Are You at Home with LEDs?
Cold light? Poor design? Lighting punch and quality not up to traditional lamps?
LED technology for lighting in the home still has a number of challenges to overcome – but the challenges are no longer the technology barriers above. The challenge today is to change perceptions.
LED is not just a low-energy light source, trying to compete in terms of color and quality with conventional sources. There are actually advantages to LED lighting, as compared with incandescent, halogen and even compact fluorescent (CFL) and fluorescent lighting.
Giorgio Martini, Vice Chair of the Martini Lighting Group, one of the best known and most respected Italian companies in the technical lighting sector, and maker of lighting appliances relying significantly on LED, is a leader in this revolution taking place in our homes. Not just because he has fitted out and equipped his own home with Martini products, which for the most part rely on LED arrays from Bridgelux.
“We can confidently state that LED, which lies at the core of Martini’s vision, offers a quality of lighting comparable with traditional technology, plus other advantages including the better regulation of the distribution of light, instant lighting, chromatic and decorative performance and long life. All of these factors make LEDs decidedly superior to other types of lighting in terms of both durability and levels of deterioration,” explained Giorgio Martini.
Yet, according to Martini, the best reason to welcome LEDs in our homes today, lies with dedicated LED luminaires: “The light source and the equipment become a single unit from the design stage. The LED component is integrated into the appliance, be it a table lamp, a wall light, or an arrangement of recessed spotlights.”
Using LEDs in this way, luminaire manufacturers are also able to design creative, unique products from the point of view of design, which can be truly minimal and elegant. LED home lighting solutions can guarantee the perfect, inviting atmosphere in terms of ambient lighting. They can make illuminated objects and finishes appear vivid, whether it’s a fine-grained wooden table, rich textiles or clean, modern walls and floors.
Efficiency is a key benefit of this integrated approach to LED technology. The energy required to power LED light fixtures, compared to incandescent or halogen fixtures of similar output, is about 80% less. This is why LED technology has been quickly adopted by a large number of retailers around the world, such as the Coop chain in Italy and Intersport in Austria.
But efficiency goes beyond lower wattage to include savings generated by the fact that LEDs produce very little heat in the beam. Electricity consumption of air conditioning units is less, an essential quality in larger or multifamily homes.
LEDs in familiar home furnishings
“LEDs,” Martini continued, “have the advantage of being a very flexible technology in terms of application. Their versatility, and this also applies in the home, is certainly their strength, because it makes it possible not only to redesign and improve an appliance from scratch using LEDs, but also to adapt the solution, offering excellent lighting performance, to existing designer appliances that were made to be used with incandescent lamps.”
The architectural adaptability and value of LEDs in residential applications are recognized by professionals working in the sector. But these advantages have not yet impressed themselves on the general public.
The comparatively high cost is clearly an obstacle to wide adoption; and upselling the high-quality LED system solution remains difficult. But the commitment of companies like Bridgelux and Martini Lighting, in terms of technical advances and savings through large-scale production, promise lower costs in the future.
Finally, further improvements in energy efficiency plus ongoing innovation exploiting the practical and aesthetic advantages of the technology will soon change perceptions. LED will continue to simplify lighting in the home, perfectly matching the lighting component to the design environment. Customers at home with LED will see the advantages: performance equal to or better than traditional solutions.