescent lamps and fluorescent lighting. LED lamps are devices that not only give a soulful atmosphere to every room, but also provide a long service life and durability, open up new possibilities for decoration and design.. Today, LED devices are available to everyone, but before making a choice in their favor, you need to carefully study all the pros and cons of this lighting system..
- Saving electricity by 70%;.
- Long service life (subject to the necessary recommendations up to 30 years);
- Simple installation;
- High strength;
- Mobility: a system of any configuration is assembled from several modules;
- Does not flicker as it is powered by direct current;
- Does not create ultraviolet radiation, thereby ceasing to be attractive to insects;
- LEDs better tolerate voltage drops: permissible range from 80 to 230V;
- Does not heat up;
- Doesn’t make noise;
- Controlled remotely using a remote control or modern gadgets;
- Adjustable brightness and color variations.
Profitable, fashionable, convenient – all these are the characteristics of modern LED strips.. However, LED lamps also have some disadvantages:
- At a great distance, the effect of “spotting” occurs. To avoid this, you should increase the number of LEDs in the tape;
- When burned out one diode will go out the whole system;
- Light fixtures, especially external ones, in need of periodic cleaning and checking of fasteners;
- Relatively high price.
The properties of light emitted by an LED are similar to those of fluorescent lighting..
Hence, LEDs emit monochromatic light, as opposed to the sun or incandescent lamps.. To date, no deep research has been carried out on this process, so it is difficult to say whether it is harmful to use such lighting..
Main characteristics of LED lamps
LEDs are semiconductor crystals that emit light when electricity passes through them. Each crystal has a ray of its own spectrum (red, yellow, green). Mixing these spectra results in cold or warm white light.. The standard design of LED lamps includes:
- Plastic flask;
- LED board;
- Electronic board;
- Heatsink radiator;
Diode devices have special characteristics that must be taken into account in order to select the appropriate lighting:
- Power will tell you about the economy in energy consumption. For LED lamps, it is 1-10 W:
- Luminous flux (lm) Is the brightness indicator. May be quoted as data for a conventional incandescent lamp according to a specific model;
- Divergence angle. The wider it is, the more even the light will be. However, if the lamp is located low, then it is better to choose an angle of no more than 30 degrees, otherwise the light will be blinding;
- Colour temperature is measured in Kelvin and determines the shade of light. For a home atmosphere, a warm yellowish light with an indicator of 2700-3500K is suitable. The higher this figure, the colder the radiation will be. Lighting with 4000K is considered neutral. Cold light fixtures are well suited for large halls, office spaces, exhibition decoration;
- Color rendering. For track luminaires, the factor should be at least 70;
- Life time. A drop in brightness is allowed no earlier than after 25 thousand hours of system operation.
To ensure proper operation of the LED design, you must select a suitable power supply.
To achieve this, you need to correctly calculate the power consumption. The power supply should be taken with a power at least 20% higher than the total power of the LED system. For example, a set of 5W, 7W, 9W and 9W modules are connected. The total power is 30W, so the power supply must be at least 36W.
Scope of application
The first LEDs appeared in the 60s of the last century. At that time, their production was quite expensive and there were no blue and white colors, so they did not receive widespread use as the main source of light. Mostly they were used in traffic control, in medical equipment, for transmitting information over fiber optic systems..
In the mid-90s, bright LEDs appeared, and at the beginning of the 19th century, blue and white. The cost price of LEDs began to decrease, as a result of which the scope of their application has significantly expanded..
The low level of power consumption makes LED structures the best way to decorate rooms with light. Easy assembly and ultra-ruggedness make LEDs a strong competitor to other artificial light sources..
In everyday life, LED strip appeared relatively recently, but has already found its niche in both modern and classic interiors. Simple installation, unlimited forms of strip layout, original effects – all these are the main factors of the popularity of LED strips.. Main areas of application of LED lighting:
- Back-up or night lighting;
- Highlighting characters;
- Illumination of walls, ceilings, niches and steps;
- Space zoning with color and light;
- Lighting of architectural structures;
- Furniture design;
- Illumination of expositions (art objects, books, etc.);
- Decoration of aquariums and terrariums;
- Trading rooms in supermarkets;
- Boutiques and shops;
- Restaurants, bars and cafes;
- Summer cottages;
- Office rooms.
Due to their optimal technical characteristics, LED modules are used to illuminate almost any surface in the house, for example:
- Computer desk;
- Working area in the kitchen;
- Dressing table.
LED lighting is widely used not only as indoor lighting for apartments and houses, but also outdoor.
For example, in the lighting of terraces or landscaping. This explains the large number of types of similar products. LED lighting looks spectacular in the design of advertising signs, shop windows, building facades. LED panels are the latest lighting systems for widespread use, the impeccable quality and simplicity of which attracts more and more supporters of this type of lighting..
In order to calculate the lighting, you must first decide on its types, each of which has characteristic requirements. Typically, the following types of lighting are distinguished:
- Directional, that is, accent lighting is usually used to create a certain style of interior, interesting atmosphere and effects.. This type of lighting consumes a small amount of energy and does not have any special requirements. Typically, such lighting is achieved with ribbons and small lamps;
- The functional type of lighting is used to provide the necessary light for work areas or divide the space. Within the framework of an apartment, this can be a computer or kitchen table, and in production, machines, assembly conveyor lines, and so on;
- General lighting maintains a certain level of light throughout a large area such as a large store or office.
Track lights are spotlights of different power and size.
They got the name “track” because they are mounted on a track (busbar). The wire itself is usually designed in a Minimalist style, usually white, black or gray. It is convenient to install such floodlights in hard-to-reach places so as not to worry about their constant maintenance..
Calculation of the required brightness
A competent approach to organizing the arrangement of lighting devices will ensure the health of vision and comfort of residents. The ordering and calculation of lighting structures must be taken seriously. So that LED lighting does not cease to please the owners, you need to make its correct calculation for the whole house and individual rooms.. First of all, you need to determine the type of lamps and the place of their use..
Now you can find a huge number of lamps of different functional orientation: main lighting, spot light, furniture lighting, and so on..
When choosing LED lamps, consider the size of the bulb and radiator so that they fit into lighting devices.
Lighting calculation is a complex of calculations linking device parameters (number, power, location) and lighting performance. When determining the required lighting, the following values are taken into account:
- Lumens (illumination);
- Suites (brightness);
- Candela (luminous intensity).
Illumination – the most important parameter, depends on the value of the light flux distributed over the working surface.
In the data sheet of all devices there is a value for the light flux in lumens. To calculate the required amount of illumination, you need to multiply the area by the illumination value according to building codes, then divide by the lm value of one luminaire. For example, if the lamp has a value of 400 lm, then for a living room with an area of 16m2 you need 8: (16m2 x 200 lx) / 400 lm = 8 pieces. A typical 11 W LED lamp has the same luminous flux as a 75 W incandescent lamp.. So you can calculate how many lamps you need to find the desired lighting.. Most often, the resulting number is rounded.
When calculating lighting, remember to save. On average, up to 50 thousand hours of continuous burning is guaranteed, which means that turning on the light for 5 hours a day, the service life of the LEDs will be approximately 27 years. During this period, two dozen incandescent lamps will burn out. Plus, LEDs save energy.
Learn more about how to create LED ceiling lighting in the following video..
There are several ways to control light. First of all, it is, of course, the remote control. Over time, this well-known item has undergone an upgrade and is currently a stylish gadget that adjusts brightness, color and lighting scenario.. The remotes are battery operated and come with push-button or touch controls.
An alternative is to install a wall-mounted thin panel with a sensor. It can be installed anywhere and will not damage the finished repair. In terms of functional characteristics, the panel is not inferior to remote controls and is suitable for people who like every thing to have its own place – such a device will not fall under the cabinet, it will always be where it should be. The best solution would be to purchase both. If the remote gets lost, you can always use the wall-mounted fallback.
Another way to control light is a smartphone or tablet, you just need to download a special application. Computer-assisted regulation expands the lighting possibilities:
- Timer setting;
- You can come up with your own lighting scenarios;
- Control any number of zones;
- Limit one of the users to control, which is very convenient when there are small children in the family.
The ability to control remotely is, of course, very comfortable, especially when the lighting can be controlled simultaneously in different zones..
How to use for interior decoration?
The livability and beauty of modern houses largely depends on well-placed light, thanks to which the perception of even the most mediocre interior changes. The great possibilities of lighting devices allow you to significantly modify the room without major repairs and the purchase of new furniture.
Once and forever fixed in the center of the ceiling, a chandelier with static shades, dusty floor lamps and wall lamps with only one direction of light can no longer cope with modern requirements for the interior. Today’s interior solutions require dynamism and versatility, which are achieved by combining diffused or reflected light with dynamic accent lighting..
The running option is to hide the ceiling lights behind special projections, thereby visually expanding the space and focusing on an interesting configuration.
In rooms such as a study or a bedroom, general light is not required. In such cases, the emphasis is on directional lighting that illuminates the desired space, leaving the rest of the room in semi-darkness. Lamps with a bracket and a function of adjusting the angle of rotation fit well here..
Decorative lighting adds completeness and originality to the interior. Accentuated beams can illuminate the most advantageous moments of the interior: stucco molding, sculptures, beautiful floor vases. A stylish option for wall lighting will be floor lighting, which gives the room a mystery..
The design of modern interiors involves a huge number of options for the use of LED lamps in a variety of rooms..
In rooms of a small area, small lamps and LED strips can visually expand the space and place the necessary accents in small rooms. Large lamps are not suitable here.
In the middle area, there is much more room for design thought.. Now it is fashionable to install plasterboard ceilings of the most unusual configurations and use tape lamps for framing, creating the feeling of high multi-level ceilings. Many people will love the idea of a mirrored ceiling with LED bulbs installed around the perimeter..
Spacious homes expand the horizons of possibilities. Here you can harmoniously use lamps of different colors and brightness, resort to interesting zoning. Designers often resort to decorating ceilings with white and blue light, and air partitions and niches with LEDs of different brightness.
When choosing lighting, it is important to consider such a parameter as the height of the ceilings.. In a room with low ceilings, you may experience the sensation of overly bright light at eye level. This causes noticeable discomfort and damage to vision. Naturally, there can be no question of any design lighting with multi-colored ribbons. In addition, in a room with low ceilings, it is not recommended to create spot lighting, as it involves a suspended or suspended ceiling, which will further reduce the distance from floor to ceiling. Yet the situation is not hopeless. In addition to ceilings, LED lamps can be installed on niches and drywall shelves, directing the light in the right direction. A 1 meter tape illuminates approximately 2 meters of space. It is very convenient to use such tapes to highlight shelves in cabinets, kitchen sets and hallways and many other places..
For highlighting work areas, such as a garage, kitchen or office, it is better to choose bright white lighting..
It is better if the tape is mounted in a special profile to slightly dim the brightness of the light. In creating an original design for a bedroom or living room, RGB ribbons will help. For children, it is better to use dim lighting. LED products look very stylish in bathrooms, the main thing is that they are protected from moisture. Knowing some of the subtleties of choosing LED strip designs, you can create unmatched interior designs, and the correct installation, corresponding to the type of luminaire, will guarantee a long service life..
Aluminum profiles for LED strips look quite impressive and emphasize the modernity of the interior. Their width varies from 16 to 80 mm. There are the following types of profiles:
It is interesting that the profiles can be arranged in any, the most unusual and fantastic shapes. The tape is mounted inside the profile, covered with a matte diffuser, and then installed where necessary. Aluminum profiles are a great option for lovers of unusual interior items.
The choice of lighting for an apartment must be taken seriously, because it plays an important role for the functioning of the brain, visual health, and affects the quality of rest. Doctors advise choosing the color temperature based on the function of the room. In the working area, invigorating cold light will be more comfortable, in the bedroom and in the nursery – relaxing warm light. Bathroom, toilet and hallway are usually decorated in neutral colors. In the kitchen, the light is selected based on the preferences of the owners, whether they have a tradition of receiving guests in the kitchen, reading or using the room only for cooking.
Thought-out lighting is considered an important touch of style, emphasizing the scope and daring elements of the interior.. They make it easy to customize lighting for specific areas such as ceiling beams, niches or paintings.. The interior design of track luminaires takes on a technological look if you use rotating or driving lamps. Track lighting is a favorite part of Loft and Hi-tech styles.
Metal fasteners and rails perfectly highlight the distinctive features of the specified styles.
The loft is characterized by minimalism, brutality and industrialism.. In small apartments, the classic Loft cannot be achieved, since the style keeps its roots in the American abandoned workshops of the 20s of the last century. A real Loft needs space to show its full potential.
Lamps in the hi-tech style, as well as the direction itself, are distinguished by ideal taste, simplicity and practicality.. LED devices in the high-tech interior surprise with a variety of shapes and materials, technical performance.