January 14, 2010
| by Lisa Montgomery
We’ve been hearing a lot of about LED (light emitting diode) lighting lately, mainly because it’s such a green, energy-efficient mode of illumination. However, these tiny bulbs are also a great way to add visual impact to your home.
Tiny and fairly easy to install, they can be tucked inconspicuously into all types of surfaces—walls, ceilings, even floors. They can be built into cabinetry, tables and other pieces of furniture. They can go into trim-work and stairwells. LEDs can also add a splash of color to countertops, bathtubs and other surfaces.
“As the price of LEDs comes down, they’re becoming more popular with architects and designers as an effective design element,” says Paul Koren, owner of Impact Lighting Inc., an Orlando-based company that designs, fabricates and installs LED and fiber optic lighting.
Designer Marla Greenough of Greenough Interior Design agrees: “LED lighting offers such a wealth of opportunity to control and manipulate color, light intensity, light quality, beam and direction.” Her firm recently hired Impact Lighting to fabricate and install LED technology into a residence in Boca Raton, Fla. It’s just one many residential projects Impact Lighting has been involved with during its 40-plus years in the specialty lighting business.
As the popularity of LED lighting has grown, Impact Lighting has developed innovative applications that evoke none of the “amusement park” effects commonly associated with colored LED lighting, says Koren. “They’re classy, and completely blend in with the environment.”
Some of the effects incorporated into the Boca Raton home, as well as into other homes include:
—A pressure sensor installed underneath the carpet trips whenever the owners get out of bed and signals LEDs fitted on the bottom of bed frame and within a chair rail on the wall to activate. It provides enough soft lighting for the owners to find their way around the room at night.
—Colored LED lights embedded within an onyx bathtub foster relaxation. The color of the lights can be controlled to suit the owners’ mood.
—LED lights installed within a cove ceiling simulate sunrise and sunset.
—Interesting ceiling treatments like faux painting, coffers and beams are highlighted with colored LED bulbs.
—Embedded into tiles, LEDs make the floor glow from beneath.
Lisa Montgomery has been writing about home technology for 15 years, with a focus on the impact of electronics on a modern lifestyle.