Buying guide - LED Pendant lights
The average person will move 11 times during their lifetime and each time interior design is important. The most important aspect, that ties all other facets of design together, is the lighting. Improper lighting can ruin the entire mood of the room and can drastically reduce functionality. Properly chosen lighting; however, can change a depressing dining room into a cozy enclave for the entire family.
If you are looking to improve the function of your home space LED pendant lights are a great go-to for many rooms, especially hallways, dining rooms, and kitchens. The design of the LED pendant lights fixtures combined with the superior technology of an LED light helps to create some of the best mood and design lighting for homes. It is no wonder it is one of the more popular lighting options for high-value homes.
What is an LED ?
Before deciding on what type of pendant lighting to use in your home, it is important to understand what an LED light is and how it works. Understanding the function and capabilities of an LED light will allow you to utilize them in the most appropriate manner possible. Some lights are naturally suited better for different functions, some work better in extreme hot or extreme cold, and yet others are better suited for office spaces and hospitals. Depending upon your needs a brief understanding of the product itself will help you to make educated choices in the future.
LED stands for light-emitting diode. An LED light works by a two-lead semiconductor light source. A diode is an electronics device that was originally used for computers and other machines. Diodes have two terminals that conduct electricity in a particular direction, usually one way. They were originally used to turn something on or off as part of electrical design.
Typically, an LED is very small and can comprise a less than a one square millimeter area. Typically, commercial and industrial lighting applications of LED technology involve larger LED lights and through integrating optical components, manufacturers can shape the light pattern and even direct light in specific directions for specific uses.
Historically, LED lights found use in electronic displays and electronic devices after electronics specialists found them to be more efficient and less fragile than the incandescent bulbs of the past. Digital clock displays of the past typically used LED lights for their displays. However, in 1962 Nick Holyonyak, Jr of General Electric developed the LED lights that eventually evolved into the ones that are in popular use in homes today.
Energy Efficiency of LED Pendant Lighting
Thanks to the efforts of engineers like Nick Holyonyak Jr, homeowners and businesses around the world have a new and energy efficient lighting option. LED lighting is typically the most energy efficient electrical lighting source available for consumers. They use less energy than other lighting options and are the safest options for disposal in most circumstances.
The important thing to know about LED lights is that they are superior to incandescent lights in the way that they produce light. Incandescent lights have a filament that burns and creates its light through heat energy. The heat energy that creates the light of an incandescent bulb is part of the reason why incandescent lights were used in products like children's play ovens and in fast food restaurants to keep the fries warm. This heat energy is also, why anyone who has ever needed to change a burnt out light bulb needed an oven mitt to do so. LEDs however do not create nearly as much heat energy; in fact, while 90 percent of an incandescent lights energy expenditure is from heat energy, LEDs do not even make up one-tenth of that amount.
Additionally, LEDs are superior for energy efficiency because they save over 50 percent of energy consumption over even CFL bulbs. CFL bulbs are those compact florescent light bulbs that originally were used to replace incandescent bulbs, otherwise known as the curly bulbs. CFL bulbs are much more efficient than a typical incandescent bulb; however, they still consume 50 percent more energy than an LED. When it comes to your electricity bill, you want to choose the bulb that uses the least amount of energy possible.
Energy Star Certification
When you decide to buy LED pendant lights try to buy lights that have an Energy Star certification. While, uncertified bulbs may work well, the benefit of buying a certified bulb outweigh any upfront savings you may observe. Choosing a certified light is best because the Energy Star certification offers over 20 different standards and a number of different requirements for color quality, stress tests, and minimum lifetime usage requirements.
For a bulb to bear the Energy Star certification, it must show compliance over 20 different industry standards and procedures. These procedures speak to the operation and ability of the lights under a number of different circumstances. They put them under many different stress tests to see how long they last under extreme heat, extreme cold, and normal use. For example, in order for a bulb to receive certification it has to last for over 25,000 hours under normal household temperatures.
Another standard that you can trust from Energy Star certified lights is that the light emitted by the LED bulb is at least 85 percent on average during that 25,000-hour usage time. This also ensures that the light quality is at its best from the moment they place them into use and for the 25,000-hours or three years that the Energy Star certification warranty guarantees.
The three-year minimum warranty requirement is another excellent factor that comes from buying an Energy Star certified LED light. While the eventually cost savings over the useful life of the bulbs makes it a wise investment choice, the initial purchase price of an LED bulb can be cost prohibitive to many people. Depending on the bulb, an individual bulb can cost more than $20 a bulb. However, with a three-year warranty, buyers can be assured that the bulb will be replaced should it not last at least as long as three years. Learn more about choosing an Energy efficient LED bulb - read here
Benefits over Other Lighting Choices
The three main types of consumer lighting choices are energy-efficient incandescent, CFL, and LED bulbs. Of those three LEDs are vastly superior for a number of reasons. LEDs easily out-perform incandescent bulbs due to their lower heat output, and longer life. Meanwhile, when compared to CFLs they again have the longer lifespan and do not contain mercury. Not to mention their superior ability for directional and spotlighting.
In comparison to incandescent bulbs, LED lightbulbs use 90 percent less energy than an incandescent. Most of these energy savings are in the form of heat savings. Often in hot climates, people will turn off lights to help lower the temperature of the room; this is because in the past the lighting contributed to the general heat of the room. Incandescent bulbs produce a tremendous amount of heat and waste large amounts of your electric bill and last for shorter amounts of time because of this problem. LED lights do not have this problem because of their reliance of photons to create their light.
Environmentalists once heralded compact florescent lights or CFLs as the environmentally responsible replacement for incandescent bulbs; however, as time and innovation have marched on LEDs have become the better option. LEDs are superior to CFLs because while a CFL is 70 percent more efficient than an incandescent bulb, they are still not nearly as efficient as an LED. Additionally, unlike LEDs which turn on completely within nanoseconds, CFLs can take up to three minutes to complete their turning-on sequence to become fully lit. This is often experienced by users as the flickering of the light when first turned on.
Additionally, in order to create their light they use mercury vapor, which can be harmful to your health should they break. For consumers with young children and pets the presence of mercury in their home can be cause for concern and may sway their decision. While generally the government considers CFL bulbs safe, there are a few handling and disposal requirements for CFLs. LED bulbs do not generally have the same requirements and are much more stalwart than other bulbs.
LED Pendant Light Uses
Pendant lights, sometimes known as droplights or suspender lights typically are in homes for lighting of kitchens, dining rooms, and hallways. The design of pendant lights involves a lone cord, metal rod, or chain that suspends the light from the ceiling. Due to their overhead and hanging nature, they are usually seen in homes with higher ceilings typically eight feet high or more.
A typical use of LED pendant lights is in the kitchen as a form of task lighting that is more useful than other overhead lighting options. Interior design specialists use pendant lights for kitchens because they allow form and function to comingle creating beautiful solutions for food preparation in home kitchens. They provide ample light to assist homeowners with cooking their meals and other kitchen-centered activities, while also allowing for luxury level decoration that is fitting of higher priced homes.
Another typical area for pendant lighting is the dining room table area. A grouping of pendant lights in an odd number (think a group of three or five) directly over the dining room table can add superior mood lighting that candelabras cannot. Additionally, if hung intelligently, out of the eye line of dining companions, pendant lighting allows for easier meal time conversations. Additionally, the use of pendant lighting allows for clean lines in your décor, which is an industry standard in modern interior design.
Hallways have a reputation for being the more poorly lit areas of a home. Few solutions allow for ample light and subtle but classic design concepts. During the mid to late 1990's the hallway lighting solution of designers was typically wall sconces; however, just like many other fads of the 90's sconces have found a much better, much more stylish replacement. For hallways, ease of movement, of people and items is key and unlike sconces, pendant lights hang overhead out of the way of traffic. Meanwhile, sconces jut out from the sides of walls and make themselves easy targets for damage.
Design Choices for Your LED Pendant Lights
For single light fixture, pendant lights there are five different design choices that are typically offered in stores. Mini pendant lights, down light pendants, up light pendants, drum pendants, and multi light pendants are the normal offerings for home usage.
Mini Pendant Lights
While small, mini pendant lights offer a dramatic punch of style for any décor. Due to the efficient abilities of LED lighting mini-pendants are not to be thought of as for design only. Even the smallest of Mini-Pendants can emit enough light to illuminate your surroundings effectively without a need for a cluttered mass of lights. Moreover, the increased ability of LED pendant lights focal properties further allow mini pendants to be useful for creating focal points and differing moods for any room. If paired with any of the increasingly offered colored LED lighting options, mini pendants can create festive designs with light.
Down Light Pendants
Task based lighting is best provided by down light pendants because they focus the light directly on the work area. When planning a kitchen island or other work area the use of down light pendants can drastically increase productivity due to the increase illumination options from the LED lights and the directional lighting. For the best design options, homeowners are advised to use pendant lighting in odd numbered groups with ample space between lights for a sleek modern design.
Up Light Pendants
Creating the illusion of space is another common task for lighting fixtures and up light pendants offer superior lighting options for creating a spacious feeling within a home. When coupled with the appropriate illumination levels from an LED light, up light pendants can give the feel of higher ceilings and add the illusion of a few extra feet of living space for any home.
Drum pendants can work in any room and because of their utilization of drum shades; they allow infinite customizations to match your decoration choices specifically. There are even nested double and triple concentric shades that are very popular in recent interior design styles. When combined with the innovations available with 3D printing and computer based graphic design, drum pendant shades can match any wallpaper pattern or style that a homeowner can imagine. Another option for further customization will pair a personalized shade with a colored LED light to create a unique room style.
Multi Light Pendants
Often confused with chandeliers, multi light pendants are different because they offer a central fixture with typically three lights in a straight-line fashion. The benefit of a multi light pendant is the multiple lights with one single electrical opening for homes without additional electrical options. This also allows for further customization and eye-catching designs that fuse form and function.
How much LED Power (Lumens) do i need ?
In order to fully utilize your pendant lighting options and create the style and feel of rooms with both light and decoration, the amount of lighting for the room needs additional consideration. The greatest facet of LED pendant lighting is the multiple illumination options that are available for customers. While consumers may remember the former lighting standard of wattage as a determination for output, the lumen is much more apt. A watt is a measure of power, but a lumen is a measure of light emitted and is much more accurate for LED bulbs.
400 Lumens - For reading based tasks, maintaining healthy eyesight requires at least 400 lumens of light.
1,500 to 3,000 - Living rooms, family rooms, and hallways do not require much light to be effective and often the goal of these rooms are to put the guests at ease and in a state of relaxation. For ambient lighting that allows guest to feel at ease and ready for entertainment and television 1,500 to 3,000 is an ample amount without creating a clinical feel like a kitchen or office.
3,000 to 6,000 Lumens - For ambient and dining task related lighting needs 3,000 to 6,000 lumens provides appropriate illumination. This level of lighting is great for dining rooms where you want to keep glass reflections at a minimum but also want to have a warm and inviting meal with your guests.
5,000 to 10,000 Lumens - Kitchens require a significant amount of light because of the important and dangerous jobs that occur in it every day. Cooking dinner involves precision cutting, reading, measuring, and enough light to see that everything looks delicious.
Read more about LED advantages here: http://en.licht.de/en/info-and-service/lighting-specials/led-the-light-of-the-future/leds-conquer-the-realm-of-lighting/led-advantages/