Lighting can make or break a room, enhancing good points and detracting from bad. Bedrooms need soft background lighting and kitchens bright directional light, while living rooms, halls and bathrooms usually need a combination. Although the case for switching to energy-efficient LED technology in the home is compelling, the number of lighting fixtures on sale along with the many ways LED lamps can be used is overwhelming. Before changing your light bulbs, here are five tips to help you develop an action plan:
1. Add depth and character
LED-based lighting brings out rich textures and adds depth. Use it to create focal points and bring a warm, relaxed atmosphere to your living room. Table or floor lamps with darker shades will give a gentler glow, and wall-mounted uplighters will wash walls and ceilings with subtle LED light. Adding accent lighting in alcoves or bookshelves will create soft focal points that draw the eye.
2. Create the right mood
Dimmer switches will vary the intensity of light in a room, creating ambiance to suit the occasion. Use them to add drama, turned up high over a dining table, or down low to relax. LEDs dim lower than compact fluorescent lamps (CFLs), making them ideal for children's bedrooms, especially if they are afraid of the dark. Dimming bulbs also saves energy ¬ but do buy a dimmer switch that is compatible with LEDs.
3. Add interest and drama
The hallway is the first thing visitors see, and therefore needs to be well-lit and welcoming. Wall fixtures should light both the top (with strategically placed downlighting) and bottom of the stairs. Coupled with the bright white light of LED lamps, this brings luminosity and a feeling of space if placed strategically in a long, dark corridor. Add interest by highlighting features such as paintings with picture lights or place a spotlight above a dramatic sculpture or vase of flowers on a narrow console table.
4. Focus on tasks
More than 5% of your home's total energy is typically spent on kitchen lighting, so it makes sense to switch to LEDs which can deliver significant energy savings and longer life than halogen and compact fluorescent lamps. Use multiple spotlights for task lighting and to cast directional light over work surfaces and cooking areas. Recessed directional spotlights provide basic background lighting and double up as task lighting. Strip lighting under units and shelving, supplements poor overhead lighting. In the bathroom the area round the mirror is key, so opt for vertical LED lighting.
5. Make lighting work for you
In the bedroom and home office, getting the right level of lighting is vital. A subtle combination of lights in a bedroom aids relaxation. Task lighting on bedside tables provides light to read by and spotlights in wardrobes highlight clothes, while soft-tone bulbs ensure light from overhead pendants isn't too harsh. In the office, avoid eye-strain caused by a bright screen and dark surroundings by choosing controlled uplighting and an adjustable desk lamp. LED lamps do not emit UV light or heat, so items nearby - like computers - are protected from damage.
LED lamps now come in all popular shapes and base fittings. Verbatim sell all the LED retrofit lamps any homeowner needs, from spotlights to specialist bulbs for wet rooms and outdoor use (click here). For more information on how to get the most from lighting your home, visit www.verbatim.com.
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Verbatim is a leading global company in data storage and LED lighting with a broad product portfolio spanning consumer and professional applications. Verbatim has been shaping the development of data storage devices since 1969 and is the worlds No 1 supplier of optical media (Blu-ray, DVD and CD). The company also markets flash memory, external hard drive storage solutions and a wide range of computer accessories.
In addition, the company is an innovator in fast-growing LED and OLED lighting, developing products that offer low power consumption, long life and a better lighting experience. It is also an emerging supplier of water filtration systems; its Cleansui brand is Japans favourite water filter.
Verbatim is a subsidiary of Mitsubishi Kagaku Media owned by Mitsubishi Chemical Corporation, one of the worlds largest chemical companies, which invests heavily in R&D across many diverse sectors. The companys operating principles are founded on helping people to live in a healthy, comfortable and sustainable way. Verbatims regional organisations are EMEA, APAC and Americas, with offices in most countries in the world. The companys European headquarters are based in the UK. For further information, visit http://www.verbatim.com