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An Interior Designer's Recommendations for LED Lighting
by Kate Hayes, owner of Kate Hayes Design “There are certain shades of limelight that can ruin a girl's complexion.” – Holly Golightly As an interior designer who is obsessed with the right lighting but also strives to be as environmentally friendly as possible, I have been resistant to the cool hues of compact fluorescents during the current global shift away from incandescents. Imagine what particular people thought of the first light bulb compared to soft candlelight. Good news! Having recently researched for a renovation, I’m excited about LED advancements that simulate the warmth of incandescent. You no longer have to choose. For clarity, here’s a breakdown of household lighting options and their attributes in easy terms:
- Incandescent: classic household light, shorter lifespan, cheapest initially, great color rendition
- CFL (Compact Fluorescent): requires 75% less energy, lasts 6-15 times longer than incandescent, initially expensive, contains environmentally unfriendly mercury, slight delay when turning on, cool tones
- LED (Light Emitting Diode): smart combination of technology and great color rendition, requires 75% less energy, lasts 25 times longer than incandescent, initially pricey ($30- $60)
Do you ever catch yourself in fluorescent light and feel like you’ve aged 10 years? That’s because fluorescent falls on the cool end of the color temperature spectrum, bringing out tones in your skin which aren’t flattering. In short, the favorable color temperature of a 60W incandescent rating is 2700k, so you’ll want your LEDs to be in the same ballpark. So, purchase ones with high CRI, ideally 100, which will read closest to incandescent. 800-900 lumens is equivalent to a 60W bulb and provides a nice medium strength of light. “Dimmable” and “warm light” designations are best. All will be listed on the package- the companies make it easy! Companies to check out in the field of LED lighting include Philips, Juno, Sylvania, WAC, GE, and FEIT. For more information, check out http://energy.gov/ and http://www.bulbs.com/learning/ledfaq.aspx#anchorquality. And the best news is, manufacturers’ color renditions only gets better by the year. Happy lighting! Get more expert advice from home improvement professionals.