Last week we had a good question about what type of fluorescent light to use for undercabinet lighting – all the comments said use an LED instead. This got us thinking that just because some LEDs are cost prohibitive, that doesn’t mean all LEDs should be banned from your home. There are many areas where LEDs are efficient and affordable enough to use right now. LEDs not only use less power than current energy efficient light-bulbs but they are much smaller and can last years without needing to be replaced. But, similar to early CFLs, LED bulbs are not known for their brightness, making them impracticable as a main lighting source in the home. Until technology further advances, LED lights are perfect for mood lighting, task lighting, and most landscape lighting. These fixtures are easy to find online and in most big-box stores.
Task & Accent Lighting
LED bulbs are directional, this directional lighting works especially well for task lighting such as under cabinet, cove, linear strip and reading. Directional lighting is also efficient in that it doesn't waste energy on areas you don't need illuminated. LED Undercounter Light from Home Depot, $12.95; Solo LED Table Light from Lightology, $217.60.
String & Rope Lights
String lights are great for landscape and party lights - hang them on your porch, trellis, through trees or anywhere in your house for some extra twinkle. Danny Seo's string lights shown at left and 1000Bulbs Rope Light, $15.59-28.07.
With the upcoming holidays LEDs also make a great alternative to typical holiday lights. Because holiday lights are typically left on for an extended amount of time, it definitely makes sense to use energy efficient strings - plus you won't be replacing the bulbs every year. Spring for the solar powered option and you’ll be relieved of cords, dimensional constraints, and best of all you’ll be totally off-the-grid. Forever Lights from Gardener's, $19.00-$29.95.
Exterior & Landscape
Step, spot, walk and pathway – these too can be grid connected or solar powered. Path and spot lights from 1000Bulbs, $15.43 - $82.14.
Rachel is an Chicago-based architect and LEED Accredited Professional. When she's not designing homes, she enjoys spending her free time traveling, gardening, and playing with her french bulldog.
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