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!

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.

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.

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!

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.

LED vs Halogen, CFL, or Tungsten: Which Bulbs Are Better?

LED bulb prices have dropped 85% over the last few years. Combined with long-term energy savings of thousands of dollars, LED bulbs are enticing.

When it’s time to replace the light bulbs in your home, you have a choice to make. You could choose LED, halogen, CFL, or tungsten.

LED bulbs have a higher up-front cost but save you money long term. Halogen and CFL bulbs are cheaper but also less efficient.

We’re going to help you compare led vs halogen, CFL, and tungsten. We’ll look at how they function, energy consumption, and lifespan.

Let’s dive in!

LED

LED bulbs produce light by passing an electrical current through them. They’re the most energy efficient and last the longest.

How It Works

Two semiconductors create the light in an LED. One has electrons and the other has holes. The current passes through the two of these semiconductors.

When this happens, the electrons and holes combine to create photons. This is where the light comes from.

This reaction needs and creates the least amount of heat. This gives them the ability to last longer and work in cold temperatures.

How Long They Last

A single LED bulb can last 50,000 hours. You could go years before ever thinking about replacing your Christmas lights.

The Light Produced

The light produced by an LED contains no infrared or ultraviolet light. You would have to buy an LED meant for this light if that’s what you wanted.

You can find LED bulbs in a variety of light colors. Choose from amber, cool tones, warm tones, or pure white light.

Halogen

Halogen light bulbs are like incandescent bulbs but with some key differences. There’s a tungsten filament, but they also have halogen gas.

How It Works

The gas and tungsten mix together and go back onto the filament. This makes the bulb last longer.

It also makes the bulb run at a higher temperature. The higher temperature makes it have a brighter light output.

The bulb has an outer envelope made of quartz instead of glass. The quartz handles the increased heat better.

CFL

Compact fluorescent lamps save energy with the hope of replacing incandescent light bulbs. The base of these bulbs fit into fixtures meant for incandescent bulbs.

How It Works

A CFL bulb produces light by passing an electrical current between two electrodes. There’s an electrode placed at each end of the tube.

The gas-filled tube contains the reaction between the current and the gas. The combination creates ultraviolet light and heat.

This creation converts to light when it comes into contact with the phosphor coating. The whole process can take 30 seconds to 3 minutes to complete.

LifeSpan

Over time, your CFL bulb will dim. After about 4,000 hours, you’ll lose 20-25% of the bulb’s lumens. This is about halfway through a CFL’s 10,000-hour lifespan.

Tungsten

You probably are more familiar with the name incandescent. These bulbs are the least efficient and are going through a phase-out.

Incandescent bulbs are glass instead of quartz. Inside you’ll find a brittle filament wire.

How It Works

Inside each bulb is a small wire. As an electric current flows through this filament, it heats up and glows.

Heat then radiates out like it would in a space heater. A small amount of this heat converts to light.

When the light is on, the heat produced burns the tungsten filament. This burning continues until the filament breaks and the bulb is “dead”.

Legislation

As of 2012, the first phase of the federal government’s regulations went into effect. These regulations set maximum wattage requirements for bulbs produced.

In 2020, the second round of regulations will take effect. This phase will mandate all general-purpose bulbs to be at least 45 watts.

LED vs Halogen

You’ll find that halogen bulbs come in wide variety of shapes and sizes. They’re most commonly used as spotlights and floodlights.

When comparing halogen vs led lights, halogen bulbs produce a lot of infrared and ultraviolet radiation. They also produce a ton of heat.

The high amount of heat makes it possible to get burned if you touch one. Cold temperatures also reduce their ability to function.

Unlike LEDs, touching a halogen bulb can cause it to malfunction. Skin oil will cause the bulb to stop working or even burst.

The light you get from a halogen bulb is a cooler white light. You can expect to get 3,600 hours of light from a halogen bulb.

CFL vs LED

You’ll notice that CFL light bulbs have a spiraled curly look to them. While LED bulbs are long and straight.

CFL bulbs use a quarter of the energy that incandescent bulbs once used. LEDs beat this by using 75% less energy.

LED bulbs contain no mercury or harmful gasses or toxins. They also don’t have a brittle filament or delicate outer casing.

LED vs Incandescent

Incandescent bulbs cannot come close to LEDs when it comes to efficiency. They only use about 10% of the energy they consume to make light.

That means 90% of the energy consumed gets wasted. So much used energy and the bulb only lasts 1,200 hours.

The light produced isn’t clean, meaning it contains infrared and ultraviolet radiation. This radiation damages fabrics and art.

You’ll find that you cannot buy a 40 or 60-watt bulb in the United States. The bulbs you can buy are fragile, making them more delicate than LEDs.

Which Is Right for You?

It shouldn’t be a tough decision between led vs halogen or any other type of bulb. LEDs provide the most light while using the least amount of energy.

They are shockproof which makes them durable. You won’t get this durability with halogen or incandescent bulbs.

While the initial investment of LED bulbs is higher, they last a lot longer. You can expect your LED bulbs to last 42 times longer than your incandescent bulbs. They can last 13 times longer than your halogens bulbs.

Start outfitting your house with LED lights.

Get Lit: How to Give Your Bar Cool Mood Lighting and Improve Its Atmosphere

How much thought have you given to your bar lighting?

You probably put careful thought into the seasonal decor, the drink specials, the menu, and of course, the staff you hire. But if you’re not invested in the best restaurant lighting design, you’re missing an important piece of the puzzle.

Research has shown that lighting can change a person’s subjective response to a situation. That means you can literally change how your patrons feel while they’re in your establishment by changing up the lighting. They might not consciously notice the difference, but they’ll find themselves coming back to your establishment again and again.

Ready to learn what you need to know about bar lighting? We’ve got your answers here – keep reading to learn more.

1. Consider Color Temperature

Yes, colors have a temperature! At least, they look like they convey a sense of warmth, coolness, or something in between. And the temperature you choose to convey can say a lot about your space.

As a matter of fact, lights don’t just appear to be warm or cool: they literally have a temperature, which is measured in Kelvin. Each source of light has its own color temp. But color temperature isn’t like body temperature – it’s actually not related to heat output.

If you want warm light, that doesn’t mean you need to buy heat lamps. Lower color temperatures are actually associated with warmer-looking colors. As the Kelvin color temperature goes up, the light veers into cool-looking blue territory.

It’s a bit confusing, but it’s basically just the opposite of the way we usually think of temperatures. Warmer light temps mean cooler light colors and vice versa.

What’s the right temperature for your bar? Most experts agree that warm-looking amber hues are a winner. They make people feel comfortable, which can encourage them to eat and drink more. If the light color is too cool, it takes on a greenish cast, which makes people, food, and drinks all look unappealing.

Color Caveats

Sometimes, you’ll be restricted by certain things that affect the color temperature you can choose.

You’re probably working with a budget, and with local building codes. For example, the local codes might require you to use LED lights. LEDs also help save money, keeping you under budget. However, there aren’t many colors to choose from when it comes to these lights, so this might restrict your temperature choice.

However, over the years, lighting manufacturers are gradually introducing more variety in the bulbs you can choose from. There are also other ways to visually change the color of the space. If the light is too cool, use warm paint on the walls to counteract the effect.

2. Choose the Right Brightness

How bright or dim should your bar be?

People have different associations with different brightness levels. No matter what the color temperature is, if the lights are too dim or too bright, it will mess up the ambiance. Bright fluorescent lights are harsh, not welcoming. That’s why they’re used in fast-food establishments; they don’t want people to stay longer than they need to.

Of course, you don’t want your bar lighting to scream “fast food.” Dim light is usually ideal for upscale food and drink establishments. Be especially careful if you’re designing with exposed light bulbs since they can easily become way too bright.

Then again, you don’t want the light to be too dim. People will get annoyed if they feel like they need to use their phone’s light to read the menu.

The light in the kitchen always needs to be on the bright side, so your staff can see what they’re working on. However, if you have an open kitchen concept, make sure the light looks pleasing to patrons, even though it’s bright.

3. Use Layers of Light

A layered look is a great way to get the bar lighting just right. The best lighting almost never comes from having all the lights at the same height.

Especially for tricky situations like an open kitchen, layering can help. Try using lower ambient lighting so the staff can see their work, without blinding the eyes of your patrons. For a bar, pendant lightings always look nice, but you don’t want them to be too low. Otherwise, it will seem like there’s a wall between the customers and the staff.

No matter what, if you use layered lighting, you need to plan for a cohesive-looking result. It shouldn’t seem haphazard.

4. Placement Matters

It goes without saying that where you place the lights is an important factor in restaurant lighting designs. But which placements are best?

The right temperature, fixtures, and lighting output will do no good if the lights aren’t in the right places. For example, it’s nice to see lighting over restaurant tables, but if it’s too close customers will feel like they’re in a spotlight.

Even if you want more of a nightclub feel, there needs to be brightness in the appropriate places, even though you don’t want it too bright. The bar needs to be lit so people can easily find it. People also need to be able to see the dancefloor, the DJ, and any performers. No matter how dim you want it, strategic lighting goes a long way.

5. Try to Be Invisible

Your lighting, if it’s done right, is something most customers will never notice. It should blend into the background and become an “invisible” part of the experience.

If the lighting is off, anyone will notice it. If the lighting is just right, only people who consciously pay attention to design will take note – and it will be in a good way.

Ready to Buy Better Bar Lighting?

Did some of these bar lighting tips come as a surprise? Hopefully, you now have a few ideas for how to design the lighting in your new establishment – or upgrade the lighting in an existing one.

Looking for more commercial lighting tips? Learn how you can make more sales with great retail lighting here.

Pimp Your Ride: How to Install LED Rope Lights On Your Car

If you’re in the market for some new upgrades for your ride like in Need For Speed, take a look at LED rope lights. LED light strips are great options that are affordable and easy to install. Are you wondering how to install LED light strips in your car though? If so, don’t worry. We’ll break down how you can pimp your ride in no time.

What Are They?

LED light strips are strips of LEDs. Some of them have adhesive backs. Others need items like zip ties to hold them in place. You can apply them onto various surfaces and turn them on to illuminate your surrounding. LED light strips are programmable. That means you can set the colors to whatever you want. You can even make them blink or flourish. The LED nature of these lights makes them perfect candidates for customization.

The best thing about LED light strips is the fact that they don’t cost much to buy. You can buy big rolls of them in bulk and apply them to whatever you want. All you need is a power source and some proper planning.

Where Should They Go?

When we’re talking about cars, the sky’s the limit. You can apply it anywhere that you’d like. Here are some ideas:

  • Inside the door frame
  • Rear window
  • Trunk lighting
  • Under the chassis
  • Roof of the car

For most purposes, people like to place them on the bottom border of their vehicle. This gives a nice lighting effect to your vehicle. It looks even better when your car is in motion.

In this article, we’ll break down how to install these LED light strips onto the bottom of your vehicle.

Supplies You’ll Need

To install the LED light strips to your vehicle, what are some of the tools you’ll need?

Make sure you have your cross driver, some wire cutters, a hanger, and a wrench. You might also need a soldering station, depending on the LED strip you get. If you have alternatives that also work, that would be fine.

Also, you’re going to need your supplies. You will need your LED strips, electrical wire, electrical tape, and wire connectors. You can get an on and off switch if you’d like. You could also use zip ties or 3M double sided tape if you prefer. We recommend zip ties as they’re less likely to come off.

How much of these supplies you buy also depends on how much lights you want to hook up. If you only want to do the two sides of your car, you’ll need less. If you want to do all four sides of your vehicle, you’ll need more.

How To Install LED Light Strips In Your Car

Here, we’ll break down the various steps to installing LED light strips on your vehicle. These are general instructions that can be used or modified to fit any situation you have. Depending on the brand and make of your LED strips, you might have to alter some of these instructions. Let’s get started.

1. Find Mounting Spots

The first step you’ll need to take is check underneath your vehicle. Look for mounting points on your car. If you’re doing all four sides of your car, you’ll want to look in the front, back, and sides of your car. Some cars will have bolts, brackets, or other openings that you can attach the LED strips to.

A good rule of thumb is to use a zip tie for every 12 inches of LED strip at a minimum. You can do a bit more if you want. Zip ties will be a lot more secure than 3M double-sided tape. Even if your LED light strip comes with an adhesive back, you should still use zip ties.

2. Line Up Your Wires To The Module Box

After you’ve secured your LED light strips into place, you have to route your wires. Figure out the best positions to place your wires by mounting them to the various holes you’ve found. You’ll need to zip tie them into place so that they don’t become loose. The wires on these units are usually pretty thin. If they touch the ground, there’s a high chance they’ll shred.

Once you’ve begun mounting them, route the wires up to the engine bay and connect them to your module box. If you don’t have enough wire from the rear bumper, you can use extensions. This can either come as a pre-packaged item or you might have to solder additional wiring.

3. Connect To Battery

Now that all your LED strips and wiring is mounted, you can connect your LED to the battery. The red wire from your module box should make contact with positive. The black wire will make contact with negative. If there are any optional wires on your module box, check with your unit to see its function.

4. Secure The Module Box

Now that everything’s hooked up properly, you’re going to want to secure the module box. You want to place it near the battery, but not too close to anything that gets too hot. This includes the engine or radiator. Heat can damage the module box and make it malfunction. You also can’t let your module box get wet. The battery and fuse box of your car is set to be dry at all times. Keep the module box close to them so that it gets the same treatment.

On the module box, you’ll want to extend the antenna so that you get a better signal. Regardless of whether the hood is opened or closed, you should get a strong signal throughout.

5. Test It Out

Now that everything’s done, test out your LEDs to make sure it’s all working! Test it out and enjoy the fact that you have lights under your vehicle!

Do You Want To Pimp Your Ride?

Now that you know the steps, are you ready to pimp out your ride? People love to live out their Fast & Furious fantasies. Why shouldn’t you? If you’re looking for LED strip lights for your vehicle, we have the best varieties. Check out our direct mounting instructions for more details!

What’s the Difference Between LED vs Incandescent Lighting: A Guide

One lasts between 1,000 and 2,000 hours. The other can last anywhere from 20 to 50 times more!

You read that right. In the battle of LED vs incandescent lights, the former outranks the other in terms of hours of life. That’s because LED (light emitting diode) bulbs can light up your world (sorry) from anywhere between 20,000 and 50,000 hours!

That alone should already make you want to switch to LEDs ASAP. But that’s not the only benefit of doing so.

Aside from their longer-lasting service life, they also differ from other lighting products in terms of safety and durability. They also have an energy consumption advantage.

What exactly is the difference though? Also, does the initial cost make LEDs worth it?

Keep reading as we answer these questions and more!

LED vs Incandescent: The Difference in Technology

Did you know that the size of one diode in an LED is the same as that of a fleck of pepper? As small as they may be in size, quality LED light bulbs shine brighter than their incandescent counterparts.

Size and brightness aren’t the only differences though. They also differ in the following aspects:

Light Production

Incandescent bulbs use electric current to heat a tungsten filament. They use enough electricity to create heat that makes the filament illuminate. Simple, yes, but quite energy-consuming.

In LEDs, the light production process is more complex. They still use electrical current, but the bulbs pass this through a diode rather than a filament. When the current exceeds the voltage, that’s when it emits light.

Heat Generation

You may have tried touching one of these bulbs soon after you turned them off. Hot, right? That’s because these bulbs release as much as 90% of energy in the form of heat.

Because LED converts little energy to heat, you don’t have to worry about experiencing the same accidents as with incandescent bulbs. LEDs also combine various colors (red, green, plus blue) to give you that white light.

Illuminating Direction

When it comes to incandescent light direction, you need to use objects such as deflectors with incandescent and other lighting systems. That’s because their light spreads out. In fact, some of these bulbs may only reflect half of the light generated, with the rest staying in the fixture.

LED lights come out in a specific direction. This then minimizes the need for light-trapping objects like diffusers and reflectors. In other words, you get the most light from LEDs.

When They Go Out

Another good way to differentiate between incandescent vs LED is lighting hours.

Say you have incandescent bulbs throughout your home. You have them lit for at least five hours every day.

With their 1,000- to 2,000-hour lifespan, that means you’d need to change them after 200 to 400 days, or in about seven to thirteen months. If you use them for longer periods of time, then you’d need replacements sooner.

Now, consider the average number of hours you can get from LEDs. Even if you had them shining for 10 hours a day (for example, you work from home), they won’t burn out for up to 2,000 to 5,000 days! That’s somewhere around the ballpark of 13 years!

If you stick with incandescent lights, you would have to replace them 14 to 28 times within the same lifespan of one LED. That’s a lot of time and hassle you could have saved yourself from if you made the switch to LED.

The Upfront Cost

If LED is so amazing, why are households in the country still using more traditional options like incandescent and CFL?

The primary reason is because LED, with all its amazing technology, started out quite heavyweight in the price section. For instance, in 2009, only about 400,000 of these lights saw use in the U.S due to price constraints.

But as researchers continued to study and improve upon the technology behind LED, they saw many opportunities to reduce its cost. Nowadays, super-efficient LED lights are as much as 85% cheaper than their predecessors.

Granted, LEDs still aren’t as cheap as your regular $1-incandescent or $2-CFL. But if you take the time to research, you’ll find deals and offers that’ll cut back your costs when buying LEDs.

The Long-Term Cost

The saying “You get what you pay for” applies to your lighting systems too. If you want energy efficient, safer, and longer-lasting bulbs, then consider investing a bit more money for LEDs.

LED vs CFL vs Incandescent

The CFL we mentioned above refers to compact fluorescent light bulbs. They’re more energy-efficient than incandescent, as they use only about a third of energy that the latter does.

However, these lighting products require more energy to light up when you first turn them on. They then need to regulate the electricity (the function of the ballast).

Because of this, you’ll notice that CFL bulbs don’t light up right away or are dim at first. In some products, the process only takes about half a minute. Others, for up to 3 minutes.

On average, they only cost a dollar more than incandescent. This has given rise to their popularity. Note though that many of the CFLs you’ll find in the market today have some mercury, a chemical that can harm your health and the environment.

This should already tell you that LED still leads the pack, despite being the costliest option.

Final Pro Tip Before Replacing Your Current Light Bulbs

Let’s say you want to renovate and are thinking of lighting upgrades or changes. Now that you know more about LED vs incandescent (or LED vs CFL), you’re gearing towards the former.

Before you start replacing everything though, it’s best you take note of how many light bulbs you need and want to change. If you have the budget, then by all means, switch all your traditional bulbs with LED ones. If you can’t replace them all at once, you can do it one by one, starting with the areas you need the most artificial light in.

Want to start your green lighting renovations ASAP? Then please feel free to connect with us! You may also want to check our blog for more lighting tips and tricks like this.

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

differecnes between led rope lighting and strip lights

LED lighting is one of the best ways to illuminate a space. LED lighting solutions use very little power and are exceptionally bright. And luckily, for more challenging lighting solutions, LEDs don’t only come in bulbs.

LED rope lighting and LED strip lights are both flexible solutions for creative lighting needs. But while the two may have a lot in common, they aren’t the same. Read on to discover some of the differences between the two.

Light Source

One of the biggest differences between LED rope lighting and LED strip lights is the light source. LED rope lighting is made up of individual LED bulbs encased in a clear plastic tube. These may come in different colors, but you can’t change the color of the bulbs.

LED strip lights are comprised of surface-mounted LED chips affixed to a flat piece of tape. They do come with color changing options, as well as a variety of single colors. These tend to produce a more diffuse light than rope lighting.

Round or Square Corners

You’ll want to take a look at the area you plan to affix the LED lights and determine if it has square or rounded corners. LED strip lighting is better suited to rounded corners than to square ones. It can’t bend very well around corners, and if you want a tight fit, rope lights may be your best choice.

You should keep in mind that if you plan to install rope lights in a square corner, you’ll have to cut the rope light and incorporate a corner or T-connector. With tape lighting, you can fold the tape around the corner at a junction between two of the light chips.

Brightness

Of course, the brightness of your LED lights is an important factor when choosing between rope lighting and strip lights. If you’re lighting a workspace or someplace that requires bright light, you’ll want to go with tape lights. They produce a very bright light and can be dimmed as the occasion demands.

LED rope lighting is much dimmer. It’s an excellent choice for mood lighting or soft illumination around a pool deck, outdoor gazebo, or similar. But if you’re looking for bright task lighting, these are not the lights you’re looking for.

Run Length

The length you’ll need to run LEDs for your project will also affect your decision between rope and strip lights. In part, this will depend on your lights’ voltage. Generally speaking, LED rope and strip lights come in either 12V or 120V.

The maximum run length on lights refers to the maximum length of light you can plug into a single energy source before you’ll start flipping breakers.

If you’re using 12V LED strip lights, the maximum run length will be 20 feet. If you’re using 120V rope lights, you won’t want to go more than 150 feet on a single power source. But if you’re using LED strip lights, a single power cord can power up to 330 feet.

Special Effects

One of the big appeals of LED lighting is its potential for special effects. Being able to change the color of your lights with the push of a button or to dim them when the situation calls for it is a big perk.

Both LED rope lights and strip lights offer dimmable or strobe options for the nights when you have company over. Both are sold in RGB color changing, though the LED strip light has more uniform light due to not using individual colored bulbs.

Ease of Installation

If you’re a confident DIY-er, rope and strip lighting installation isn’t anything to worry about. Depending on how involved your planned setup is, you may need to do some splicing. That being said, if you’re just looking to hang them on a fence or similar, your only concern will be making sure the electrical connections are water resistant.

Learn More About LED Rope Lighting

LED lighting is one of the best options on the market today, for environmental and financial reasons. The flexibility LED rope lighting and strip lighting offers makes illuminating your space a breeze. Make sure to determine your needs before you buy and you’ll have a solution that will last you for years.

If you’d like to learn more about using LEDs to light your house, visit the rest of our site at Birddog Lighting. We have all the information you need about LED lighting projects. Check out our posts on LED technology.

How to Create Funky Lighting with LEDs: DIY Lamp Ideas

DIY Lamp Ideas

Do you love to change around the lighting in your home?

Light fixtures, lamps, and pendants can be quite pricey and often aren’t worth what you’ll pay for them. If you’re thinking of switching out your normal lights for LED bulbs and want to switch up your lighting fixtures while doing so, consider taking on the project yourself.

We’ve laid out a guide to some DIY lamp ideas which will revamp your home and cut down on energy costs at the same time.

What Is LED Lighting?

If you aren’t familiar with LED lighting, now is the time to learn the ropes. LED, otherwise known as light emitting diode, is about 90% more efficient than your typical light bulb. This is why homes and offices around the world are making the switch.

You can expect these bulbs to last longer, produce less heat and reduce your energy bill every month. These bulbs won’t burn out, so you won’t have to walk into a room and find out you have no light. Instead, they’ll begin to dim over time, alerting you that it’s time to swap them out for new bulbs.

You can expect your LED lights to last about three years. That’s much longer than your usual bulbs. Now that you know why you should make the switch to LED lights, let’s explore all the DIY ways to create lighting for yourself at home.

Ceiling Lights

Sounds ambitious right? Think again! There are plenty of ways to DIY a ceiling light at home. These pieces will add some personality to your space and be a great conversation starter when you have guests over. Here are some to try out.

Mason Jars

These trendy pieces aren’t reserved for the ground anymore. Lately, you may have seen mason jars put on the floor with candles inside of them at parties and weddings. The glass is a terrific way to reflect light, making it glow with a romantic and warm ambiance.

Achieve this aesthetic at home with a ceiling pendant. Get colored mason jars (they come in blues, greens, and even a burnt orange). Most mason jars come with a metal top to screw on. You can make a small hole in the top of that metal to then string a light through and attach a bulb on the other side.

Twist the top closed and you have yourself a pendant. Try getting a few mason jars in different colors and sizes to make a showstopping piece.

Industrial

Industrial lighting is very on trend but you don’t have to invest in a pricey light fixture to enjoy this look at home. Head to an antique store or even a garage sale and keep an eye out for a funky piece of metal, the more aged it looks the better.

Try to find something in an interesting shape that looks like a piece of art on its own. You can wrap an Edison bulb or two around the piece so that it’s held up toward the ceiling where your bulbs are. Secure the piece of metal to the ceiling with a chain or other strong material that nails into the ceiling.

Basket Pendant

If you want something a little warmer and less industrial, try a basket pendant. Head to that same flea market, antique store or garage sale and pick out a few baskets in a style you like. You could get matching ones or have them all look different for a more eclectic vibe.

Cut a small hole in the bottom of the basket and hang them upside down so the open part faces the floor. You can also cover the conduit in a twine or basket-like material so that the whole piece looks like one.

Floor Lamps

Column

An antique column is something you can likely find at a junkyard or flea market for very little money. These are easy and funky floor lamps and simple to make. If the column is in good shape, leave it as-is or try giving it a fresh coat of pain, especially if it’s not in a color that works for your home.

After a fresh coat, you can drill a hole in the top of the column and run a wire through the bottom, and poof, it’s a floor lamp. Pick a shade that matches the column and you’re done!

Books

Clearing out your home and have a bunch of old books you’re planning to throw away? Think again and consider making them into an antique-inspired floor lamp. Determine the way you’d like to stack the books from the bottom up, then drill a small hole in each book so you can run a wire to the top.

Get an Edison bulb and an industrial, metal shade or wire basket to complete the look. Don’t forget that if you don’t have any books lying around you’d like to use, you can always hit a flea market and get books for a dollar or less.

Sidetable

Get functionality and style with this type of lamp. If you don’t have room for a floor lamp and a side table, or can’t find a table lamp you like enough to buy, drill a hole in the top of the side table and run a wire through the bottom.

Be sure to get a shade that’s big enough to balance out the width of the nightstand or side table on the bottom so it looks purposeful and the proportions match.

Try These DIY Lamp Ideas Today!

If you’re looking to redo the lighting in your home but don’t want to break the bank, try some of these DIY lamp ideas. You’ll create one of a kind pieces that are unique to your home, making it feel warm and special every time you look at it.

We’d love to help you make the switch to LED lighting. Contact us for more information and don’t forget to check out our blog for more lighting tips.

DIY LED Lights for Your TV: A How to Guide

DIY TV LED Ambient Lighting

Home entertainment has never been so immersive. Top-of-the-line home theater systems can still run you thousands of dollars.

Though, thanks to the evolution of the flat screen TV and wireless sound systems, you can create your own home theatre for a fraction of that cost.

The clarity of both screen and sound in today’s TVs and sound systems provide a rich experience. Why not enhance that with ambient lighting behind your screen?

Some people call this ambient lighting. Others refer to it as bias lighting.

Whatever term you use, the setup requires that you install backlighting behind your television screen to enhance your viewing experience. DIY LED lights are a perfect, affordable option for this feature.

Interested? Let’s find out how to install LED lights for flat screen TV.

Why Ambient Lighting Around Your TV?

The ambient light around your flat screen gives off a balanced hue. You can focus your eyes on the screen without straining them. Thanks to Netflix and other streaming services, we can settle in for movie marathons.

If you’re a hardcore gamer, then you’re up for extended gaming sessions. Both of these activities cause undue strain on your eyes.

Why Watching TV in the Dark is Bad

In low light, your pupils increase in size to let in light. Your eyes take up to five minutes to adjust to low light. When you add the vibrant light coming from your LED TV, you have light and dark at the same time.

Your eyes have to adjust to both, all the while you are reacting to the action on the screen.

Adding ambient light offsets the contrast between the light on the screen and the dark of the room. Your eyes can adjust with ease. You can binge-watch your favorite show all night long. And, they’re just cool.

Bias Lighting

The other term you may hear is called bias lighting. Bias lighting is any light source that illuminates the area behind your viewing screen.

Bias or ambient lighting also enhances the image quality on your TV. It does this by increasing the contrast of the colors on your screen. Or, at least creating that optical illusion. Either way, your movie looks better, and your eyes will thank you.

Single Color DIY LED Lights

The easiest way to get LED ambient light is to purchase enough LED strips to go around your television. The strips are more common in single colors.

You can choose between shades of white, such as warm white and white light. You can also select yellow, red, and other colors. Warm white is recommended.

Tip: Be sure the strip has a 3M tape on the other side.

Installing LEDs Behind TV

Here’s what you need to set up your own LED system. First, measure your flat screen. You’ll need long enough LED strips to fit it.

You also need electric wire, a connector, and a 12V adaptor. To put it all together, you’ll need a soldering iron and insulation tape.

You can install the lights on the back of your television, around the sides. If you want a lower radius for your light, you can configure as one strip across the back center of your TV.

1. Connect the LED strip to the adapter with the soldering iron. Next, connect the + and – wires to a plug. Or, you can map the wires to a switch.

If you go with the switch, do not interchange the poles when you connect the wires to the socket. That could damage the lights.

2. Next, remove the backing tape from the LED lights. Apply the lights to the back of your TV. If you put them in a straight line, the light will be dimmer. Though, it will still be evenly distributed.

3. Use the insulation tape to cover any exposed contacts. You’ll thank yourself the next time you need to reach around to the back of the TV to plug something to it. You can also tape the adapter to the back of the TV to keep wires hidden.

That’s it!

Multi-Single Color DIY LED Lights

Using multi-color RGB LED lights for behind your TV gives you a different, and fun, aesthetic look. Installation is basically the same, though the LED lights are more expensive.

You will purchase higher quality RGB LED strips. You still need the adapter. But, you’ll also need to add a driver and remote control.

Install as you would the white lights. Though, be sure to position the driver so that the remote works with it. Most remote systems work with infrared. You need to ensure that the two components have an unobstructed path.

The remote enables you to select the color that your LEDs illuminate. You can visually set the mood for your house, even when the TV isn’t on.

Choose between a warm red or orange glow. Or perhaps you’d like to go with purples for a party. Of course, pinks and yellows create a more romantic atmosphere. It’s up to you.

Off-the-Shelf Light Packs

This article is focusing on budget-friend DIY LED lights for your TV. There are off-the-shelf bias light kits you can purchase that are much more expensive.

Most of these kits require an Android (or another operating system) device with a USB to run the light kit app. Depending on the app you choose, the features can be kind of fun. Some synch the colors to the program you are viewing.

One problem with these light kits is that some TV USB ports are rated at 500mA. Some bias lights need more than that to operate. Many TVs cannot support these. You would need to spend even more on a USB adapter.

Ready to Install Your DIY LED Lights?

Installing DIY LED lights for your TV are an inexpensive way to add to your movie watching experience. They also put a splash of color into your room.

Check out our products catalog online or contact us if you have questions about LED lights for your flat screen.

Mood Lights: How Lighting Affects Your Emotions

Mood Lights and How Lighting Affects Your Emotions

Did anyone ever give you a mood ring when you were a kid, swearing that the color it turned revealed how you were feeling at that very moment?

The mood ring fad might have been junk science, but the studies about mood lights aren’t. There’s a lot of ongoing research trying to figure out how lighting affects mood. Even though most scientists agree that more work still needs to be done before we can understand everything about how it works, the preliminary findings still show that light and mood are interconnected.

That means that the lighting in your house could be affecting how you feel in your everyday life. Do you have difficulty falling asleep, or have you noticed that your mood starts to shift when you get home? You might want to consider the lighting you use.

Read to find out more about how lighting affects your emotions.

What Are The Psychological Effects Of Light?

So how does light affect our emotions, anyway?

As humans, our bodies are programmed to be outside, not indoors. That means that our bodies take a lot of cues from our environment — most importantly, the sun and its light.

We rely on sunlight to regulate our circadian rhythms, which function as our internal clocks. When you get super jet-lagged, it’s because your circadian rhythm is thrown off — your body think’s it’s ten o’clock at night when it’s two in the afternoon in your new time zone.

Lighting can either help or disrupt those natural rhythms, which in turn can lead to changes in mood, energy level, and even what hormones your body produces.

Our bodies rely on that internal clock to help regulate their internal functions. Lighting plays a big part in how well that internal clock works.

So what are the different ways that light can affect us?

Light Makes Our Emotions More Intense

Picture an interrogation scene in a movie. It probably starts with a dark room, before the police officers or detective shine a bright light on the suspect’s face. Or maybe it starts off in a room that’s already lit with harsh lighting.

The lighting is important in both scenarios because light can make our emotions more powerful. Research shows that under intense lighting, both positive and negative emotions feel heightened. The study found that people chose spicier food, rated people as more attractive, and thought certain words were more positive when they were under brighter light.

On a sunny day, you might feel more hopeful about a project you’ve been working on, while on a cloudy day you could have a more pessimistic opinion about the same project.

Maybe that’s why people suddenly get stage fright when the lights come up?

Mood Lights Can Increase Productivity

It’s not just our emotions that lighting can affect. It can even change the way that we work.

If you’ve ever tried to read without sufficient light, you probably already know how much of a pain it is — literally. Trying to focus on something in a dim light can lead to strained eyes, headaches, and other problems.

When that occurs in the workplace, there’s understandably a dip in productivity. Dim lighting can also make you feel sleepy and less focused.

On the other hand, lighting that’s too harsh can induce stress. People who work under harsh lighting are more likely to be dissatisfied with their jobs.

Lighting Can Help Or Harm Our Sleep

Since we mentioned circadian rhythms earlier, you’ve probably already guessed that lighting has a big effect on the quality and quantity of sleep you get.

Blue lighting, like the light from your phone or laptop, can make us feel more energetic. If the first thing you do when you wake up is check your phone, this might be helping you to shake off the drowsiness and actually get up to start your day.

On the other hand, that same lighting can cause problems when you wind down to go to sleep. The light that gives us energy in the day still sends signals to your body that it should be awake and alert. If you’re having issues falling asleep after looking at your phone, this might be why.

Light Can Affect Your Appetite

Think about the lighting in a fast food restaurant versus an upscale restaurant.

Chances are that when you thought of the lighting in a fast food place, it was very brightly lit. For the upscale restaurant, the lights were probably dimmer, creating a more intimate and relaxed atmosphere.

The lighting doesn’t just signal to us what kind of place we’re in, it also has an effect on how much and what we eat. In the upscale restaurant with dimmer lighting, you’d be more likely to eat slower. However, you’d probably also order unhealthier food, because you’re more relaxed and not paying as much attention to calories.

In the fast food restaurant, you’ll eat more food in a shorter period of time, since the lighting and colors make you want to speed up.

Light Can Alleviate Symptoms Of Depression

Finally, the type of light you surround yourself in can have a serious effect on not just your short-term mood, but your mental health.

Research has shown that going outside and being in natural light can help to alleviate depressive symptoms. Although sunlight alone can’t singlehandedly cure people of depression, it can help to mitigate the effects a bit.

Exposure to sunlight can also improve your sense of well-being, no matter who you are. It goes back to those circadian rhythms — the more we can stick to those, the better our bodies function.

What’s The Best Mood Lighting For Your Home?

As great as natural light is, it’s not as though people can just magically make more windows appear in their homes. So what’s the best lighting to use in your home?

Try to avoid fluorescent lighting as much as possible, since the lights are harsh and can have a negative effect on your moods. It’s also advisable to install dimmers in areas like your living room and bedroom. That way, you can adjust the mood lights according to your needs.

Find the right lighting for your home now.

How Led Grow Lights Are Taking the Cannabis Industry to a New High

How Led Grow Lights Are Taking the Cannabis Industry to a New High

When’s the last time you met someone with 29 fridges running in one room? Sure, it seems like a waste, but an indoor grow of four plants uses just as much energy.

I don’t think anyone wants to pay that electricity bill, however, we have a creative solution that could save you a different kind of green. With one-third of cannabis plants being grown indoors, its fair to say that someone’s cracked the code on the ideal indoor growing conditions.

Enter LED grow lights.

LED grow lights are the hottest trend hitting the cannabis industry. They’re energy efficient, cost-saving, and most importantly, yield-increasing.

It’s no coincidence that LED rhymes with weed. Let’s dive into why growers across the country are using LED lights for marijuana growth and their advantages over traditional grow lights.

What are LED Grow Lights?

Grow lights are a type of artificial lighting that mimics natural sunlight which therefore triggers photosynthesis in plants. Indoor gardens and grow facilities across the country are using these types of lights because they have proved to be the most efficient when compared to traditional lights.

The options for grow lights are plentiful with lighting distributors providing different types of lamps: high-intensity discharge (HID), compact fluorescent lights (CFLs), metal-halide, high-pressure sodium lights, and most notably, light emitting diodes (LEDs).

Everyone knows that switching from incandescent bulbs to energy efficient bulbs like LEDs or CFLs is great for your household electricity bill, but why should your business lighting be any different?

Read on to discover the advantages of LEDs for growing weed that expands beyond your budget.

Advantages of LED Grow Lights

We know light bulbs aren’t the most interesting topic, and we certainly don’t suggest rattling off all the facts you’re about to learn at your next cocktail party. What if we told you that LED lights are not only better for the world, but better for your plants?

Basically, we mean you can yield more weed with LEDs. Yep, lightbulbs just got a lot more interesting.

1. Product Yield

When it comes to the yield of your cannabis, some things are out of your control, like the genetics of the plant. However, aside from that and your training in indoor growing, there are other factors you can completely control. Lighting is one of them.

LED lights are the most cutting-edge light technology to hit the cannabis scene. LED manufacturers have created special lenses to penetrate the plants, resulting in an increased yield. These newer LED lights have a wider spectrum of light that produces healthier looking buds.

When it comes to color, the wavelength of LED grow lights filter out the colors that plants don’t use, such as the green and yellow light that traditional lights produce.

Many growers swear that after switching to LED grow lights for cannabis, their plants have increased in density and potency as well as reporting a more increased smell and taste.

2. Energy Efficient Helps Your Budget

Keeping up with a greenhouse takes a lot of work–and energy. Maintaining the proper temperature and atmosphere can be costly, but with LED lights you’ll have less work and fewer bills.

LEDs are more efficient than its competitors a few reasons. For starters, for the same light output, LEDs use drastically less energy. LED lights consume 60% less energy than lights with the same output which translates directly into a smaller electricity bill.

LED lights, unlike their competitor, stay cool by producing a high-quality, not quantity, stream of light. Less heat means you save on your cooling/ventilation system bill and won’t have to work hard to account for the heat given off by traditional grow lights.

3. The Lifespan of LED Grow Lights

One of the biggest complaints about traditional lighting, is that you’re constantly changing bulbs. LED grow lights are different.

The lifespan of LED grow lights is incredible lasting anywhere between 50,000-100,000 hours. This makes them the best choice of weed growing light if you plan to do this for a long time.

LEDs run cool, avoiding burnouts and saves you from purchasing expensive replacement bulbs. Reducing the heat is one of the best ways to save on both replacement lighting costs and also on your electricity bill.

4. LED Grow Lights are Less Work

Unlike their competitor lights, once you set up your LED grow lights, you no longer have to adjust the lights. Other grow lights require different amounts of lights during the varied growing process of cannabis, however, LED lights for growing provide everything your plant needs through the entire stage of its life.

At this point, we’re convinced that LEDs are the best choice in grow lights. Before we go any further, there are a few things to consider when choosing LEDs.

Choosing your LED Grow Lights

When it comes to deciding on the right LED lights for your indoor grow, its a decision only you can make. Before you buy, be sure to do your research consider the following criteria of your lights: the quality, quantity, size, output, and color.

Now that you know the cold hard facts behind why LED lights for growing cannabis is superior to the traditional grow lights, its time to make the switch.

Will You Switch To LED Grow Lights?

Sure THC is great, but have you experienced the high of saving on your electricity bill? LEDs are not only friendly to the environment, nice to your checkbook, but they’re also your plant’s preferred choice.

Check us out here to switch you’re current grow lights to LED grow lights to not only save on your electricity bill but increase your plant yield.

The Ultimate Guide to LED Garden Lighting

LED Garden Lighting

Are you considering lighting options for your outdoor garden?

Depending on how you use it, LED garden lighting can add an extra dash of magic to any landscape. Not only that, it’s cost-effective and a great energy saver.

If you find that you don’t know where to start, keep reading to learn more about your lighting options and how to use them.

LED Garden Lighting

After working so tirelessly on your new garden, you’ll want to make it stand out. Outdoor lighting not only enhances the look of your home, but it can be used to add extra dimension to your garden’s best features.

LED lights are energy-efficient, durable, and eco-friendly. LED lighting does more than the name suggests; it creates a safer environment all around.

They have nearly no UV emissions. Just another pro if you have sensitive plants within your garden.

For more information, check out our complete LED guide.

Types of Lighting

Your first jump into the world of outdoor LED lights can be overwhelming. There are many different options for you.

Each light is completely unique and offers a different experience. Some are more for safety while others are purely aesthetic.

Below, you’ll find some of the best.

String Lights

They’ve been named one of the easiest, fastest, and cheapest ways to spruce up your outdoor scenery. String lights are beautiful, and with a little creativity, they can be used in numerous ways.

One method is to line them either around the perimeter or along the seams of an umbrella. Although such a thing is unneeded at night, it can liven up any garden space for after dark relaxation and other activities.

You can also take advantage of multiple anchor points within your garden. You can use fencing, lighting posts, trees, even your home’s balcony as a start. The lights can then be stretched in almost any direction.

With multiple strings, you can create zig-zag patterns. If you have a large garden area to work with, you can use them to separate it into different sections.

Rope Lights

If you’re looking for minimal accents to go under or around railings, try rope lights. They’re similar to string lights, but instead are long, cylindrical tubes that house spaced sources of light.

In many cases, they’re able to give the appearance of glowing or twinkling light. This creates a dynamic and aesthetically pleasing environment.

Remember, light output for these tend to be minimal. It is primarily recommended for decorative purposes.

Spotlights

These bright beams are a go-to for most landscape lovers. Used correctly, spotlights can add extra dimension and fun shadow-work to your garden.

There are many different types of spotlights to choose from. Each one has its own unique flare.

Some are equipped with broad beam light. They’re similar to floodlights and are perfect for illuminating large areas. In fact, they can light up to a 15-meter distance.

You can also choose directional beam lights. They can shine up to 8 meters and are more for shining on specific pieces.

These lights can either be staked into the ground or mounted on a wall.

Grow Lights

Created for the indoor gardener in mind, grow lights are a type of hydroponic lighting. They masterfully illuminate your plants and encourage them to grow healthier.

LED grow lights are small, long-lasting energy savers. This makes them the preferred option in the hydroponics market.

They also have high luminous efficiency in comparison to fluorescent and incandescent lights.

Lighting Techniques

Creativity is key when planning how you will light your garden. Be open to experiment with various techniques until you find what works best for you. It should be a fun experience.

Uplighting

Placing lights on the ground and beaming them straight up at a high object is uplighting. For gardens, it can accentuate large trees and statues.

Downlighting

The opposite of uplighting, downlighting involves placing the light high and aiming it downward. This technique is used to diffuse light across large surface areas.

Use it to illuminate a patio or deck among your garden.

Moonlighting

Similar to downlighting, this effect is created when fixtures are placed high in a tree and aimed down. You can place multiple fixtures that will cast light through leaves and branches.

It creates beautiful shadows on the ground, and it only gets better when the wind blows.

Cross Lighting

This effect lights a feature from two sides. Cross lighting can be difficult to accomplish; overdoing it can wash out the object.

Used appropriately, it can highlight the main feature of a garden and soften it just as well. If the object is in front of a wall, massive shadows can form, creating a larger-than-life appearance.

Grazing

The technique of grazing is used to highlight textures. If you have a stone wall or even a tree with a unique texture, you can use grazing to highlight the texture and create interesting shadow play.

Silhouetting

A fantastic option for accentuating large pieces is silhouetting. Just as the name suggests, you can place a single light behind a large statue, tree, or plant.

Light will beam around the edges of the figure, giving your garden complex and interesting views.

Light Up Your Garden and Your Life

There are so many options for you when it comes to LED garden lighting. No matter how big, small, or unique your set up is, you can find a lighting system that works for you.

Again, after all that work you put into your garden, why wouldn’t you want to be able to enjoy it at night? It can be a whole new experience and become the perfect backdrop for a gathering.

If you’re ready to begin, head on over to our shop for all your lighting needs.

LED Lighting: How Many Lumens is Enough?

How many lumens is enough?

What, in the world, is a lumen? And, with LED lighting: how many lumens is enough? All your questions, answered, right here.

Isn’t wattage the important thing? Not anymore!

Before LED lighting, the brightness of a light was measured by its wattage output. Then, LED changed the game. LEDs use less power to create the same amount of brightness.

Wattage is a measurement of power expenditure – not brightness. Incandescent bulbs work from a uniform standard of power usage. LED lights do not.

Why LEDs are Great

A Light Emitting Diode, or LED, is a group of three individual diodes that produce red, blue, and green light photons. Put a bunch of these little diodes together, and you have an LED lighting unit. By controlling the three diodes duty cycles, LEDs can produce many colors.

Traditional light bulbs produce heat in order to create light. Incandescent lights create brightness by heating a coil or filament. The light, emitted by heat, is called incandescence.

LEDs do not emit heat, so their brightness can’t be quantified in incandescence. Instead, LEDs produce light through cold radiation, called luminescence. Even, running full blast, LEDs are cool to the touch.

The luminescence of LEDs can be customized without adjusting the bulbs wattage. That means you get more light, for less money.

Incandescent lighting produces enough heat that they alter a room’s temperature when lit. Green lighting with LEDs will help you save on electricity from your lights and your air conditioner.

Buildings with thousands of individual lights are behooved to look into why you should invest in LED lights for your business.

LED lighting is the reason why the brightness of a light can no longer be expressed in wattage. LEDs create light differently than all other lighting sources.

In 2011, the Federal Trade Commission required the measuring of light bulb brightness output to express lumens – not wattage.

So, here is the lowdown, on how many lumens you need…

How Many Lumens do I Need?

The first thing you need is some context to understand how bright a lumen is. Too much light can be as detrimental to your aims as too little. So, deciding how many lumens is enough depends on what’s being lit.

How Bright is a Lumen?

On a clear and sunny day, the sun’s brightness is over 7.5 million lumens. If you fit that many lumens into a ceiling light, everyone in the room would go very blind.

The amount of light disbursement makes a big difference in how many lumens you want. The sun’s millions of lumens don’t blind us, because we are far away. And, because you don’t look directly at the sun – or else you go blind.

Take care when it comes to lighting your office, building, or home. The closer to the light source, the more important luminescence is. When it comes to man-made lighting…

The brightness of an HID car headlight is 3,000 lumens. Those are the really bright headlights, that seem like high beams from oncoming traffic. Obviously, that is too bright for standard room lighting, as well.

Standard 60 watt living room light bulbs produce 800 lumens. Overhead T5 tubes produce around 1,200 lumens. Candles give off about 12 lumens, depending on the candles size.

If you use candles to light your space, you will save lots of money on electricity, but you won’t be able to see much.

For general space lighting, the U.S. Department of Energy suggests you shop for light that is in the range of 450 to 1,600 lumens per bulb.

How Lumens Effect LEDs Color Temperature

The color temperature of a light source is in reference to warmth or coolness of the hue. The Kelvin Scale measures the appearance of a light source’s color temperature. The scale is based on metals absolute temperature when heated.

The longer the metal is heated, the more its color changes from red to blue-white. The low end of the degrees-kelvin scale is warm in tone, leaning towards red-orange. The high end of the scale is cool in tone, close to a blue-white color. The high end of the Kelvin scale is closest to daylight.

Most lighting instruments are on the Kelvin scale from 2700 Kelvin to 6500 Kelvin. LEDs can very much more on the scale, to produce warmer or cooler light.

The more lumens in your LED, the cooler the color of the light. Cool lighting is better for visibility. Warm lighting is better for relaxation.

LEDs for your home will mimic the light of a traditional filament bulb, at around 2700 Kelvin. Vintage styles are lower, around 1900 Kelvin, producing Edison bulb style light.

The question, of how many lumens is enough, depends on your preference of lighting color. Do you want bright lighting for an office? Go with LED lighting that is cool in color and high on the Kelvin scale. Looking for LED lights for relaxing in your home? Get LEDs low on the Kelvin scale, warm in color, and low in lumens.

Lumens per Square Foot

So, the more lumens, the brighter the light. The brighter the light, the cooler its color temperature, represented by a higher number on the Kelvin scale.

To figure out how many lumens you need per light depends on the size of the room. Use a square footage calculator to get the proper measurement of the space to be lit. This will determine the number of lights you should incorporate into your LED lighting design.

The Illuminating Engineering Societies handbook on lighting suggests floors be lit with at least 20 lumens per square foot. Tabletop surfaces and other raised objects should be lit with at least 30 lumens per square foot. Use at least 50 lumens per square foot to provide higher visibility to workspaces, desks, and areas of productivity.

Consensus on LED Lighting: How Many Lumens is Enough?

Living rooms, that are about 250 square feet, will need eight individual 10-watt LED lights. That will produce around 5,000 lumens of brightness, spread out to cover each square foot with 20 lumens, each.

For reading area’s, like your couch or desk, you want 200 lumens. For task area’s, where focused lighting is needed, four square feet of 50 lumens each will do the trick.

If LED Lighting: How Many Lumens is Enough helped you, leave us a comment. If you are still wondering about how many lumens you should use, leave a question in the space below and explore more of our lighting resources. Thanks for reading!

How to Pimp Your Ride with LED Strip Lights

How to pimp your ride with LED Strip Lights!

Unfortunately, it’s too late to apply for the MTV show “Pimp My Ride” but you can still keep your ride looking bangin. It doesn’t cost much and all you’ll need is some led strip lights and elbow grease.

Well… elbow grease and some knowledge of cars, electrical systems, or a willingness to spend time learning about them on youtube. Since we like to show you what our lights can do, we thought we’d add this cool tutorial to our projects page.

Read the tutorial below and then let us know if you’re going to take a wack at it!

What You’ll Need

The Lights: Obviously you’re going to need lights for this project, but what type? Retailers carry a lot of choices and they don’t look like Christmas light strings anymore.

Instead, they are a flat wire with square-looking LED lights about a half inch apart (or more, it depends). They come in different colors, different warmths of white, volts, and lengths.

For outdoor projects, we like “RGB Color Changing Chasing LED Strip Light – 12 Volt – High Output Outdoor Use” lights. These bad ass babies have green, blue, red, cyan, purple, yellow, white color options.

Along with solid colors of the above, they offer a three LED chasing option, which looks exactly as it sounds. The colors (three different) chase loop on a track.

This looks SUPER cool when you’re at car clubs or parked to show off. If that option is a little too much for you, you can choose their slow fade option which is more subtle but just as fun. Watch this video to see all the options.

Once you have your lights picked out (the fun part) you’ll need

-Wire
-Electrical tape
-Female Power Connector
-RGB Controller Connector
-12 volt 6 Amp Standard Power Supply
– Remote
-Weatherproof heat tape
-Waterproof Sealant

If you buy the above lights, the kit comes with everything but the weatherizing aspects and wire/tape!

Decide Where LED Strip Lights Are Going

The easiest place to install LED lights is inside your car, since you won’t need to waterproof or heatproof anything. It looks cool, your passengers will love it, and if you drive for ride service, it could really make you stand out!

Where you put them inside your car depends on its design. If you have an overhang console over your media center, that’s a great place to stick a small strip.

If you have roof interior fabric that you don’t mind messing with, run some strip lights around the edges. Put the fabric back and you’ll have a subtle but cool effect.

If you’re like us, your car is either show-it-off clean or a total mess. Either way, placing LED strip lights under the seats looks cool. If you’re the latter, it can help you find rouge items in the dark.

Outside

Yes, you can use our LED light strips outside, but it will take a little more work. Though the lights themselves are for outdoor use, the electrical casings need protection from the elements.

For your convenience, we have a silicone sealant to add on to your purchase.

The best places to put your led lights on the outside of your car? On the bottom of your body kit of course!

This looks especially cool if you have a lifted truck or SUV with foot rails.

We also love them around license plates, front or back, but only if you’re a good driver!

Finally, if you have the room, think about putting led light strips in your tire wells. Mounting them in the inner body of your wheel well gives your car a space-ship like look.

Things to Think About: Cutting

Cutting electrical equipment is something to be careful about. Our lights (and others) can only be cut at specific intervals. Learn more below.

First off, never cut lights or any electrical supplies while they’re plugged into a power source.

When you’re cutting the length of lights you want, look for four small copper dots with a cut line. ONLY cut on the cut line.

If your strip doesn’t have four dots but instead copper ovals, cut immediately in the center of the copper. Any adult-grade scissors should work.

Things to Think About: Heat

Though LED lights are much lower heat than normal bulbs, they get hot when turned on in their spool. Please, unravel them before you turn them on.

If you don’t, it could cause damage our warranty won’t cover.

Things to Think About: Moisture

Our outdoor lights aren’t perfect, but they try hard! While the light casings themselves can handle some splashing, the connections need to be covered.

Things to Think About: Mounting

Our strips come with a 3M mounting strip on the back so you don’t have to mess with glue or tape. We want to make your life easier!

Before you mount, make sure you wipe down whatever surface with ISO alcohol or plain water. Let the area dry and give it a dry wipe to get rid of any dust.

Once the area is cleaned and prepped, peel the backing off the light strip as you apply. Pulling and pressing as you go will keep the strip from getting air bubbles.

Learn more about lighting mounting with our official directions.

Pimping Your Ride

Now that you know the basics of pimping your ride with led strip lights, all that’s missing is early 00’s rapper Xzibit.

If you want to channel the MTV Pimp My Ride vibe, listen to Xzibit on Spotify while you’re installing your new lights!

Get all your project supplies here.