Lighting Today in Interior Design


Has lighting become confusing?  Don’t know what to look for as replacements?  Too many new choices?  And you may be frustrated by all the discontinued light bulbs!   No need to stress or hoard.  It’s just getting better!

Probably you are well aware of LEDs (light emitting diodes) by now, but technology and pricing keeps changing so fast with them, you may be confused as to what to buy.  They are becoming the bulb of choice, though.  They do cost more but that price has dropped to a level that they are worth your consideration.  Plus the CRI (color rendering index) is really good now.  Look for a higher number to indicate the effect of a light source on color appearance of its surroundings.  Something in the 80s or 90s is the best.  If you want them to look like your old incandescents, look for 2700K (Kelvin); but if they are around or replacing halogen, you might prefer 3000K.  And for fluorescent color, you may go higher.

A modern LED light fixture.

The LEDs will last 10 to 25 times longer, save on energy costs, do not contain mercury, don’t emit IR or UV radiation, are dimmable and are available for every use, home or office.  An old incandescent bulb released 90% of their energy as heat and a CFL (compact fluorescent lamp) releases about 80%, but an LED releases only 10%.  An incandescent lifespan was 1000 hours, a halogen 2000 – 3000, a CFL 8000-10000, but now we can expect 30,000-50,000 from an LED.  A 60 watt incandescent put out 820 lumens.  The CFL only used 15 watts to put out 950 lumens, which was a great improvement, but the LED uses only 13.5 watts to produce 1100 lumens.

You can see what is so appealing about converting to these.  In 2010, LEDs had 6% market share, by 2016, 49%, and by 2020, 71% is predicted.  This technology is moving so fast that generations of it will be measured in months rather than years.  So stay tuned and give them a try!