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[ Articles of Additional Inspiration ]
Design Tips and Trends for Fall 2010
Originally published in the Home Renovation Guide Newsletter October 2010
LED Lighting for the Kitchen
There's been a breakthrough in LED technology that's now making its way into more and more homes.
Why hire an Interior Decorator? A different perspective
A unique insight as to why many people consider not to do it themselves.
More reasons to hire a professional Interior Decorator
Having doubts about hiring an Interior Decorator? Then read this to find out why you should.
When NOT to hire a professional Interior Decorator
Knowing when you shouldn't hire is just as important as knowing when you should.
LED Lighting for the Kitchen
by Tobi Brockway, Accredited Interior Decorator

Tired of the heat that your under -- cabinet lights emit? Imagine having sufficient bright light as you perform your tasks on your countertop with almost zero heat. There's been a breakthrough in LED technology that's already happened in the commercial sector that is now making its way into more and more homes. And homeowners who have LED lighting under their cabinets are thrilled with their performance.

Light Emitting Diodes (LEDs) are solid-state semiconductor devices that convert electrical energy directly into visible light. With no moving parts, there is nothing to break, shatter or leak contaminates into the environment. Unlike most fluorescent sources, LEDs contain no mercury and emit no ultraviolet rays or infrared heat.

The incandescent light bulb is wasteful: 95% of the energy it consumes actually produces heat while only 5% produces light. LEDs require very little energy compared to incandescent or halogen bulbs resulting in significantly lower energy costs for the user. And since nearly all of the power to an LED is converted into light, that means minimal heat is given off.

LEDs last longer than other light sources. Unlike conventional light sources, LEDs don't dramatically burn out and cease to function. High quality white LED light sources still have 90% light output at 9000 hours and can retain up to 70% of light output after 50,000 hours. In light usage terms, this translates into more than ten years!

While the upfront cost is higher than conventional lighting, the savings in replacement bulbs and electricity bills will offset this cost over the life span of the LEDs, without even taking inconsideration the tremendous benefits for the environment.

Up to now, there have been challenges in three areas in the development of LED lighting: producing the right colour, producing enough light and optimizing thermal management. All these have all been addressed. These lights are also aesthetically pleasing. Here is a photo from a recent kitchen installation that illustrates the effect of the under-cabinet strip LED lighting. The light in this space is emitted from 12 single watt lights that's 12 watts compared to at least 100 watts from three conventional puck lights.

LEDs are for the present, not just the future
An overview of the literature available on this topic finds that LED lighting in the kitchen is heralded as the trend for the future. Progress in LED technology continues at an increasing pace. Efficiencies and light quality are improving with ongoing development of standards and reductions in cost. But, with the new, high quality products available on the Canadian market, substantial energy savings and the positive impact on the environment can be achieved today. If you're planning a new kitchen renovation in the near future, I highly recommend that you investigate LED lighting for your under-cabinet lighting needs.

© 2007 - 2014 Tobi Brockway Interiors Inc.
All rights reserved. This article may not be published in any form whatsoever without express written permission of the author .
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An accredited Interior Decorator providing residential design services to clients in Niagara-on-the-Lake, St. Catharines, and the Niagara Region.