Shining a Light on the Benefits of LED Lighting. Here’s Why LED Is Better for You and the Environment

benefits of led lighting

If we were to count all the light bulbs in American households, we’d come up with a 5.74 billion estimate.

That’s right! After all, an average U.S. home uses about 45 light bulbs. Multiply that with the country’s 127.59 million households (2018), and you get 5.74 billion.

Granted, only about six percent of residential electricity use in 2018 went towards lighting. But that six percent translates to 91 billion kilowatt-hours of electricity! This means that residential consumers paid more than $11.74 million in 2018 for lighting alone.

This has led to more consumers exploring the benefits of LED lighting. Manufacturers tout it as the most energy-efficient lighting technology, promising lower electricity bills.

So… How true is this? What other benefits can you expect when you switch to LED?

Keep reading as this post will address all these questions and more!

LED Technology 101

LED (Light Emitting Diode) is a semiconductor device that turns electricity into light. Each LED diode is about as big as a fleck of pepper. Despite their tiny size, they’re brighter than other lighting devices.

One of the differences between LED and incandescent bulbs (also CFLs) is the way they produce light. In LEDs, electrical current passes through the semiconductor device. As the current flows, the electrons it contains release both heat and light rays.

Now that you know more about how LEDs work, let’s look at some of their top benefits.

1. Less Heat, More Light

Speaking of heat, did you know that incandescent light gives off 90 percent of the energy they use in the form of heat? CFLs also release a lot of energy — up to 80 percent — as heat.

In short, incandescent lights and CFLs burn a lot of energy that doesn’t even go to lighting up the bulbs. That consumed electricity only makes your home warmer, not brighter. LEDs, on the other hand, emit very little heat and plenty of bright, focused light.

2. Less Energy for Much Brighter Lights

The energy consumed by LEDs goes straight to lighting, so they only draw enough power they need. That’s why LED lights consume less energy than traditional fluorescent lights. But even with minimal power requirements, they still produce brighter light.

LED lighting uses about 40 percent less energy than fluorescent lights and 80 percent less power than incandescent solutions. But even if LEDs consume less energy, they still produce the same, even higher amount of light.

3. Lower Energy Requirements, Lower Electricity Bills

In the U.S., each household has an average monthly energy consumption of 897 kWh. Now, multiply that by 12.95 Cents per kWh, the average electricity price in the country in November 2018.

That puts the average monthly home electricity bill at $116.16. Since six percent of that goes towards lighting, you’re paying around $7 for lighting alone. $84 a year is a lot, especially if you consider that traditional lights waste a lot of energy.

Since LED lights need less energy to work, this will result in lower electricity bills. The less power you draw from your electricity provider, the lower your bills will be. For most people, a drop in their electricity bills is one of the biggest advantages of LED lighting.

4. Fewer Light Bulbs Needed

One of the biggest advantages of LED technology is that it distributes light better. Incandescent lights, for instance, spread too much light in all directions. This spreading often illuminates areas that don’t need light, such as your ceiling.

That is light (and energy) that goes to waste.

LEDs, as mentioned above, produce focused, concentrated light. They emit light in a single direction, minimizing spreading and waste. In short, you’d need fewer LED bulbs to enjoy the same brightness from traditional lights.

Again, fewer light bulbs result in lower energy consumption. The less power your household uses, the lower your electricity bills.

5. Longer Lifespan

One LED bulb will last for up to 50,000 hours. That’s enough reason LED lighting is worth it. Especially when you compare it to incandescent bulbs, which have a lifespan of only 1,000 hours.

That means that over the life of a single LED light bulb, you’d have to buy about 50 traditional light bulbs. So, even if LEDs have a higher upfront cost, their longer life completely makes up for it.

6. Reduced Energy Consumption Brings Emissions Down

The reduced energy consumption of LED lights benefits the environment too. Their lower energy demand from power plants help decrease greenhouse gas emissions. Even their own carbon dioxide emissions are lower than those of traditional lighting products.

In fact, global use of LEDs has kicked greenhouse gas emissions down by over half a billion ton in 2017. This amount is comparable to what more than 160 coal-fired power plants produce.

What’s more, the EPA calculated a savings of 88 terawatt-hours of electricity from the use of LED lights. That’s the kind of savings we can get if we everyone used LEDs from 2010 to 2030. 88 terawatt-hours can already power seven million homes in one year.

7. Fewer Lights Needed Reduces Raw Material Consumption

We’ve already established that incandescent and fluorescent lights burn out faster than LEDs. That’s why there’s always a high demand for them since users have to replace dead bulbs quite often. To address this demand, manufacturers have to keep using raw materials.

This continued and high demand for raw materials put a huge toll on the environment. So, imagine if we all switched to LEDs, which again, lasts 50,000 hours per bulb. That would no doubt lift a huge burden off of the environment.

Make the Switch Now to Enjoy the Benefits of LED Lighting

All these benefits of LED lighting outweigh their initial high upfront cost. The more LED bulbs you use and replace your old bulbs with, the more savings you get to enjoy. Plus, you’re doing not only yourself a huge favor, but also protect the environment.

So, what are you waiting for? Consider making the switch now to LED lights!

Need more details on how LEDs work and how you can make the most use of them? Then be sure to check out our site’s LED technology section!

See It In A New Light. Here’s 7 Tips For Improving Your Living Room Lights Design

Tips for improving your living room lights design

Americans were surveyed about the use of each room of their home. The living room and kitchen both tied for highest score meaning that we spend most of our time in these two rooms. 

That’s why having a good living room lights design is crucial. It can make the space comfortable, relaxed and welcoming. 

Read on for 7 living room light design tips. 

1. Understand Interior Lighting Types

The most important thing when thinking about living room light design is understanding the three main types of lighting.

These are ambient, accent and task. You should have one of each type in your living room. More if your space is large.

Having each type of lighting in various spots throughout the living room is vital to creating a space that has a balanced and aesthetic lighting design.

By using the three types of lighting your room will be free of shadows and also will give you endless options to suit your style, room layout, and furniture.

Let’s look at each type of lighting.

Ambient (Overhead Lighting)

Ambient light is diffused background light that fills the room, rather than providing light to one specific section of the space.

Examples of ambient light include chandeliers, flush light fixtures, recessed lights, and wall sconces. 

You can have two types of ambient light in a room. You could have pot lights around the edges and a hanging fixture in the middle of the room. Both provide ambient lighting. 

Task Lighting

Task lights provide light to a specific zone of the room to help make certain tasks easier. A bright table lamp over a desk or next to a reading chair are types of task lights.

If you have a piano, you could add a piano lamp which will provide direct downward light onto the keys and music. 

Accent Lighting

Accent lights are subtle and used for decor more than for providing light to the living room. Yet they play an important role in the aesthetics of the room.

These lights add a soft glow to certain zones.

Accent lights include spotlights or picture lights that highlight artwork or living room decor. They can also be decorative accent lamps or uplights. 

If you have built-in shelves or a bookcase in your living room, you definitely want to add some accent lights. Whether you add in recessed lighting or hanging spotlights, your built-ins will become a gorgeous focal point in the room.

Now let’s look at some tips to help you get your interior lighting design just right.

2. Consider the Size of the Room

In a big room, one overhead fixture will probably not provide enough ambient or overhead light. 

Pot lights work well in these rooms. Or you can place several ceiling fixtures on a grid to light up the large space.

Remember that for a large ceiling, you’ll need a fixture that is large enough to fill the space. Make sure it hangs low enough so that you won’t have to strain your neck to look at the light fixture. 

You can also draw attention to architectural details in your space such as crown molding or wood paneling by using recessed or strip lighting.

3. Install a Dimmer

A dimmer is a genius addition to your living room lighting design. It lets you adjust how much light you need in the room according to the time of day.

Plus, it lets you easily adjust the mood of the room so that you can control the ambiance for whatever activities are going on.

4. Consider Cove Lighting

Cove lighting provides gentle, elegant light that is welcoming but never overbearing.

You can use traditional white lights or opt for colored lights to highlight your modern living room design.

Cove lighting makes any space feel sophisticated and classy and yet is warm and inviting. 

5. Keep Shadows Away with Floor and Desk Lamps

Floor lamps these days are striking and serve as a light source as well as a decor item.

You might not be able (or want to) have an end table at both ends of a sofa. But, you can still provide balanced task lighting to your sofa by using a table lamp on one side and a floor lamp on the other.

If you don’t have your ceiling wired for lights, you can use an arc floor lamp to create a central ambient light source. Just make sure the arc is nice and high so people don’t hit their heads on it.

If you have a reading nook or a dark corner of the room, liven it up by using floor pillows and a good floor lamp. It may quickly become a favorite spot in the room this way. 

Dark spots in any living room are a no-no. These spaces become more functional and beautiful when it is properly lit.

6. Choose the Right Shade

It’s important that you consider the color of light bulbs that you choose. Your room can become warm or cool depending on the hue you choose.

You should also consider the shade color of your desk and floor lamps. White shades let more light through. But colored shades will tint the light to give a different effect.

7. Use LED Lights for Energy Efficiency

LEDs are the longest lasting lightbulbs on the market. The average LED bulb lasts 50,000 hours

Not only will you not have to replace the bulbs as often, but you’ll also save a lot of money on your energy bill.

Final Thoughts on Living Room Lights Design

Thanks for reading these 7 tips on living room lights design. We hope you have a bunch of ideas on how to transform your space with light.

Next, check out these 10 unique ways to use LED strip lighting in your home.

Only Need One Color? Here’s Why You Should Go With 3528 LED Light Strips

3528 LED strip Lights Uncoiled

LED lighting technology was first investigated and discussed in scientific papers in 1927. But it wasn’t until 1961 when Texas Instruments patented LED technology here in the US that these powerful little lights started to gain traction. 

These first LEDs were quite expensive at $200 a light. This meant that they were only good for high tech scientific equipment and machinery. 

As with all technology though, advancements were made and the price came down. As the price dropped, new applications began to present themselves. 

Today, LEDs are now a staple in home lighting. Are you looking to add lighting to your cabinets or maybe somewhere else in your home? Then 3528 LED bulbs might be perfect for your project. Keep reading to find out. 

What Do the Numbers Mean?

Everyone talks about how great LED lights are, but no one talks about the different types of LEDs that are available. The one you buy will depend on the project you are working on. 

LED technology has advanced so far that we now have a first and second generation of LED lights. The first generation has two popular light options, 3528 and 5050. 

3528 LEDs

These chips are 3.5 mm and 2.8mm long. If you only need your lights to emit one color, then these lights are perfect for your needs. 

The light they emit is not as bright as other LEDs. But that makes them ideal for accent lighting where you want a soft glow. 

Each chip on the strip contains one diode. While each strip only emits one color, you do have a choice of what color you want. The most commonly used colors for accent lighting in homes are cool white and warm white. 

5050 LEDs

If you want the ability to change the color emitted by your LED strip then you need 5050 RGB LEDs. Each chip on the strip has three diodes.

Because they contain three diodes, the chips are slightly bigger at 5mm by 5mm. They are also noticeably brighter than the 3528 lights. 

This lighting is commonly used in places where people perform tasks. That way the workspace is well lit. 

Advantages of 3528 LED Bulbs

There are a few advantages to deciding to use LED bulbs. If you are looking for something that is durable and cost-efficient than 3528 LED bulbs are perfect for your project. 

Energy Efficient 

The 3528 LEDs are going to use less energy and therefore are more efficient and cost less to run. If you are only going to use one color, why pay for the lights that have more?

This efficiency makes them environmentally friendly to run. They are also friendly in the sense that they don’t contain mercury or any other hazardous substances. 

Long Lasting

A huge advantage to these lights is how long they last. You can expect to get about 10,000 to 50,000 hours when you install them correctly. 

That is anywhere from two to six years of use out of your lights. That means that you won’t have to worry about replacing the lights for a long time to comes. 

Durable 

Because LEDs are solid state, it makes them very durable. There is no delicate tube or filament that can get damaged. 

They are also not affected by temperature the way other bulbs are. Have you ever flipped on the lights only to have them delay or flicker as they come on? 

This does not happen with LED bulbs. There is no warm-up period, and in fact, LEDs like colder temperatures. 

Directional 

Need the light to point in a certain direction? No problem, you can have your LED lights direct the light to go in a certain direction. 

Or if you want a soft general glow you can achieve that too. Both of these options are available with the 3528 LEDs.

You could also use a combination of lights so that you have both a soft glow and bright directional lighting. Then you have the accenting effect and additional lighting for workspaces. 

Enhance Your Display 

When you use fluorescent lighting it can wash out the colors of whatever they are illuminating. This does not happen with LED lights. 

The best part is you have options with 3528 LED strips. You can choose a cool white color that has more blue undertones. Or you could go with a warm white that has more yellow undertones. 

The color white you choose will depend on what your project is and how you intend to use the light. If you want to create a warm and welcoming environment then choose the warm white. 

Adjustable 

When you install your lights, think about how bright you want them to be. Do you want the ability to adjust the brightness later on? 

With 3528 LEDs you can hook them up to a dimmer style switch. This lets you control the brightness up or down by adjusting the switch. 

You can also custom adjust your LEDs to be the exact length you need. So there is no struggle to find the right lighting that fits into a particular space in your kitchen. 

Use 3528 LED Light Strips 

Now that you know the differences between the different types of LED lighting, you are prepared to shop for your next project. If you only intend to use one color, then why buy the 5050 LEDs that have multiple colors. 

It isn’t all about the colors though, 3528 LED strips emit the right amount of light to create a nice accent glow. These lights adjustable, environmentally friendly, durable, and have a long useful life. 

Starting browsing our wide selection of LED light stripping for your next project. 

Easy Exterior Upgrades to Give Your Home a Facelift This Spring

Easy exterior upgrades to give yyour home a facelift!

Instead of focusing on spring cleaning this year, why not invest in your home’s curb appeal with a spring facelift? It’s the perfect time of year to address issues that may have cropped up during the winter. Taking time to improve specific areas of the exterior of your home will not only protect your home long term but also increase your home’s value. Consider these easy exterior upgrades to give your home a facelift this spring:

Smart Lighting

Adding lighting is a smart way to instantly transform your outdoor space. Making your home more energy efficient is a great way to save on electric costs as well as help the environment. Invest in smart LED lights that cost less to run and last much longer than incandescent lights. Consider an LED downlight for your covered porch or gazebo. They’re easy to install and will offer the perfect amount of energy efficient lighting to draw attention to certain parts of your home at night.

Paint the Front Door

Entry doors can take a beating since they’re used many times throughout the day. The front door is one of the first things neighbors and visitors notice about your home. Consider taking the door off the hinges on a warm spring day and painting the front door a bright color. This will not only protect the door from another year of scuffs, dents, and scrapes, but it will also become a point of interest to your home. Make sure to consider the color palette of the exterior of your home when choosing a complementary color for the front door.

Showcase Plants

Rope lighting is becoming more popular as homeowners use it for the exterior parts of their home. Consider adding LED rope lighting on the backside of a border edge to shine just enough light on the garden. You want to enjoy and show off your garden as much as possible and this will give visitors a chance to view the plants after dark. Installing rope lighting also helps define the lawn making it safer to be in the yard at night.

Power Wash

Renting a power washer is a smart investment that will help you brighten your home instantly. You’ll be amazed at how much dirt can build up on the exterior portions of your home during the winter. Power washing the exterior siding of your house, as well as the concrete walkway and driveway, will improve the overall look of your home. Cut down on rental costs by asking a neighbor if they want to split the cost and power wash their home as well. (You’ll improve the curb appeal of your home when your neighbor’s house also looks clean and fresh!)

Plant A Border

Spring is the perfect time of year to choose some new plants for the yard. Consider adding a border of flowers along the walkway to welcome guests. Other options include planting pollinator plants, like Black-eyed Susans or Lavender, that will attract honey bees, butterflies, and hummingbirds.  Be sure to use an edger or string trimmer to cut back any sod so that the border is clearly defined. Choose a unique plant to add to a planter near the front door or patio to brighten up the exterior portions of your home as well.

There are so many inexpensive ways to upgrade the exterior of your home quickly. Consider all these easy exterior upgrades to give your home a facelift this spring.

 

Carol Squire is a gardening and outdoor living writer who spends her free time on DIY projects around her house. As a gardening guru, she can often be found tending to her roses and vegetable garden and building outdoor furniture for her patio.

Shine Bright! Here Are 7 Ideas For What You Can Do with 5050 LED Strip Lights

Lighting is everything.

And if you’ve ever replaced an antiquated ceiling light fixture or added a nice accent lamp to your bedside table, you know firsthand how much lighting can change the mood of your home.

One of the best ways to do that is with 5050 LED strips. They can add a modern flourish to any home. And with a low price and easy installation, there’s no reason you shouldn’t start adding them to your home.

There are plenty of ways to use LED strips to give your home a unique ambiance. 

But first…

What Are 5050 LED Lights?

There are many different kinds of LEDs. They range from the small light at your TV’s power display to strip lights to lightbulbs and headlights.

5050 LEDs are a type of strip lights. They are so named because the chip that powers each light is 5.0mm by 5.0mm.

These are a bit larger than other LED strips, which creates more heat. But that heat is negligible compared to other types of lighting.

Those larger chips also mean brighter lights. If you’re using an LED strip to add accents in a room with other light sources, other sizes might not be powerful enough to be visible. 5050s shine three times brighter than 3528 LEDs.

The 5050 chips are also able to shine in millions of different colors, which can create endless moods.

Here are a few ideas of how you can use these lights yourself!

Under Lighting For Your Kitchen Cabinets

Many people say that the kitchen is the most important part of your house. Most of us spend several hours per week cooking or doing meal prep.

So why not make your kitchen a more enjoyable room?

Add strips of LEDs underneath your cabinets to add a color accent or just shine where the overhead lights can’t reach.

All you need is a strip of LEDs, some double-sided tape, a couple screws, and a 12v adapter to connect your LEDs to an outlet. Add wi-fi dimmer switches for maximum control.

Pimp Your Ride

You really just need a car that can get you from point A to point B. But why shouldn’t you do it in style?

LED strips can add that ultra-cool touch just about everywhere. Run a strip of lights across the ceiling of your car to turn it into an instant party wagon. 

You can also add LEDs on the underside of the car body to light up wherever you drive like a spaceship. 5050 strips might not be resilient enough to survive on the car’s exterior if you live in a harsh climate, though.

Light Up Your Library

If you’re a bookworm, you’ve already got shelves stuffed with books. So why not show it off?

Run strip lighting on the underside of your shelves to illuminate the books underneath. This makes it easier than ever to find what you’re looking for.

You could also put accent lights deep in the back of the shelf to make your library shine. 

Color Changing Aquarium Lights

Aquariums are a great way to reduce stress. And who doesn’t love watching those cute fishies darting around?

Chances are, your aquarium already emits a gentle glow. But if you add a strip of color-changing LEDs along the top, you can make it even more relaxing. You can adjust the color and light intensity at will.

And, LEDs use less power than the conventional fluorescent lights of aquariums.

But, if you have any plants in your aquarium, make sure you pay attention to their light needs before switching to LEDs.

A More Chic Man Cave

Everyone wants a great man cave. Sometimes, the quest for a better man cave can be a race between friends to see who can buy the biggest TV, the loudest speakers, or the most comfortable couches.

And a lot of times, lighting is completely ignored.

If you’re trying to build the best entertainment center on the block, 5050 LEDs are the way to go.

Put lighting on the back of your entertainment center to give it an other-worldly halo. Put lights underneath your coffee table or couches to add an unbeatable accent. 

If you don’t have a library of books, use that same advice for your movie or video game collection. If your man cave is stocked with a bar, light the underside of it. 

Suddenly, your basement will become the undisputed home for all things entertainment.

Make More Bedroom Moods

We spend a third of our lives sleeping. But we spend way more time than that in our bedrooms. So why not make it as enjoyable as possible?

Use color-changing LED strips to create ambiance and set the mood for those moments with your special someone. If you have a wi-fi dimmer switch, you can even set your lights on a timer to gradually light up your room in the morning.

High-Class Bathrooms

For some people, the bathroom is a purely utilitarian space. You go on to perform basic maintenance, then you leave.

But for others of us, the bathroom is a place of solace. Our own little day spa. 

5050 LEDs can take your bathroom to the next level. Backlight your mirror to give your daily routine a bit more pizzazz. Color changing lighting inside your shower can take a boring, everyday cleaning and turn it into a high-class experience. 

Just make sure you waterproof all of your connections!

Let There Be Light

These seven ideas are a great place to start, but 5050 LED strips are as versatile as you want to make them. Let your imagination run wild!

For more examples of great LED projects or to submit your own projects, visit this page!

The Best LED Light Fixtures For Every Type of Work Space

When it comes to the workplace, every detail matters. From the way the building looks, to the customer service that you give, both your employees and your clients will be influenced by the vibes your business gives off.

Did you know this also includes your commercial lighting? The lighting of the office can influence the mood of the room – and by extent, the people in it.

So how exactly can you make sure you get the right light for setting? Simple: you use LED light fixtures.

Using LED lighting to brighten up your office is not only more cost-effective; it’s become the best way to add just the right touch of light to any room, and comes in many shapes and sizes so you can pick the one that works best for you.

Which LED Light Fixtures Work Best for You?

While there is no particular light for a setting, there are ways for you to know which light you need for a specific space, so you can be sure there’s a perfect one for your office. Read on and check them out.

Know Your Whites

Just like with paint, there are multiple shades of white when it comes to LED lights. The type of white that you use will affect the lighting of the room, and in turn it will influence the way people act in the office.

This influence through lighting is called mood lighting, and if you can manipulate the lighting correctly you can actually affect customer satisfaction and increase the work flow of your employees.

White light exposure isn’t just for setting a particular mood. It’s be studied that the more white light exposure workers had in the office, the longer and better they slept afterwards.

Case and point: you’re white lights are very important.

So now the problem is finding out which whites are the best ones for your business. It all comes down to where exactly you’re planning on using the light, and how it interacts with the natural and artificial lights in the room.

If you’re working with a lot of screens, or if most of your work day involves staring at a computer, it’s best to go with a more subtle, softer white. This gives off a feeling of warmth without overcrowding your eyes with more light than needed.

If the room is more open, you’ll need more light in order for it to spread around the room and make it easier for you to see. A brighter (but not too bright) white would be perfect for this reason, adding necessary light to the room.

How Much Light Do You Need?

Having the right amount of light can be a tricky thing to handle, but when you plan correctly it can work in your favor.

First off, think about how much natural light you already have in your office space. Natural light is easily the best lighting for your room and the more of it that you have the better.

If this is something you have access to, you need an LED light that compliments your already lit room. Smaller lights that are closer to your work station help to give you the brightness you need without creating shadows or glare.

For this, it’s recommended that you use decorative LED lighting fixtures. These light fixtures are made to cast a low amount of light in a room, so only specific areas are illuminated.

This allows your natural light to be your main source of lighting for the room, while the decorative lighting fixtures are able to light up a only the sections you want brightened.

Some offices have very little or no natural lighting, and that can make eye strain a very real and very terrible experience. The good thing is that with a lack of natural lighting, you have much more control over how you use your LED lights.

Classic LED panel lights should do the trick for this type of room.

Most rooms with very little or no natural light tend to be older rooms, which means that they also have poor artificial light as well. By upgrading the room to LED panels, you will have brighter light per panel and a lower price.

Spacing is Key

You’ll want to keep in mind that how much lighting you can have is directly related to the space you have to work with. Having too much of one or not enough of the other will only lead to having worse lighting than you started with.

When it comes to larger rooms, you may think the simple answer is just to have a brighter light. After all, brighter is better, right?

Well, not necessarily. While bright light will certainly light up the entire room, you need to keep in mind that it may also irritate your workers and make them less productive.

The best way to go would be to use lights that spread evenly around the area, like troffers or wraparound lights. You only need a few of them to do the job, and the even distribution will give the workplace a more inviting look.

In smaller areas, you really only need something like a lamppost or small battery powered LED light. The strength of one battery powered light can easily cover a small office, allowing you the lighting you need to get the work done.

Discover True Lighting

Now that you know which LED light fixtures work best in your office environment, you’ll have trouble picking the right one for your needs. Now, you need to find a place to buy the bulbs you need at a cost that right for you.

That’s where we come in.

Birddog Lighting is the only place you need to go for your LED lighting needs. We have all sorts of fixtures, including LED strip lights, neon ropes and strips, commercial lighting, corn and candle bulbs, and even holiday lights.

Got a question you’d like to ask us? We’d love to hear from you. Just reach out to us and we’ll be sure to answer anything you’d like to know. We look forward to hearing from you soon.

The Bright Choice: Why Everyone Should Use Outdoor LED Lights

You’ve refreshed your exterior paint. You’ve revamped your landscaping. You’ve replaced your front door with a beautiful and inviting model.

Still, something’s missing with your curb appeal.

If the outside of your home is dull and dark, chances are that great outdoor lighting is all you need. Not only will it make your home look warm and inviting but it will show off all that other work you did as well.

Not all lights are equal, though. To get the most bang for your buck, here’s why outdoor LED lights are the best choice.

The Benefits of Outdoor LED Lights

When it comes to lighting the exterior of your home, LEDs win out on several fronts. Here’s why they’re the key to great lighting.

Variety of Options

Customization is one of the key ways to make your house feel like your home. Why not bring that customization into your exterior lighting?

LED lights are known for their versatility. They come in any number of colors and brightness levels. In many cases, you can even change the colors and brightness levels from one day to the next.

LEDs also come in plenty of forms and shapes. Depending on how you want to arrange your lights, you can use bulbs, rope lights, light strips, and more.

Lighting the Way

One of the fastest ways to tell LEDs from earlier types of light bulbs is to look at how bright it is. Many LEDs have the tell-tale bright white light. This lets them provide more light on a specific area.

Not everyone likes that bright white light, though, because they see it as cold light. The good news is that you can get LEDs in a warmer hue too, so you get the lighting abilities without the chill.

Saving the Planet

On top of the way they look, there are plenty of practical benefits of LED lights. One of the key benefits is the energy efficiency.

For all that bright light that LEDs emit, they use far less energy than other types of light bulbs. This lower energy usage keeps your carbon footprint to a minimum so we can keep protecting this beautiful planet of ours.

Padding Your Wallet

As much as you might want to save the planet, saving money is great too. LED lights can do that in several ways.

That low energy usage we mentioned will also keep your energy bills low. On top of this, LEDs are known for their long lives. LED lights last about five times as long as a traditional compact fluorescent lamp, or CFL.

That long life means you won’t have to replace your bulbs as often. This saves you money on the cost of the bulbs and it can also save you money you’d spend to hire someone to change the bulbs. 

Putting Safety First

As happy as you might be about the money you can save with LEDs, opting for LEDs will also make your home safer.

When any light bulb overheats, it puts you at risk for a fire. While that isn’t impossible with LEDs, it’s far less likely than it is with CFLs and other types of light bulbs. LEDs run at a lower temperature and are also stronger against extreme temperatures than other options.

While you might think of fire risks more with interior lights, it’s still a big concern for outdoor lighting. After all, think about how easy it would be for a dry leaf or other dry brush to blow into your exterior light and cause a potential problem.

Keeping It Low-Maintenance

Let’s be honest: no one needs another job to add to their to-do list. That includes changing endless light bulbs.

As we mentioned above, LED bulbs last much longer than other types of light bulbs. As a result, you won’t need to change the bulbs as often. On top of requiring less of your time, this also means your exterior lights will stay looking their best for a longer period of time so you get and keep that curb appeal.

Being Tech-Friendly

Everywhere you look today, there’s one more cool thing technology can do. One advancement that’s both fun and functional is controlling your lights with your smartphone.

While this isn’t the case with all LEDs, there are specialized LED bulbs today that you can control with your phone. This lets you turn lights on and off from wherever you may be. Some even let you change the color and brightness level too.

Becoming Future-Proof

As with anything, light bulbs have changed over time. Incandescent bulbs used to be the standard. That changed to CFLs, and now LEDs are becoming more and more common.

Did you know that this trend is legally required to continue? The US Department of Energy has a plan in place that requires bulbs to become more and more energy efficient over the years.

This is called the Federal Light Bulb Efficiency Standard. By 2020, all bulbs will need to meet a standard which today is only possible for LEDs.

If you design your outdoor lighting today to use CFLs or other types of lights, you’ll have a hard time finding bulbs in a few years. LEDs, on the other hand, are here to stay. Designing your exterior lighting around them will mean that you won’t even notice the transition ahead.

The Exterior Lighting of the Future

Outdoor lighting is one of the most effective ways to boost your curb appeal. It makes your home look warm and welcoming while shedding a light on all the other beautiful outdoor features you enjoy. The trick is finding the right type of lighting.

Between their versatility, cost savings, and more, outdoor LED lights are the perfect fit for your landscaping. To start planning your beautification, shop our selection of LED lights.

Light Up Your Home’s Interior: 10 Tips for Decorating With Led Light Strips

LED Light Strips

There’s something so magical about new lighting. Whether it’s an elegant foyer or bachelor pad, the glow of LED lighting brings any space to life.

Going where no halogen bulb has ever gone, LED lights also come in wide selection of colors, designs, and fixtures. They’re also projected to save $30 billion dollars in energy by 2027!

One of these energy-saving options are LED light strips. Not only do they use less power, but they work seamlessly with home decor. 

Read on for 10 creative ideas for decorating with LED light strips!

1. Make Safety Fun

Let’s start with priority #1 – safety. 

LED light strips are fantastic for illuminating dark, or potentially dangerous, areas of the home. These areas include your basement, garage, stairs, and attic.

Strip lights improve safety in senior bathrooms and kids bedrooms as well. Less fumbling in the dark means fewer slips and falls. 

2. LED Light Strips for Kids

For kids, LED light strips are especially fun. They’re reminiscent of those classic ground lights you find at the movie theater. 

Use strip lights as alternatives to nightlights. Plus, you can let the kiddos pick their own colors!

Here are a few more ideas kids love:

  • Install lights around windows to create ‘spaceship windows’
  • Create a light up ‘race track’ on the wall
  • Use glowing green lights in jungle bedroom themes
  • Create an ‘under-the-sea’ theme with blue lights

Glowing pink strip lights are also available to create magical princess bedrooms for kids. 

3. Create The Ultimate Gaming Room 

You can’t have a gaming room without cool lighting. 

Whether it’s lava lamps or mood lights, bold and creative lighting has always been a part of gaming room decor.  Even gaming chairs light up now!

LED light strips can be applied along the top, bottom, and corners of the walls to create a giant glowing cube of a room. 

Apply them around the edges of your TV stand and other gaming furniture to completely illuminate your gaming setup. The possibilities are endless here. 

4. Illuminate Your Garden

Glowing lights complement any garden, whether it’s indoors or outdoors. They’re also a hit with guests!

Wrap LED light strips around your palms and other indoor trees. Nestle them in your hanging ferns and ivy. 

Here are a few more ideas to dazzle up your indoor plants:

  • Line your pots and planters with sparkling strip lights
  • Create a glowing rainbow garden with multicolored lights
  • Decorate them with orange lights for Halloween
  • Wrap red, green, and white lights around trees during the holidays

For a subtle look, just add a touch of white lights here and there. 

5. Light Up Your Dinner Party

Love dining at night with mood lighting? You’re not the only one.

The LED lighting is ideal for transforming your dining room into a starry-night dinner party for your family and friends. 

Start by lining your dining room table with glowing strip lights. Then, lay a sheer, shimmering table cloth on top. This is a great way to add a soft, subtle glow to your table. 

You can even add twinkling strip lights to your centerpiece!

6. Decorate Your Mantle and Fireplace

Your mantle and fireplace are ideal places to let those home decor skills shine. 

Shake up your decorations every season with corresponding colors, plants, decorative items, and lights. For example, in fall, you could dress up your mantle with colorful autumn leaves, mini pumpkins, and warm-toned strip lights. 

For winter, decorate your mantle with leftover branches from your Christmas tree. Then, incorporate nutcrackers, ornaments, snow globes, and twinkling LED lights. 

Summer is the perfect time to go wild with palm trees, Dahlias, beach decor, and vibrant pink lights. 

7. Party Like It’s the 1980’s!

Nothing says “I love the 1980s” like fluorescent colors, lasers, and neon lights. 

Use LED light strips to create awesome neon signs, glowing squiggles, 1980s style lettering, and Miami Vice style palm trees on your wall. 

Line your 1980s video collection cases and favorite retro posters with fluorescent lights. And go back to the future with some of your favorite illuminated 1980s memorabilia, like Lite-Brite and glowworms. 

The 1980s were notorious for sweet light shows. Set up a projector in your home to create your own! You can also add a disco ball to reflect your LED lights.  

8. Give Your Bathroom a New Look

Earlier, you learned that strip lights can improve bathroom safety. This is especially true for seniors and young children. 

While they improve safety, LED lights also function as bathroom decor.

You’ll often find strip lights in the bathrooms of hotels, upscale restaurants, movie theaters, and other establishments. Why not incorporate them in your own bathroom?

A strip of LED lights around your bathroom mirror is a quick and easy way to give your bathroom that ‘vanity’ look. 

You can install strip lights inside your bathroom cabinets, drawers, and linen closets too. 

9. Brighten up Your Kitchen

Suffering from an uninspired kitchen?

Don’t remodel just yet. Sometimes all you need is new lighting to reinvigorate a kitchen. 

Start with installing an adjustable lighting system that goes from bright to mood lighting. Then, install strip lights under your cabinets, along the counter, inside your pantry, and on the ground. 

Make sure to install adequate lighting around your main cooking areas, especially your kitchen island. To make your island stand out during parties, line it with bright, colorful strip lights. 

A burst of new lighting may be just what you need to start cooking and entertaining again in your kitchen. 

10. Bring the Whole Family Together

Do you have a den or family room in your home? Inspire quality time again with illuminated decor. 

Install glowing LED light strips along your home entertainment furniture. You could even create a ‘mini movie theater’ complete with lighted walkways!

Keep it fun and let everyone partake in the decorating. This is the perfect place to let kids decorate to their heart’s content. 

Light the Way

You have tons of ideas at your disposal. Now, it’s time to let the fun begin!

Don’t wait to start decorating your home with versatile LED light strips. Take advantage of all the choices available to you to create beautiful, glowing decor. 

For even more ideas, check back often for lighting tips and tricks. Or, contact an LED lighting professional who can help you achieve your goals. 

Outdoor Rope Lights: 8 Creative Ideas to Transform Your Business Display

Outdoor Rope Lights

Nothing creates such a bad first impression as a horrible display. 

Thankfully, business owners don’t have to spend exorbitant amounts of money on outside displays. In fact, they can use some of the most basic and inexpensive materials available to create breath-taking designs that will draw customers. 

Chances are you have outdoor rope lights lying around in storage. Why not put them to use? You’ll be surprised at the amazing scenes you create. 

Are you ready to bedazzle passerby? Give these nifty decorating tricks a try.

8 Ways to Transform Your Business with Outdoor Rope Lights

The standard way of using rope lights is to light pathways and create words or designs in windows. While these are two fun and easy ways to spice up your company’s appearance, there are more creative methods to add the effect your business deserves.  

1. Lanterns

Lanterns manifest a beautiful and heartwarming atmosphere that immediately adds charm to your building. 

Create a pathway to your front door by hanging paper lanterns below the rope lights and looping the light through each lantern. 

The appeal to this design is its versatility. Business owners can use any number of company-related items to create lanterns, including baskets, wine bottles and more. It’s a great way to show off your wares. 

Even inexpensive additions, like Chinese paper lanterns, work well here and give your shop the perfect mystique to draw in customers. 

2. Customer Donations or Reviews

Do you have a contest for customers? Perhaps you have tons of reviews raving about your business? 

Use them to your advantage. Post a wall dedicated purely to your customers as a way to show your thanks, and illuminate it with rope lights. Choose a warm color to give a friendly vibe

Depending on your location, walls on either side of the entrance can be used to create this effect or you can use wood or leftover pallets. Staple, nail, or glue the photos to whatever board or wall you choose and string the lights between them.

Don’t forget to use all-weather photo paper!

3. Tulle Fabric

Tulle fabric is the mesh-net used on tutus and costumes. However, it makes an elegant entranceway when coupled with outdoor lighting. 

Gentle drapes boarding the doorway with white rope lighting beneath creates a fluttery, star-strewn effect. If your business has stairs or railings leading to it and is located in fair weather, even better.

Tie the material along the area, letting it drape elegantly down between each tied location. However, the possibilities don’t end there. 

Use the fabric to create any form you want. It can be tied into bowties, cut into flowers and wreaths or even made into small trees. If someone was inclined, he or she could make an entire tulle fabric garden alight with hidden rope lights as an entrance. 

4. Merchandise

Show off your wares by coiling rope lights within them. This is an easy, eye-catching method that advertises and creates a pleasant effect. 

Mason jars, bottles, pots, bowls and more make excellent merchandise that creates a mystical atmosphere. Set up an outside line of merchandise leading to the door or create an outside display with shelves and tables. 

If you have items on clearance or a sale, this tactic is also useful for bringing customers’ attention to the event.  

5. Light-Up Rug

If you’d like something simple but unusual, a light-up rug is an excellent choice. Crochet white or colored rope around your lights in a circle. The result is a simple and pretty design that gives a subtle glow.

Pick colors that complement your decor. White rope and yellow lights create a calm mood while colored ropes and white lights give a cheery ambiance. Blue lighting creates an electric atmosphere.

If you’d really like to add some flair, use color-changing rope lights to shake things up.

Place it at the entrance of your building to wow customers as they walk across it. 

6. Light Waterfall

Are you up for a dazzling display? Then this is the design you need. 

Purchase mirror garland, grab a spare curtain rod and shower hooks and prepare to see smiles on your customers’ faces. 

On the walls around the entrance or even on the door itself, place the rod and drape the mirror garland over the hooks at different lengths. Next, add the rope lights behind it by draping them in circles around the hooks. 

You’ll have a glittery, reflective wall that’s sure to catch many an eye. Contemplate a delicate sign beneath it or the store’s business hours. 

Depending on your entrance, this technique can make two glittering walls on either side of your customer as they walk in or it can be a simple design to bring attention to information or wares. 

Even better, small nails are an option in place of the rods and hooks.

7. Outside Chandeliers 

Literally light the way to the store’s door with outside chandeliers. You don’t need fancy glass or extravagant lights to do this. 

In fact, using hoola hoops, twigs, baskets or other items to create a chandelier is a viable and creative option. 

Wrap the lights around the item in whatever fashion you deem appropriate (don’t be afraid to let some of the lights dangle free) and hang it in the entranceway. 

Not only does this light the path to the store, but it also creates a fun exit. 

8. Garlands

Garlands are easy to make. Practically any material can create a garland. In this example, we suggest using greenery. 

Using fake plants brings a refreshing and welcoming decor to your doorstep.

Arrange your greenery and use wire to keep it together in the structure you’d prefer. Next, attach the rope light behind it, twisting it and turning it to achieve a more natural look. 

Add the greenery to your door or walkway for a natural and creative welcome. 

Shine the Light on Your Store

It’s time to shine the light on your store, and what better way to do it than with outdoor rope lights? These lights are inexpensive, they last for decades and they offer inexhaustible resources for future decorations. 

If you don’t have any rope lights in your store closets, now is the time to get them! Find the perfect decorating companion at our store, and light up your customers’ faces. 

Let’s Get Real: How Long Do LED Bulbs Last and Are They Worth It?

The average electrical bill for an American household is just over $110 per month.

At that price, electricity accounts for 9% of expenditure on housing. Considering the cost is expected to rise, you might be considering ways to save yourself money on your next energy bill.

LED are the longest lasting lightbulbs and they can help save money in both residential and commercial applications. But just how long do LED bulbs last and how are they cost-effective?

We’ll tell you all that and more so keep reading to find out.

History of the LED

The incandescent light bulb was the only choice for lighting a home not so long ago. These types of bulbs have been around for over 100 years. 

Incandescent bulbs work by heating a filament using an electric current. The current heats the filament up enough to produce light.

However, 95% of the electricity applied to the filament is lost as heat – meaning that incandescent light bulbs are very energy inefficient. More efficient alternatives have been released on the market in the last 20 or so years. 

The first alternative to hit the shelves was the fluorescent bulb. While they got their start in commercial and industrial applications, they’ve been adapted for home as the compact fluorescent bulb (CFL).

Today, LED’s are all the rage. While they’ve been around for some time, they’ve only recently seen a reduction in cost that makes them more affordable for the everyday homeowner.

How Long Do LED Bulbs Last?

The lifespan of the average LED bulb is 50,000 hours. That’s true for both tube LED’s, LED bulbs, and even halogen LED’s.

That lifespan is 50 times greater than that of an incandescent bulb. And your average CFL only last 1,000 hours. That means an LED lasts longer than any other bulb you can purchase.

How Much Do LED Bulbs Cost?

The costs for LED bulbs vary widely. And while the bulbs themselves may cost a significant amount, the money they save in the long-term is where you can expect to find your savings.

Below, we’ve broken down the cost-savings you can expect from LED bulbs into 2 categories: residential and commercial applications.  

How do LED’s Save Money in Residential Applications?

At $9 to $25 each, LED house lights are a bigger initial investment than their conventional alternatives. However, they use a fraction of the energy as those counterparts. So what you spend on the bulb is more than covered by the savings on your energy bill.

For example, if you run an incandescent lightbulb for 5 hours a day for 2 years, the cost is about $32. If you run an LED bulb for that amount of time, it’ll cost you approximately $12.

That’s $20 in savings over 2 years. What’s more, 75% of the cost of the LED is the cost of the bulb itself.

How do LED’s Save Money in Commercial Applications?

LED bulbs in commercial applications save you money in the same way as residential applications. That is, they use up to half the wattage of the traditional fluorescent tube lightings. That means a lower electricity bill.

LED’s for commercial use also last longer than conventional bulbs. They’ll last up to 20 years longer than fluorescent lights.

But commercial LED’s have an additional cost saving to consider.

In most commercial lighting where the traditional tube bulb is used, a ballast is required. Ballasts require constant replacement and should only be installed and replaced by a licensed electrician. 

A warehouse may have tens or hundreds or fixtures that require ballasts. Retrofitting those existing light fixtures with LED technology can thus save installation, maintenance, and labor costs associated with the ballasts.

And by installing a motion detector that turns the lights off when the room isn’t being used, the cost savings are even greater.

Things to Consider

If you’re considering switching your lights to LED house lights, think about how long you’ll be living in your current place. LED lights are a good option if you’re planning on staying in your home for quite a few years (because the savings are realized in the long-term). But if you’re planning on moving soon, don’t bother spending the money on expensive bulbs you won’t get the benefits of.

Another thing to consider is whether you need to replace all or just some of your bulbs. Think about how often you use certain lights and whether that’s often enough to see your return on investment. Some rooms may not need a replacement – for example, your laundry room or storage closet.

Other Types of Household Lights

Houses are typically lit with incandescent, CFL, or LED bulbs. But how do the former 2 types compare with LEDs?

Incandescent

These are the cheapest light bulbs money can buy – and for good reason. They consume 6 times more electricity than an LED.

Their lifespan is 50 times shorter than an LED, and their light is not as bright or consistent. Incandescent bulbs are also very fragile and break easily (i.e. need replacing quite often).

CFL

The pre-cursor to LED’s, these fluorescent bulbs made for residential use are far more fragile than an LED. And when they break, they’re dangerous. That’s because they contain mercury which is toxic to human health.

CFL bulbs also tend to flicker. But LED’s are tougher, brighter, and free of any flickers. And while CFL’s used to be cheaper than LED’s, it’s now possible to find LED for less up-front cost.

Fluorescent Tube Lights

When it comes to office buildings, professional offices, warehouses, and factories, fluorescent tube lights are the most common type of lighting. But LED tube lights are slowly taking over the old, inefficient fluorescent tubes of the past.

LED tube lights have a longer lifespan (50,000 hours versus 30,000 hours), consume less electricity, and don’t require the installation or maintenance of a ballast.

Do You Need a Lighting Upgrade?

‘How long do LED bulbs last’ and ‘how much money do they save’ are 2 important questions to consider when upgrading your lighting. Althgouh an LED bulb may cost you a bit more as an initial investment, they last a longer than traditional bulbs and they save you in energy costs.

When it’s time to upgrade your lighting, know your options. Check out our blog for more information.

Set the Right Mood: 6 LED Mood Lighting Ideas to Transform Your Home

Your home serves countless purposes every day. It might be a workspace. A place of comfort. A romantic setting. A place for family time. A media theater. An entertainment venue. How do you get the right lighting for all these purposes at once?

It all boils down to customization. With the right designs and the right LED bulbs, you can nail the mood lighting for any circumstance that arises. Need some ideas to get you started? Check out these tips to bring mood lighting into your home with LEDs.

Mood Lighting Ideas for Your Home

The term “mood lighting” is a loose one. It can mean setting the tone for a lively party, a romantic evening, or anything in between. To create the perfect ambiance for every room and every occasion, try these tips.

1. Dimmers

There aren’t many rooms in which you’ll want the same level of lighting for all circumstances. It’s even true in your bathroom. You might want bright, clear light while applying makeup but dim light for a midnight bathroom break so you don’t shock your eyes.

That’s why dimming lights come in so handy. You can set the light level of any room at will. You can turn your living room from a bright, high-energy party space to a low-lit romantic venue at any time.

With LEDs, there are plenty of options for dimmable light bulbs. Keep in mind, though, that you will need to install a special dimming switch to take advantage of this feature.

2. Indirect Light

When people think of mood lighting, most of us think of the light’s colors and its brightness. However, the way the light bounces can play a large role in the atmosphere it creates as well.

Instead of having all your LED downlights aimed at the main living space in the room, bounce some of them off walls, countertops, and other surfaces. This creates more of an ambient rather than a harsh spotlighting effect.

There are plenty of ways to do this. With LED bulbs in lamps or in track lighting, you can aim your light sources in varying directions.

You can play with bouncing your light off various surfaces as well. For instance, casting light onto a crystal vase will create a unique and light-amplifying pattern. Casting light onto a textured wall, on the other hand, will dim the light and also show off the wall’s texture.

3. Well-Placed Colors

Another great way to capture the mood of any room is to bring color into your lighting. There’s plenty of science behind the moods that various colors portray.

For instance, blue tones tend to have a calming, cooling, and relaxing effect. Red and yellow tones, on the other hand, have more of a warming effect.

Depending on the look you want to achieve, you can incorporate colored lights in plenty of ways. If your home has a modern style and you want to give it a more futuristic look, consider colored lighting under certain furniture pieces or cabinets.

Of course, you might not want the same colorful mood lighting at all times. To leave your options open, buy LED bulbs that can project varying colors. You can typically control these bulbs with any smartphone, letting you customize the mood for any occasion in an instant.

4. Warm Outdoor Lighting

Mood lighting shouldn’t be limited to the inside of your home. If you’re hopping onto the popular trend of well-furnished outdoor living spaces, the right lighting can make a great difference there as well.

Great outdoor lighting can create a welcoming, inviting atmosphere. One popular way to do this is with LED lights around the perimeter of your deck, patio, or other outdoor living space.

If you want to add a warm tone on cool nights, use lights that have a yellow undertone rather than bright white. If you want more light in the area, it’s better to go with a larger number of yellow lights rather than a smaller number of white lights.

5. Lit-Up Pathways

Speaking of outdoor lighting, your mood lighting shouldn’t be restricted to your outdoor living space. If you have walkways in your yard like a pathway from your driveway to your front door, the right mood lighting can make that path look warm and welcoming as well.

One of the best ways to do this is with LED foot lighting. Many homeowners install a series of small lights along the edge of their walking path. As much as you enjoy the warmth those lights create, they have other purposes as well.

When you’re the one walking your pathway, footlights will help you see your way and keep your footing. If they’re lighting the way for someone else, they’ll help you see who’s near your home.

Many homeowners take their landscape mood lighting a step farther with taller lamp posts or other light features as well. This can be a great addition to your curb appeal. However, make sure you coordinate all your outdoor lighting. For instance, make sure all the lights are the same color and brightness level.

6. Multiple Lighting Sources

Dimming switches and color-changing bulb are great ways to change the ambient lighting in any room. Another great option for variable mood lighting, though, is to have a variety of light sources.

Let’s look at your kitchen as an example. When you’re cooking, you want a bright light to see what you’re doing. When you’re entertaining guests, though, you may want dimmer, warmer lighting.

You can do this by having several types of light in the room. You might have recess lights, a row of track lighting, some hanging light fixtures, and LED strip lights under your cabinets. Connect each of these to a different light switch so you can turn on as many or as few of them as you want for the occasion.

Creating a Mood with LEDs

LED lights aren’t only loved for their energy efficiency and their safety. They’re also great for versatility and customizing your mood lighting to create any atmosphere you want at the drop of a hat.

To start exploring your options, shop our selection of LED lights.

Improving Your RV Lights: A How-To Guide

RV interior lighting ideas

In 2015 the RV industry had an economic impact of $50 billion. The great thing about this is lighting companies are starting to take notice.

It used to be that you were stuck with that ugly stock interior lighting. Not anymore though.

Thanks to increases in popularity in RVing, more people are looking to outfit theirs with a custom look. They want to make their RV a true cozy home away from home. A major element of this is lighting.

If you want to change out your RV interior lights, there are a few things you need to know first. We are going to help you get started with these tips.

Why Update Your RV Interior Lights

There are two main reasons to update your RV lighting. First is that they are the boring stock lighting that is more industrial than stylish. Second, the bulbs are not LED.

Anything other than LED lighting will be an energy hog. They also run the risk of getting really hot when they get left “ON” for long periods of time.

Know Your Bulbs

You need to know if your RV uses 120V or 12V lighting. Bulbs that are 120V work like the lighting in your home. They only work when plugged into a shore power station.

For 12V lighting, you can run them off of batteries. There are some RVs that only use this type of lighting.

Buy or DIY

Once you know what type of bulbs you need, you need to decide on a fixture to house them. You could make your own light fixture from almost anything.

This path is going to be time-consuming and complicated if you are not a pro at electrical. It will save you a ton of time, effort, and frustration to simply buy a fixture you like.

Installation

Installing your new lighting will be very similar to replacing a light in your home. You will have some mounting hardware and positive and negative wiring.

If you are unsure of what you are doing there are “how to” videos online that can walk you through the steps. If you do not feel confident after watching a few videos, it is best to hire a professional.

Switches

Don’t forget about the switches! You may find that your old lighting has the switch located on them.

Your first option is to find a fixture that also has the switch located on it. However, this will limit your options.

Instead, look for the third switch wire when you remove the old fixture. Then buy your own switch and install a separate switch by drilling a hole in your new fixture or your RV.

Cost

Before you start your project, take inventory of all of the light fixtures that are in your RV. You could easily find that you have as many as 13 different fixtures!

It can get expensive to replace all of these at one time. Instead, separate the fixtures into different categories. Replace the fixtures that will make the most impact first.

For example, if you have lighting by the head of the bed, or within eye level, change these out first because you are going to notice these.

Dome lighting in the ceiling you can wait on. These lights tend to blend into the ceiling and are less noticeable.

Lighting Ideas for Your RV

Now that you’ve got a good idea of how to go about replacing your lighting, now comes the fun part! Here are some creative lighting bulb and fixture ideas to take your RV interior to the next level.

LED Downlights

We know that we said you could leave the dome lighting for later, but if you hate those bulbous old lenses, you need to check these lights out.

These 6-inch recessed LED lights sit flush with your ceiling or wall once mounted. You also have the option of choosing between warm and cool white. This gives you control over the temperature of the light in your RV.

The LED bulbs will have low power consumption. And the aluminum case will ensure quick dissipation of any heat created.

LED Strip Lights

Don’t let yourself get tied down to trying to fit the old lighting fixture setup. LED strip lights are a great solution for lighting in small spaces where a fixture might take up too much room.

Think about putting them in your bathroom or kitchen area. These areas can feel cramped quickly but you also want a good amount of light.

The best part about these strip lights is that you can custom fit them to your RV. Order a roll of 16.4 feet, and then cut them to the exact size you need. They are also 12V, making them friendly for almost any RV.

LED Puck Lights

These lights may be small, but they pack a powerful punch. Depending on where you plan to put them, you can buy them with 45 to 120-degree beams. This means that you can have a wide swath of light or a strongly focused beam.

Each puck is only three inches, making them small and perfect for RV use. You can also string a bunch together so that one switch will control multiple pucks for a striking lighting effect.

Trick Out Your RV

Thanks to traveling the country in a tiny house or RV becoming more popular, your options for lighting are becoming plentiful. Don’t settle for the ugly and potentially dangerous stock lighting.

Take inventory of all of your RV interior lights. Then work your way through the list changing out your bulbs and fixtures for energy efficient LED ones.

The easiest way to do this is to find fixtures ready for installation. All you will need to do is remove the old, install the new, and enjoy all that new light.

Get started on your RV interior lighting with these LED bulb options.

LED Rope Lighting vs Strip Lighting: What’s the Difference?

LED Rope vs LED Strip

Looking to improve the ambiance of your home? Or are you only looking to start decorating for the upcoming holiday?

Strip and rope lighting are great for both. They can set whatever mood you want to create and they’re quite trendy too. They can be quite confusing for the average people, though.

Do they have massive differences aside from their appearance?

The answer to that is yes; while they both produce light, they have different applications. Which is the best one for your project then?

Find out below; we’ll see how they compare with each other in every aspect. First, let’s learn what they are.

What are LED Rope Lights?

Rope lights are a string of lights encased in a cylindrical tube. The tube’s material can be epoxy, plastic, or another type as long as it’s clear and can withstand the heat.

Nevertheless, rope lights don’t produce enough heat and light. This is why its applications are for decorations most times. You can cut rope lights, but it has to be at its cut point.

The cut point is different for every model. Some manufacturers place a cut point every 18 to 24″ while some may place it every 36″.

What are LED Strip Lights?

As the name suggests, this lighting fixture is a flat piece of material with LED lights mounted on the surface. The strip is a circuit board, and it usually comes with an adhesive on the backside.

It’s flexible enough for use in different applications, and it’s easy to cut with a pair of scissors, as well. You can also cut it at any length, but make sure to cut between the copper dots at the end of each LED.

Rope Lighting vs Strip Lighting

Now that you have a general idea of what a LED rope light and strip light are, let’s discuss their differences. As they have different capacities even though they look almost the same, the guide below will help you determine which is the right one for your project.

Light Source

Rope lights use LED bulbs most of the time because it’s more efficient. They sometimes use incandescent bulbs, as well. The power input is either at 120/220vAC or 12/24vDC.

Strip lights can come in various LED chip configurations. Some examples are 3528, 5050, 3014, and so on. These numbers refer to the size of the chip in millimeters (e.g. 3528 is 3.5mm x 2.8mm).

Brightness

As we’ve said above, rope lights don’t shine bright enough for use in accent lighting, display lighting, or any application where you’ll need a high amount of brightness. Still, the brightness should be enough if you’re planning to use them for decorative purposes, such as for creating the mood for Halloween and Christmas.

The brightness of the strip lights depends on the LED chip configuration. 5050, for example, has brighter chips than 3528. If you use the latter in a higher quantity that’s comparable to the 5050, however, it can shine brighter.

The 3020 and 3014 can be brighter than both, though. In summary, the brightness of strip lights can vary from low level to high level.

Size

Rope lights are small enough for use in small spaces, but they can be thick if you compare it to a strip light. The diameter of the tubes, in general, measure 1/2″ or 3/4″. Because of this, they can be rather prominent wherever you place them.

Strip lights, even with the mounted LED bulbs, are usually only 1/16″ thick and 3/8″ wide. They are much smaller than rope lights in comparison, which makes them perfect for tight spaces.

Bend Angle

You can’t bend rope lights too much at risk of messing up the internal wiring. On the other hand, you can bend strip lights 90 degrees. This allows you to place them in curved surfaces and on 90-degree corners.

Remember to bend them at a cut line – those 2 copper dots we mentioned earlier. They are rather flexible, as you can even twist or loop them.

Run Length

Both types of lights have a maximum length before they experience a voltage drop. This allows them to operate as normal without the risk of failure or dimming due to an inadequate amount of energy. We refer to it as the “max run.”

With a single power source, both LED rope and strip lights has a max run of 16 ft. with 12V. An incandescent rope light has a max run of 16 ft. as well. For 24V, strip lights can go up to 16 ft. while the others don’t have a specified length.

With 120V, incandescent and LED rope lighting can only go up to 150 ft., while strip lighting doesn’t have a specified amount. With that said, if you need longer lights, you need an additional power source.

Installation

Rope lights require mounting strips, which can make the product thicker, so you can secure them to the surface. Strip lights usually have an adhesive backing; you’ll only need to stick it to the surface and it will stay there for a long time.

Effects

Do you like your lights to change colors? Strip lights have that ability while rope lights aren’t capable of changing colors. Both are dimmable, though, and both have strobe effects. Strip lights can’t have a chasing or twinkling effect, though, both of which a rope light can do.

Indoors or Outdoors

If you plan to use them outside, you can choose whichever because both can also work outdoors. Note, however, that you can’t submerge them in water; they can only tolerate a little moisture. Sun exposure is a factor, as well.

With that said, many people prefer rope lights for outdoors, such as around the trees or around the door. You can usually find strip lights indoors, such as in cabinet shelves or on the walls.

Which One is the Right Type for Your Project?

Now that you know their differences, you should be able to decide which of the 2 would be great for your project. Whichever you choose, keep in mind that you have to choose high-quality ones. Visit our website now to see our vast collection of high-quality lighting.

If you have any questions about strip or rope lighting, feel free to contact us!

10 Unique Ways to Use LED Strip Lighting in Your Home

10 Unique Ways to Use LED Strip Lighting in Your Home

Your home is your castle, the place where you feel like you can be yourself the most. That’s why you feel a drive to make your home’s style represent you and your tastes.

Sometimes with home decor, though, it’s hard to find original ideas. If you want your decor to stand out from the crowd and be uniquely you, you might need to get creative.

That’s where LED strip lighting comes in. These modern light strips come in any variety of colors and strengths. When you use them right, they can accent and beautify any area of your home. Try these ideas.

Ways to Use LED Strip Lighting for Home Decor

Accent lighting is a great way to warm up any home, but you don’t need bulky fixtures or dozens of light bulbs to do it. Try these uses for LED strip lights instead.

1. Countertop Accent Lighting

Of all the ways to use light strips in your home, this may be the most classic. When you install light strips on the bottom of your kitchen’s upper cabinets, they shine down on your countertops and create a warm glow.

That glow brings out any sparkly notes in your countertop. As an added bonus, it adds a touch of extra light to your kitchen to help you whip up your signature dishes. Because the lights are LEDs, though, they’ll last for years and cost a minimal amount to operate.

2. Toeboard Lighting

Sticking to the kitchen, you can follow the same protocol for countertop light but install the lights under your bottom cabinets instead. This creates a unique look that’s getting more and more popular in homes with traditional and modern styles alike.

The area you’re lighting up with called a toeboard: the few inches below your bottom cabinets. In most kitchens, it’s wasted space. Why not turn it into a decor feature instead?

3. Accent Ceiling Details

One of the best ways to make a room look high-end is to have interesting ceilings. Perhaps you’ve chosen a tres ceiling or maybe you’re going with more of a cove look.

In some of these styles, especially with a ceiling cove, LED light strips can enhance your design choices. Uplighting inside a cove will offer a soft and relaxing ambiance while making your home look even more luxurious.

4. Turn Shelves Into Displays

Wall shelves are handy for storage, sure, but they have the potential to be so much more. Turn them into full-fledged displays by using LED light strips to your advantage.

This tends to work best with enclosed shelves like those in an entertainment center. When you install LED lights around the back perimeter inside the shelf, creating a glow that draws anyone’s eye.

5. Light Up Your Aquarium

For some homeowners, their aquarium is their passion project. For others, it’s just a casual hobby. In any case, you can turn it into a great design feature as well.

LED light strips above or around your aquarium will take it to the next level and bring in that beautiful blue light throughout your home. Of course, you should only do this if the plants and fish in your aquarium can thrive with the additional light.

6. Outdoor Uplighting

Let’s step outdoors for a moment. LED light strips can be a great way to accent your landscaping as well with strategic uplighting.

Try installing some light stips at the base of pillars in front of your home. You can also place them at the bottom of trees or other landscaping. It’s easy to experiment, but these light strips are a great way to add some curb appeal.

7. Under-Mirror Lighting

The bathroom is one of those rooms that’s hard to style. When you have the big items in place like your vanity, shower, and tub, there isn’t much room to add personal decor.

That’s where strip lighting comes in handy. When you install it along the underside of your bathroom mirror, it adds a luxurious touch without taking up space.

Depending on the size of your bathroom and your mirror, you could place the lighting around the entire perimeter of your mirror.

Keep in mind, though, that this may create a glare that covers several inches around the edge of the mirror. That’s why this only tends to work on huge mirrors.

8. Make the Most of Decor

Let’s say you have some favorite decor pieces in your living room, like a beautiful painting. While your painting looks great, it doesn’t “pop” like you thought it would.

Enter LED light strips. Install these light strips around the edge of your painting to make it stand out. For a more subtle look, you can put the lights behind the painting instead so the glow is soft but still eye-catching.

9. Modernize Your Furniture

If you’re a fan of an ultra-modern look, you may be missing an easy way to capture it.

Install strip lighting on the bottom of select pieces of furniture like your entertainment center or your bed. The unique lighting makes it look like your furniture is made with space-era magic.

For most people who choose this look, colored LEDs work best. Blue and red are popular choices, though it depends on your room’s decor.

10. Style Your Deck

Revisiting outdoor options, let’s take a look at your deck. As beautiful as a deck can be, the right lighting can make it stand out even more and give it an inviting feel.

The most popular choice is to install strip lighting on your railing around your deck. Whether you place it on a few accent posts or around the entire railing, it can give your outdoor space a warm and inviting feel.

Styling Your Home with LED Light Strips

If you’re like many homeowners, you’re always on the hunt for the next great way to decorate your home. Instead of scouring every decor store for that perfect piece that brings a room together, keep lighting in mind.

The right lighting will change the entire atmosphere of a room. The ideas above can help you do that with LED strip lighting.

To get started with your decor lighting today, shop for LED lights online.

10 Creative Ideas for Outdoor Holiday Lights

10 Creative Ideas for Outdoor Holiday Lights

Is National Lampoon’s Christmas your ideal when it comes to outdoor holiday lighting?

Regardless of the holiday, don’t get stuck in the same old decorating rut this year. We’ll help you pull out all the stops, and show those neighbors what’s up.

We’ve got your guide to 10 original ways to vamp up your outdoor lights this holiday season.

10 Creative Outdoor Holiday Lights

Get your creative juices flowing and choose an outdoor holiday lighting style to match your desired exterior look.

1. Vintage Pieces and Lights

Coordinating your outdoor lighting with charming decorative pieces can add a cozy touch to your display.

The vintage look is especially fun to try during Christmas by combining something like an antique sled with the classic, large-bulbed, colored lights. Simply drape your brightly colored bulbs over your old-school sled, and let the Norman Rockwell style Christmas begin!

For more vintage pairings, try draping your colored-bulbs with other pieces like beach cruiser bikes, wagons, or an old pair of skis.

2. Backlit Decorations

This style of lighting decor is striking for any holiday. Create spooky Halloween lighting with a witch’s silhouette. Simply use cut wood in the witch’s shape, paint it black, shine those spotlights on it from behind, and voila.

A versatile style of lighting, backlit decorations can also give off a reverent tone where desired.

Add a humble glow to your nativity scene at Christmas with some soft backlighting shining on your manger.

3. Whimsical Lantern Light

You’ve probably seen them everywhere from Home Depot, to Home Goods–mini lanterns are in when it comes to decorating.

Try lining your walkways or patios with these little lanterns, but instead of filling them with candles, try battery-powered string, or LED lights.

You can use anything from white twinkle lights to pumpkin lights, to vintage colored bulbs. This creative lighting is sure to make a statement.

4. Remote Controlled Lasers

Did the little child in you just thrill at the idea of remote-controlled lasers? Mhmm, we thought so.

These are fantastic for those looking for an easier way to impress with lighting this year. No muss, no fuss, and best of all, no ladders. Simply direct one little laser light at your home and sit back in your recliner and press your remote to turn them on.

These lights come in a variety of colors and displays. Give your neighbors a little show, and if you’re feeling really ambitious, add some theme music to accompany the changing look.

5. Natural Pendants

Pendant lighting is not just popular for interiors lately. Romantic, mysterious, natural pendant lights such as those made from willow are a unique way to add glow to your exterior.

Just throw some LED or twinkle lights into the middle of your pendants and hang them from your desired location. Group them in clusters to hang from your trees, or tastefully hang some on a patio.

Willow pendants are especially effective at adding texture and an outdoorsy feel to your exterior decor.

6. Moravian Stars

Shoot, these are magical anywhere you put them, hanging from trees, strung in a row, inside a tent, over a nativity, heck–in a kid’s playroom.

But we digress, these Moravian stars are fun to look at and are a refreshing break from the standard white twinkle lights.

These multi-point stars are also generally easy to store, as most fold up quite neatly come time to put them away.

7. LED Trees

“Branch out” this holiday, (see what we did there?). Create anything from your own haunted forest to a winter wonderland with beautiful LED trees. These can often be found in varying colors, with white being one of the more common.

These pre-lit trees eliminate the hassle of having to string twinkle lights on every branch of your own trees. They are conveniently lightweight.

For added interest, try hanging other holiday decorations from them. For Halloween, hang some paper bats from their branches.

For Christmas or other winter holidays, add some ball ornaments for a splash of color and fun.

8. Pine Garlands and Wreaths

Sure, you may be thinking, “is that …unique?” The answer is, YES. Bring back the classic look while every other yard on your street is donning the kitsch light-up reindeer and blow-up Santa’s.

White lights with pine garlands and wreaths are always in fashion and always classy.

Give your exterior a tasteful look to impress this winter with a pre-lit wreath on every front window. Harken back to a good old New England Christmas with pine garlands wrapped around banisters, porches, and doorways.

9. Wine Bottle Lamps

We all know that during the holiday season you probably have a few more wine bottles lying around than usual. Why not put them to good use?

Clean those beautiful bottles out and fill them with battery powered lights, or LED twinkle lights. Line your sidewalks or porch banister with this unique take on lamp lighting.

Not a drinker? Use another form of glass containers such as soda bottles or mason jars.

10. Fairy Lights and Snowflake Dust

This extra romantic take on white twinkle lights are not only fun to look at, but they’re a great craft to do with family to fill those longer winter nights.

Simply grab your string of white twinkle lights, a pair of scissors, some tulle, and rubber bands.

Cut out one 8×8 inch square from your tulle for every light bulb. Then, using your rubber band, tie the tulle around each bulb to create a little white “skirt” for each.

For the snowflake dust lights, you need: white twinkle lights, white “bouquet holders,” (aka doilies), and scissors. Cut a small hole in the center of each doily and poke the bulb of each twinkle light through the center.

This fanciful snowflake light looks especially lovely in a winter window.

Let There Be Light!

Now that you’ve got some unique, new ideas for outdoor holiday lights, be sure you’re hanging or setting them up properly.

Educate yourself and check out our helpful blog post on 10 key tips for how to hang outdoor string lights.

How to Install LED Strip Lights: Your Ultimate Guide

Want to learn how to install LED strip lights?

Did you know that residential LED products use 75% less energy than incandescent lamps? They also last 25 times longer. How does that affect you?

Well, let’s look at the big picture. By 2027, widespread use of LEDs could save the U.S. 348 TWh. That’s equivalent to a total savings of $30 billion.

When you install your strip lights, our country is one step closer to achieving that goal. Plus, you’ll have a reason to throw another house party.

We’ll make a bargain with you. If you take care of the installation, we’ll take care of the instruction. Below, we’ll outline the steps required for DIY LED light strip installation.

Read on to discover more.

Warning

This guide assumes that you have experience working with 120v power connections. If your uncomfortable working said connections, contact a local electrician for assistance.

Things You’ll Need

Below is a list of basic tools you’ll use for the project:

  • Lighter
  • Wire stripper
  • Power adapter
  • LED light strips
  • SPST toggle switch
  • Heat shrink wire tubing
  • Soldering iron and solder
  • Scissors (or knife) to cut the power cable
  • 3-prong AC power cable (for harvesting and rewiring)
  • Basic multi-meter to determine proper wiring on AC power cable

Note: if you’re confused about with LEDs to buy, read LED rope vs. strip lighting. It’ll give you a better idea of what’s available.

Power Supply: Choose a power supply that’s specifically built for the setup you have in mind. If possible, choose one manufactured by the same company that makes the LED strips you’ve chosen.

We’re using a 12V 18W power supply with a three wire input. The three wires have standard AC connections (for the U.S.). The first wire is the ground; the second, live; the third, neutral.

Power Cable: Choose a three-prong AC power cable that you can destroy. One customarily used for monitors is a good choice.

Prepare the Power Cable

You need access to the wires in the power cable. To expose them, cut off the end of the cable. Leave as much usable cable behind as possible.

Then use the wire strippers to cut through the wire’s plastic outer molding. Give yourself enough wire length to work with, but not so much that you’ll end up with exposed wire in your finished product. 2 1/2 inches should suffice.

Now, remove the casing. If you pull on the free end of the casing, it should slide right off the cable and expose the three wires inside. Remember to be gentle. If you pull too hard, you may destroy the wires.

Untwist and separate the wires inside. Pull them apart, so two wires form a “V” shape, and the other cuts the shape in half.

You then need to identify which is your ground, live, and neutral wire. The wires should be color coded:

  • Ground: Green or Bare Copper
  • Neutral: White or Grey
  • Live: Black, Red, White with Red or Black Tape, Blue, or Yellow.

If you used a monitor cable, you will likely find a green, a white, and a black wire.

Next, use the wire stripper to cut off a half inch of the casing, exposing the raw wire underneath.

Arrange the Shrink Tubing

The shrink tubing will cover the live wires to act as an insulator. The goal is to cover each individual exposed wire. Then, cover all three for additional protection.

It works best if you use small tubing for the wires and large tubing for the cable. Cut three pieces of small tubing. Each should be 2″ long.

Then cut a piece of large tubing that’s 6″ long. Slide the large tubing over the three exposed wires. Continue until it covers a section of the cable above the wires.

No part of the tubing should be touching the wires at this point.

In a similar fashion, slide one of the small pieces of tubing over the neutral wire. Push it further up the wire until it’s past the exposed wire. Follow the same procedure for the ground and neutral wires.

Solder the Wires

Grab your solder, soldering gun, and power supply. The power supply should have a cable with three exposed wires coming out of it, very much like the one you just created. Follow the chart above to discern which wire is the ground, the live, and the neutral wire.

Match each with its counterpart on the power cable. Ground to ground. Neutral to neutral. Live to live. Now solder each together with its counterpart.

When you finish, slide the small tubing down to cover the freshly soldered neutral wires. It should cover the entire exposed wire. It will replace the casing you stripped off earlier.

Now, shrink the tubing with the lighter. Shoot for a tight fit.

When you finish, follow the same procedure with the ground and live wires. Then, wrap up by covering all three with the large tubing. It should cover all the work you’ve done so far.

When you shrink it into place, you should see two black cords separated by your large tubing. The rest of your handy work should be hidden.

Strip the LED Wires

Get out your LED lights. Now strip the cable and wires in the same manner you used on the power cable. You’ll find only two wires inside the outer cable. Strip each wire, leaving 3/4″ of exposed wire.

Do the same to your toggle switch, leaving two wires. The exposed parts should only be 3/4″ long. Your goal is to wire the toggle switch directly to the LED plug.

You’re going to follow the same procedure you used to cut and place each shrink tube. Then, you’ll solder each of the wires to its counterpart. Finally, you’ll cover the exposed wires with the tubes and shrink it into place.

When you’re finished, plug in the power supply and test the LED strip.

Mount the Lights

This last part is actually the easiest part. Start by measuring the length of the light strip you’ll need. You strip will have guides written on it, telling you exactly where you can cut it. Cut the side you need.

Then measure out two pieces of double-sided adhesive to cover the underside of your adapter. Remove the non-adhesive tape to expose the sticky adhesive and stick the power adapter in the location you desire.

The back of your strip lights has a similar, strong adhesive. It’s also covered with a non-adhesive tape. Remove it, and stick your lights to the location you desire.

Double check to make sure your lights work, and you’re done. Great work.

After Your “How to Install LED Strip Lights” Guide

So, are you ready for your next lighting project? After you discover how to install LED strip lights, it’s simple to repeat the procedure. They’re excellent under shelves, desks, and entertainment coves.

Keep up the good work so that we can hit the goal of $30 billion by 2027.

If you found this information helpful, take five minutes to browse our library of all things LED.

So long and good luck!

LED Ambient Lighting: How to Create Ambient Lighting With LED Strips

Ambiance isn’t just a nifty sounding French word to whip out at social gatherings. It has some direct effects when applied to the real world.

Creating ambient lighting in your home bridges the gap between your internal and external worlds. Why not paint the walls with a mood and let it radiate how you feel?

With LED ambient lighting effects and designs, you can transform a space into a setting. Not just one setting either, the newest LEDs feature programmable options so you can build several effects in the same room.

Read on to learn why ambient room lighting has become a decor must.

LED Ambient Lighting Benefits

Would it surprise you to find out that LED (light emitting diode) light is naturally colored? This quality makes them use slightly more power when creating white light over colored lighting effects.

No other choice for lighting provides as much energy efficiency for the same effect. LED ambient lights also broadcast little heat. This means their use in tight locations won’t cause burning and discoloration like other lights.

Outside of these nifty benefits, LEDs also boast significant Longevity and Versatility. These traits grow when compared to other light sources.

Longevity

According to the US Department of Energy, the median lifespan of LEDs is 52,000 hours or 6 years. That is if they were running continuously the whole time.

Many people run their lights only for an average of 6 hours a day (8 in the winter). That puts the lifespan of an LED fixture in the ballpark of 18-24 years.

Versatility

The power source for LEDs run in serial circuits along long chains with no loss of brightness to units at the end of the line. This provides bright and even lighting across large surfaces.

Neon lighting effects are notorious for bright and black spots (which, admittedly is its own kind of ambiance).

LED mood lighting strips are low profile. You can attach them on to the floor without fear of tripping over them. You can stick them under a counter or even suspend them from string easily.

No other light source can get into as many places with DIY techniques. Other light sources require professional lighting engineers to construct installations. Even then, the effects are often limited.

Ambient Lighting Ideas

Ambient lighting combines several different concepts and techniques to create an overall mood.

Consider all of the surfaces of a room and where light can come from. While overhead lighting may be most effective for seeing with, lower lighting can provide depth. Combinations of dimmer and brighter light give shape and contour to shadows, which can change the visual dimensions of a room.

Reflected light can diffuse and scatter which creates new tones and qualities. Targeted task lights can draw the eye to a key feature or provide exceptional visual assistance.

Let’s break down the four key techniques for establishing LED mood lighting.

Dimmers

Dimmer switches make any lighting project better. You literally dial in the level of light you want.

Dimmers attached to multiple light fixtures can allow you to shape and contour the light in an area as if you were painting with the light.

Darkening the ceiling and brightening the lower lights creates an ethereal or spectral feeling. The reverse forms a warm and inviting space perfect for reading or enjoying company.

Dimmers are best installed by a professional for set light fixtures. However, with LED mood lighting strips, dimmers operate through a control unit. A computer program directs the unit with easy software and no extra knowledge needed.

Accents

Accent lighting is about adding color and illumination to areas that normally fade into the background. The same way accessories draw attention to otherwise overlooked bits of the body.

Mounting an LED strip to the underside of a counter can create a wonderful glow for enticing the eye to the contents above. Lights along molding or cabinets provide ways to show off curios and collections.

Light runners along the floors can create pathways which can be color-coded to direct traffic at an event.

The flexible housing of LED lights allows them to be quickly molded to any shape needed. Anchor the lightweight LED strips adhesives or spaced brackets and staples.

If you use staples, you want to go with something larger than the strip so as not to pierce the housing. This won’t cause an electrical shock but can interrupt the flow and blank out sections of a strip.

Task Lighting

Design spotlights for helping with a job or delivering specific attention to a feature with LED strips. Diffuse lighting built into the wall of a bedroom provides enough direct illumination to read while being soft enough to sleep under.

LED lights are durable. Consider freezing them into a block and then shaping the block into a quick geometric pattern for an amazing DIY ice sculpture.

Provide extra light to a work area like a sewing desk, a painting easel, or a workbench. Simply stick up the lights to any nearby surface. House lights in reflective surfaces to amplify their power.

Task lighting lets you bring one area of a room into full view and still have the rest in a combination of smooth and dim illuminance.

Indirect Lighting

A touch of color or the addition of a shadow manipulates the way we see space. Apply some LED strips if you want a hallway to look as if it goes on forever or stops in sudden darkness.

Evening out the lighting in a room can open it up and make the whole space feel usable. Too often incandescent bulbs create halos of light which force you into the center and away from the shadowy corners.

Stairways and bathrooms become safer to traverse later at night. Dim but visible lighting lets you operate without waking up the house or giving you eye strain.

Soft but lower perception lighting has a history in sleep studies with creating different levels of sleep. These can help children sleep better and wake up faster.

Make It Your Own

Don’t limit your lighting choices to old concepts of placement. New lighting technology gives you the freedom to reimagine every space and make it your own.

Ready to get started on your own LED ambient lighting projects? Check out our shop and get started today. We have plenty of other light related advice and information as well.

Decorating With Christmas Lights When It’s Not Christmas: 8 Ways to Pull It Off

If you go a little overboard on Christmas lights and decorations, you may have a surplus of festive decor just laying around 11 months out of the year!

Sure, you may not be racking up $82,000 in energy bills, but it’s easy to fill a crowded garage, attic, or basement with unused equipment.

It seems like such a waste to spend money on beautiful decorations only to use them for a single holiday. This is why we’re looking at other options for decorating with Christmas lights.

Today, we’ll show you the best ways to use your lights even outside of Christmas!

Decorating With Christmas Lights: Easy Mode

Before we get into some specific DIY Christmas lights decorating ideas, we want to cover a simple and easy rule of thumb…

Use white string lights whenever and wherever!

There are lots of options out there for Christmas lights, but many people tend to opt for simple, white stringed lights.

This is great because white stringed lights go with almost anything. Usually doesn’t even matter what the decor of your house is, white stringed lights are practically universal.

It’s a little more difficult if you’re a colored Christmas lights type of person, but not necessarily impossible.

There are still some more specific ideas on how to decorate with Christmas lights, though, which we’ll delve into now.

String Up Your Patio, Porch, or Lanai

Just like under cabinet lighting, you want to use lights to set a certain mood and ambiance.

What better place to spruce up the ambiance than with outdoor Christmas lights?

The good news is that you’re planning on decorating outside of the (presumably) cold winter months, so now is the time to move those lights outside.

An easy way to do this is simply stringing them up above you. Give the strands of lights a little sag, which adds an extra touch of visual aesthetics to your patio lighting too.

Make sure to grab some suspension cable if your patio or porch doesn’t have a ceiling or isn’t already conducive to hanging lights.

Wrap Them Around Plants and Trees

Decorating with Christmas lights doesn’t need to be tied to just Christmas trees.

If you like to have indoor trees and plants in your house, feel free to wrap some Christmas lights around them anyway.

Again, especially if you use plain white stringed lights, this look is timeless and doesn’t need to just be used from December 1st to the 31st.

Highlight Your Bedroom Mirror

A tall bedroom mirror is great for double checking your outfit for the day or adding the illusion of more space.

Try highlighting your mirror by framing it with DIY Christmas lights. You can either make it a simple border with 90-degree angles or add some wavy and chaotic pattern for some flair.

Either way, this makes for a very cool effect as they’re reflected on the mirror and it adds to the overall lighting of the room.

It’s always good to get some extra lighting when checking yourself out anyway.

Create a Reading Nook

This idea is especially useful when you have young children.

Reading is important for childhood development (or anyone, really). But some children are resistant to reading when so many screens and devices crowd their attention these days.

That’s why it’s important to make reading as inviting and accessible as possible.

A good idea is to make a themed reading nook or corner and decorating with Christmas Lights.

You could simply string the lights up in a tent shape or frame around a corner of a room with a small bookshelf and some bean bags or a bench.

You could also go heavier on the theme. For example, make it space themed with astronaut or spaceship figurines on the bookshelf. Then, you can make a quilted mural of a moon and/or stars and highlight the moon or stars with cut-outs.

String the Christmas lights behind the quilt and have the lights poke out through the cut-outs.

This will incite creativity in your child’s mind and make them want to go to the reading corner.

Then again, you could scrap the idea of a children’s reading nook altogether and just make one for yourself.

Hang the lights up from a hook on the ceiling and then drape them down in a tent-like shape above a chair or bench. Create a little space for yourself removed from the rest of the world and have reading lights all in one design!

String Up Polaroids and Pictures

In the digital age, physical pictures become rarer and rarer.

Still, some people like to feel a picture between their fingers. Physical photos can make for some interesting decorating ideas, too.

One way to mix photos with Christmas lights in the living room is to use the strands of Christmas lights as a string for creating a mural of photos on the wall.

Simply grab some clothespins and clip them on the strand in between the lights.

It will make for a well-lit and story-filled centerpiece.

Bundle Them Up

There are a lot of places to use this idea, but consider taking strands of Christmas lights and bundling them up like a ball of rubber bands.

This makes the lights more concentrated and brighter.

Put the ball in a glass container like a mason jar or vase and next thing you know you’ve got a bright light source that’s aesthetically pleasing.

An idea like this can even be a replacement for a lamp itself!

Thinking Outside the Box with Lighting

Similar to colors, lights are a fun way to play around with the look and decor of your house.

Decorating with Christmas lights doesn’t have to only be for the month of December, too. Feel free to play around with strands of Christmas lights (especially if you have plain white ones) every day of the year.

They don’t need to waste away in boxes in your garage, attic, or basement. Feel free to pull them out year round and make your home happier, brighter, and more playful.

If you think you have some interesting ideas for LED lighting, feel free to submit your project anytime!

10 Halloween Lighting Ideas That Will Scare Your Guests

Decorating for Halloween can be a lot easier than most people make it out to be. Forget about the mess of putting up fake spiderwebs and sacrificing your spare bed sheets to make yard ghosts. The best way to make your home a little spookier is to use Halloween lighting!

The right lighting is sure to create the look you’re going for. Whether you want to be the scariest house on the block or just have a little fun when handing out Halloween candy, you have to figure out what kind of lighting will best set the scene.

Here are ten cool Halloween lighting ideas for you to choose from.

1. Backlight Halloween Objects in Your Windows

To backlight something means to illuminate it from behind. It’s basically the opposite of creating shadows, but when used correctly, it’s even spookier.

This is a great option if you have yard decorations you want to take to the next level or indoor Halloween items you want to backlight for onlookers to see. Backlighting something as simple as a hand or an outline of a witch’s hat or a scary cat is an easy way to give the house the right sense of scariness.

2. Candlelight the Doorway

If you’re not trying to completely freak people out, you may be better off setting up candles around the doorway. Get creative with your jack-o-lanterns this year. Try to make them all cohesive instead of coming up with super different designs.

More so, create as much room for the candles to shine through as possible. This helps illuminate the porch as trick or treaters get closer to the door. Not to mention, they’re pretty entertaining to look at when there’s a line of people waiting for their candy.

3. Fog Light the Yard

Get some fog lights if you want to turn the spookiness up a notch. All it takes is two or three of these to transform the whole yard.

Fog lighting is one of the easiest ways to turn your property into the ultimate Halloween house. It’s also easy to manage if you’re someone who likes to have their Halloween decorations up as long as possible.

4. Create Shadows in the Driveway

While it’s good to put up some decorations a week or two before Halloween, this lighting idea works best on the night of. Set up items in your yard that you can cast shadows with onto the driveway or the side of the house.

Shadow figures can make it look like there’s a monster hiding in the bushes or a creepy creature following people as they go to get their candy. It takes a bit of extra planning to get the shapes and shadows just right, but it looks really cool when you figure out how to pull it off!

5. Put a Strobe Light Inside

This is one of the easier Halloween lighting ideas, but it never gets old. All you have to do is put a strobe light somewhere near the front windows of your home. It can be right by the front door or off to the side.

But, keep in mind this will be going all night. You don’t want to put a strobe light in the living room if you plan to be watching TV as you wait for trick or treaters. If this is where the biggest window is, though, put something behind the strobe light so that the effects mostly affect the outside, not the inside.

6. Color Light the Whole House

Another way to have some fun with lighting this Halloween season is to color light your home. You can put red all over the yard to create a scary scene or shine an orange-colored light to spread the spirit of Halloween. Maybe even combine a few different colors to see what kind of unique, spooky setting comes of them.

7. Light the Fence

If you have a fence that is a good distance away from the front door, don’t forget to light this part of your home, too. Try to get lights that go on and off in a flickering fashion for a scary effect. For something more light and cheery, jack-o-lantern string lights should do.

8. Skip Candle Jack-o-Lanterns for Artificial Ones

Speaking of light-up jack-o-lanterns, consider putting these all over your porch and yard. These are much easier to set up and manage than regular candle jack-o-lanterns, plus you can reuse them year after year.

You don’t want to have the same jack-o-lantern all over the place, though. The trick to using this Halloween lighting style is to find different light-up designs.

9. Use Sensory Lights

Here’s another interesting option to think about: sensory lights. These are the fun, spooky alternative to having objects pop out at people as they get their Halloween candy. Instead, sensory lights are what pop out of nowhere and make your guests jump back or think twice as they walk along their path.

10. Combine Different Halloween Lighting Styles

Keep in mind you don’t have to pick just one or two of the Halloween lighting ideas on this list. The best way to create the ultimate Halloween lighting is to mix a few of these suggestions together!

One way to do this is by putting strobe lights in the house and color lights on the outside, with artificial jack-o-lanterns everywhere. Or, go the classic approach with traditional jack-o-lanterns and fog lighting with a bit of shadow lighting placed strategically around the yard.

Bring Your Favorite Halloween Lighting Ideas to Life

You can read about Halloween lighting ideas all day, but at some point, you have to get to work. Take a moment to choose the decor suggestions you want to use this year then figure out how to make them happen.

For more holiday lighting tips and tricks, click here!

What the Puck Are These For? 8 Great Uses for Puck Lights

Light is so powerful that light therapy is used to treat the 4 to 6% of Americans who have Seasonal Affective Disorder. Seasonal Affective Disorder, also called winter depression, is most likely caused by the long, cold winter nights and lack of sunlight.

Sunlight and good lighting can make a difference in our mood and overall happiness.

Good lighting is important for your home as well. Interested in a lighting project for your home? Not sure what kind of lights you need and where to place them? We suggest you try puck lights.

Puck lights can do wonders for your home. They can illuminate areas you never thought of and cast a warm, happy glow around your home. Not sure how to use them? Read on to learn about 8 great uses for puck lights.

What is a Puck Light?

A puck light is a small light that is shaped oval or round. These LED lights are convenient and easy to mount. You can buy them in various intensities. You can even get dimmable puck lights for nighttime use.

Puck lights can be battery operated, or you can plug them in. You can mount them on the wall, or you can attach with velcro. There are puck lights that turn on with the touch of your hand.

Why Use Puck Lights?

Puck lights are great for adding accent lighting to areas in your home.

Most commonly, they are used in the kitchen to highlight countertops.

However, you can use them in a variety of other ways. You can use them for lighting projects throughout your home or as additional lighting for your workspace.

7 Creative Uses for Puck Lights

1. Underneath Cabinets

The standard use for puck lights is underneath kitchen cabinets. The soft glow of the lights illuminates your countertop space.

The bright general lights in your kitchen don’t do much to reflect the beauty of your countertops. If you have a reflective countertop surface, such as granite, puck lights are perfect for highlighting their beauty.

2. Highlight Decor on a Shelf

Puck lights are not just for practical uses. The effect of puck lights casts a spotlight on the item it illuminates.

The lighting is perfect for highlighting your favorite vase or decor piece on a shelf.

3. Inside Kitchen Cabinets, Drawers, or the Pantry

Want a late night snack but don’t want anyone to catch you? Don’t turn on the light! Instead, install puck lights in your cabinets and food pantry. Guide the way to bedtime snacking.

Have fancy tableware? Install puck lights in your kitchen drawers to show off your silverware too.

4. Create a Reading Nook

The soft glow of puck lighting is perfect for reading.

Do you have a window seat? You can create a small reading nook with fluffy pillows, a fuzzy blanket, and dimmable puck lights. No window seat? Clear out a corner of your bedroom and transform it into your reading space.

Puck lighting can make it easier for you to read before bedtime.

Now all you need is a good book.

5. Walkways and Outdoor Seating Areas

Summer nights were made for sitting outside on your porch swing or outdoor patio. Finding the right lighting can be difficult. You don’t want the lighting to be too bright and feel like you’re indoors. You also don’t want a bright light that would block out all the stars.

Puck lights can cast the perfect light outdoors and retain that dark, cozy atmosphere.

You can also install puck lights to your walkway to make it easier to find your footing at night.

6. Hallways

Have you ever found yourself stumbling in the hallway in the middle of the night? Or if you have young children, it can be difficult for them to see where they’re going at night.

You could put a nightlight in the hallway, but that can look childish. Instead, you can install classy puck lights along your hallway to avoid nighttime stumbling.

7. In the Bathroom

Imagine yourself waking up in the middle of the night. You’re half-asleep, and you need to go to the bathroom. You walk into the bathroom and turn on the light. Your eyes take a few seconds to adjust.

After a few minutes, you are suddenly wide-awake. You go back to bed, and you spend the next hour or two tossing and turning.

Why does this always happen?

Light interrupts our circadian rhythm. Our circadian rhythm is how our bodies regulate our sleep and wake cycles.

The light you turned on signaled your brain that it’s daytime, and it’s time to wake up.

To avoid this, you could add dimmable puck lights in your bathroom. The dimmed light is less likely to affect your circadian rhythm, and you’re more likely to drift off to sleep easier.

8. In Your Office

Our productivity is affected by light. Research shows that 68% of workers are unhappy with the lighting in their offices.

Bright, harsh office lights can reduce our productivity and make us stressed by increasing our cortisol levels. Lights that are too dark can strain our eyes. The best type of light for our productivity is light that is soft and looks natural.

With puck lighting, you can do away with the bright lighting and customize the intensity of the light that you want for your workspace.

Interested in Installing Puck Lighting?

Are you feeling inspired to take on a lighting project for your home? Want even more inspiration for puck lights? Read our blog for more project ideas and tips to get you started.