The big switch - LED lighting in the spotlight at new homes developments

Posted 27 January 2016 by Helen Christie

In the past, lighting has often been overlooked but there's so much more that can be done than a single light in the middle of the room...

Times have certainly changed in the lighting world – there now isn’t a single development that hasn’t embraced LED’s. From cost savings to energy efficiency, the benefits of LED light bulbs are endless. And, as a result, they are now included in all new build homes as standard.

“New installations will be almost exclusively low energy – with the largest proportion being LED,” comments Luke Thomas, associate designer at John Cullen Lighting.

The amount of cost savings an LED can contribute to energy bills will vary depending on the specifications of that particular model. Each LED chip type will have a different efficacy (ratio of light output to energy consumed) and this can be affected by other factors such as heat sinks, drivers, colour and temperature.

Although the LED light sources will last much longer, the initial purchase price is much higher. This may have a detrimental effect on housebuilders budgets, but it does make for a great selling point.

Lucca, John Cullen LightingAnother way to impress buyers is to use lighting as an interior design feature. Lighting can create the illusion of space in many ways, and one of the easiest ways to generate a sense of width in a room is to light the walls. Lighting can also be used to create atmosphere, as Peter Kelsey, managing director of Designer Contracts, explains. “Soft diffused lighting adds a warm, even romantic ambience to a room, while studies and kitchens benefit from sharper, brighter lighting,” he says.

In fact, one of the major unsung benefits of LED’s is the colour options that they offer. LED is available in a range of colour temperatures known as kelvin. The lower the kelvin, the more yellowy and warmer the colour – perfect for creating a homely, cosy feel in somewhere like the bedroom or living room, while a higher kelvin would often be found in a kitchen.

But whatever room you are in, there are three groups of lighting you need to consider when lighting a room. Ambient lighting is a room’s overall illumination, the canvas; task lighting is the functional lighting that helps you perform tasks; and accent lighting adds drama to rooms.

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