The importance of lighting

You often enter a restaurant and think, ‘what a cool white light’. People think, the brighter the light the better it is. No, actually the contrary is true. The trick is just leaving out as many lights as possible and only place the light where it is needed – on the table, to show floral art in your garden or simply to create an atmosphere. We can do that by choosing the right colour light applied in specific places.

Choosing the tone and colour of your lighting can make or break the ambiance you want to create. Today you can get any light in LED, in all possible tonalities.

To know which tonality, you want to look for lights with the Kelvin (k) colour temperature system. The lower the Kelvin value, the warmer the light output. By using specific tonalities, you can create the atmosphere you are looking for.

Therefore, choosing the right light for the right space is very important.

LED lighting is different from other light sources, such as incandescent and CFL, in several ways.

The light-emitting diode (LED) is one of today’s most energy-efficient and rapidly-developing lighting technologies. Quality LED light bulbs last longer, are more durable, and offer comparable or better light quality than other types of lighting.

LED is a highly energy efficient lighting technology, and will fundamentally change the future of lighting in the world. Widespread use of LED lighting has the greatest potential impact on energy savings in the world.

What are the advantages of using LED lights?

First and foremost, LED lights are energy efficient. If you compare them to traditional lights, you can have a reduction in energy consumption of between 75% to 90%. This is because fluorescent and incandescent lights convert 95% of their energy into heat and only 5% into light whereas LED lights convert 95% of energy into light and only 5% into heat! This means that LEDs need less wattage and produce less heat.

When your lights give off less heat, you will not need to use your air-conditioning units as much, resulting in an even greater reduction of your energy consumption.

Using LED lights, you can save a considerable amount on your electricity bill because they use much less power than traditional lighting. For example, a 5W LED light gives the same level of light as a halogen light of 50W. Furthermore, using LED lights will help the environment by reducing the demand on power plants and decreasing CO2 emissions.

Did you know that LED lights have no toxic elements?

Most of us still use fluorescent and halogen lights. These contain toxic chemicals like mercury. When you break these lights, mercury gasses are released and you may inhale the toxic fumes. When you dispose of these lights, you also contaminate the environment. LED lights, on the other hand, contain no toxic elements. Changing your lights to LEDs will help protect your home, the environment and your health.

By using LED lights, will I need fewer lights?

LED lights have a better quality and way of distributing the light as they focus the light in one direction. Traditional lights waste energy by emitting light in all directions. They often illuminate areas that require no light at all, such as ceilings. To achieve the same level of brightness, you need less LED lights compared to fluorescent and incandescent lights. Once again this will reduce your electricity consumption and benefit your budget.

Why the big price differences in LED lights?

Choosing a good quality LED guarantees you that these LEDs keep their colour over many years and only lose about 10% of their strength over their life span. A good quality LED light has a life span of up to 50,000 hours, which is a lot longer than other types of lighting and means you will not need to replace your lights frequently.

This also benefits the environment as fewer light replacements mean fewer resources are needed for manufacturing, packaging and transport.

The heat produced is absorbed into a heat sink. A good quality LED has, therefore, an aluminium body or big aluminium back part on the unit, to redirect the heat of its electronic parts.

From a single bulb to a complete lighting project, whether inside or outside, there is always a solution to get the right light for the right space.

By Mark Lauterslager
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Mark Lauterslager is partner of the Sustainable Superstore and owner of Sulsolar. He has been involved in LED lighting since 2009 in the Algarve, offering advice on various lighting solutions concepts. 915 005 511 | [email protected]