Shedding Light on LEDs

The correct lighting in a kitchen can make or break it.

Flourescent strips and incandescent light bulbs used to be just about the only option available, but with the availability of LEDs the range of lighting is now endless.  You can have ceiling lights, under-cabinet lighting, kick-strip lighing, pendant lighting, track lighting – the choice is vast.

The impression sometimes given is that LED lighting doesn’t last as long as it should – but this is only applies to low quality fittings where the light is not correctly heat managed.

So in order to get the best from your LED lighting make sure it is properly heat managed (also called heat sinking).  The heat produced by LEDs has to be properly managed and it is always worth paying that little bit extra for correctly heat sunk LED lighting.  So you need to look at having your LED strip lighting in an extrusion as  these extrusions will handle the heat issue.  (Bear in mind that the brighter a light fitting, the more heat it produces and therfore the more heat sinking it requires).  There are several different types of extrusions to choose from which are suitable for use as under cabinet lighting, kick strip lighting etc.  You can also select the type of cover you can have on the extrusion.  Many people don’t like the “spotting” effect you get if you are shining the lights down on to a shiny surface so make sure you select an opal cover on the extrusion.

Once you have made your choice of LED lighting, you then need to decide whether you want single colour or colour-changing LEDs.  White-only LEDs come in a variety of colour temperatures – from warm white to cool white – as well as a new option of LED tape called CCT or colour control temperature.  We are rather excited to see these LEDs on the market as you can alternate between warm white, daylight white and cool white all within the same strip lighting.

So, you have decided on your light fitting, you have decided on the colour option – now you have to decide on the type of controller to have.  Again, there are lots of options on the market – ranging from a simple infra-red unit which requires a line of sight from the remote control to a sensor, to wi-fi units which can be controlled via a remote control or a smart phone app and wall mounted touch screens which can be linked into wi-fi or incorporated into smart home systems. All these controllers allow you to change the colour of the LEDs and the speed at which they change colour as well as the increasing and decreasing the brightness of the LEDs, but some of them have a memory facility in them so you can have hours of fun programming in specific colour sequences!

In order to get the most efficient LED lighting you need to do some homework, but the end result will be worth it as you will not only be saving money but you will have far more control over the lighting effects you can have in your property.