Sally Storey, Design Director at John Cullen Lighting, gives us her top six tips to look out for when selecting LEDS…
LED lighting has improved dramatically over the last few years – both in terms of efficiency and the quality of light it provides. The smaller size of fittings and the flexibility of strips mean that LED lighting can be introduced just about anywhere in the home. As LED light sources last so much longer than ever before, it is important that you create the best lighting design scheme as well as select the best LED products.
1. Colour of light – Look for LED lights which have a ‘colour temperature’ of around 2700K (an attractive warm white light) which will give a wonderful warm colour at night and not the harsh white we have come to expect from LEDs. For an even warmer effect, I now choose our 2400K Contour LED strip in shelving where a more cosy effect is required.
2. Colour rendition – Choose LED lights which have a high CRI (Colour Rendition Index) of at least 90 to ensure they do not distort colours. Cheaper LED lights tend not to pick up on red shades very well. Good CRI is between 80 and 90, superior is 90 plus.
Bad LED consistency
Good LED Consistency
3. Colour consistency – White LEDs vary in colour and this is particularly visible when you have a run of lights such as under kitchen cabinets, on a stairs or up lighting a wall. The best LEDs will be batched together from the same bin when they are sent out to ensure the colour variation is not perceivable to the naked eye.
4. Heat Management – It is a myth that LEDs do not produce heat. LEDs need quality thermal management to dissipate heat in order to maintain colour consistency, lumen output and expected lamp life.
5. Control – It is essential to plan how to control your LED lighting from the outset. Make sure your LEDs are dimmable, and be aware some have different installation requirements – so always check the manufacturer’s guidelines. Dimmers are essential to being able to change the mood of a room easily. To allow for simpler installation, John Cullen Lighting now offer a mains voltage driver for use with all their down, up and floor washers.
6. Employ a lighting designer – LEDs can last a lifetime, so avoid making mistakes by employing a lighting designer. A simple room can be designed by a John Cullen Lighting designer from £85 an hour.
For more expert advice and lighting inspiration, visit www.johncullenlighting.com