How to Have Fun with LED Rope Lights

How to Have Fun with LED Rope Lights

Are you looking for fun and unique ways to use LED rope lighting? You’re in the right place!

The possibilities are endless with rope lights. No matter what space (or object) you want to adorn with light, these are the easiest options to choose.

The best part is anyone can set them up. You don’t have to be an electrician or an interior designer to make these look good and work. You can make it a family project or surprise a loved one with them.

If you’re ready to make the most of this easy decor hack, keep reading.

Why LED Rope Lights?

The versatility of rope lighting makes it the most optimal choice for most at-home DIY lighting projects.

Being able to fit into tight spaces is a huge selling point for rope lights; you can place these in smaller, tight spots without the rope even showing. Not only is this space-saving, it looks really cool!

Perhaps the number one reason people love using LED rope lighting is its cost efficiency. By using LED lights where you would have used regular bulbs, you are decreasing your energy bill and getting the best bang for your buck.

Here are some awesome ideas for your LED rope lighting.

1. Inside the Home

It doesn’t take a genius to know you need proper lighting when it gets dark outside. The problem is, regular bulbs waste a lot of energy and burn your money faster than a fire.

Where possible, try switching to LED rope lighting. Not only will it be energy-efficient, it adds a stylish element to your home decor.

One of the most common uses for rope lighting is in the bathroom, especially for families with children. When your little ones get up in the middle of the night to use the bathroom, optimal lighting is key to them feel safe and find the toilet.

Parents have said that having rope lighting under the bathroom cabinets and near the toilet help their kiddos find the toilet, have better aim, and not feel scared to be in the dark.

Plus, since these lights are dimmer than the switch light bulbs in your ceiling or fixtures, your child won’t be woken up as intensely and will be more likely to fall back asleep.

Some other awesome ideas for inside your house are:

Another awesome idea for string lights is in a home theatre room. In the aisle between the seats, secure LED rope lights to illuminate the path without distracting from the movie.

2. Outdoors

All backyards are lacking ambiance if they don’t take advantage of LED rope lighting.

They create an elegant, inviting, and relaxing atmosphere perfect for dinner parties on the patio or spending time with your family under the stars.

The most popular way to use rope lighting outside is to outline paths to make it easier to see where you’re going. Since LED lights can come in a variety of colors and brightness, you can incorporate them into your outdoor design.

Another gorgeous way to use them is around your gazebo or patio. Who wouldn’t want to enjoy an evening drink in your well-lit and ambient backyard gazebo?

Here are some other cool ideas for your backyard:

  • Around window frames
  • Around fountains
  • Around tree trunks

LED lights are a perfect way to light the driveway for whoever’s coming home late at night without skyrocketing your electricity bill. They even look cool during the daytime!

3. Other Wacky Ideas

The fun doesn’t end with home decor–there are even more unique ways to use LED rope lights.

First, you can use them to adorn your vehicles.

If you’re a truck fanatic, nothing draws more attention to it than rope lighting around the frame of your vehicle. Truck owners also use rope lighting around the bed of the truck for optimal visibility. They’re practical and cool.

You can use rope lighting to decorate and light your boat or yacht. When the sun goes down, it can get hard to see on the water. Placing rope lights in the aisles and pathways ensures all your guests’ safety.

Plus, it creates a romantic and inviting atmosphere.

People have used LED rope lights on their cars, trucks, boats, golf carts, skateboards, bikes, and more.

Some other wacky ideas:

  • On your shoes
  • Costumes (Buzz Lightyear, anyone?)
  • Dog collars

Using LED rope lighting has become all the rage with teens; some even going as far as wrapping them around their body for themed parties.

Interested in Learning More?

There are tons more awesome ideas for LED rope lights, as well as a variety of string light options to choose from. The variety of lengths, colors, and brightnesses available make them customized for every DIY project.

The price points also vary for the quality of lighting you choose as well as the different components each kit comes with.

To learn more before you buy, check out our blog.

The Benefits of Using LED Bulbs Over Standard Options

The LED bulb market is at $45.5 billion globally and continues to grow over the years. The demand for LED lighting increases because of its energy-efficient benefits over other standard options. It’s an intelligent green option that helps save the planet the more people use it.

There are a lot of reasons for you to start using LED bulbs. Here are some of its benefits over standard options in the market:

LED Bulbs Have Long Operational Life Expectations

The main advantage of LED lighting over other options is its incredible operational lifespan. LED lights and diodes have up to 100,000 hours’ worth of operational expectancy. In short, this type of lighting can last 11 years of constant use.

If you use your LED fixture for 8 hours every day, it takes 20 years before you replace its bulb. They don’t burn out like standard lights. The lighting diode gets lower output levels over a long time and becomes less bright before it dies out.

In comparison, an incandescent bulb lasts for 1,000 hours before it goes out. Meanwhile, fluorescent lights can last from 8,000 to 10,000 hours. None of these two can come close to the number of hours offered by LED bulbs.

LED Lighting is Energy Efficient

Compared to other standard lighting options, LED has an estimated energy efficiency of 80-90%. It means that you only lose 20% electrical energy at the most.

Incandescent bulbs have 20% energy efficiency, making it the least energy-efficient lighting option. For example, if you have $100 electric bill using an incandescent lighting, $80 of that money goes to heat instead of light. It means that you pay more money to get less lighting than you would when using an LED bulb.

LED Lighting is More Eco-Friendly

Most conventional lighting bulbs have harmful chemicals like mercury, which is dangerous to your safety and the environment. LED lighting, on the other hand, has no toxic chemicals and are 100% recyclable.

When you use LED bulbs, you reduce your carbon footprint by up to 30%. With a long life expectancy, you won’t have to use at least 25 incandescent bulbs for every LED you use. It’s a big step towards a greener, less polluted future.

LED Lighting Has Higher Durability

Built from sturdy components, LEDs has the durability to withstand even the roughest conditions. It’s resistant to shock, vibrations, and other external impacts. It’s great if your place has extreme wind and rain.

If you need an outdoor lighting system, using LED is your best investment. It can survive external vandalism, traffic-related exposure, and other conditions that would otherwise break other standard choices.

LED Bulbs Have Close to Zero UV Emissions

If you’re using an LED light, you don’t have to worry about UV emissions. It’s a good choice if you’re using the light near heat-sensitive goods and materials.

LED lighting is popular in places like:

  • Museums
  • Art Galleries
  • Archaeological sites

It emits small levels of infrared light, which means that it doesn’t emit that much heat. If you have UV-sensitive skin, you can use these bulbs for your bedside lamps.

LED Lighting Has Flexible Design Features

This type of lighting can come in bulbs of any shape but still produce the same degree of illumination. You can make individual LEDs dimmer, which makes it easier for you to control its color and distribution. If you want fantastic light effects, you can make a well-designed LED system.

Most planes, classrooms, and bedrooms use LED mood lighting. This trend continues to grow through the years. There are also LED rope lights that you can use to craft intimate lighting effects.

LEDs Can Run on Low-Voltage Power Sources

Unlike fluorescent and incandescent bulbs, you can use LED lights even when you use a low-voltage power supply. If you’re using it outdoors, you can connect it to a solar energy source. It’s the best choice for people living in rural areas where solar panels are the best power source.

LEDs Can Withstand Frequent Switching

When you power on an LED light, it brightens up immediately. It’s good to use in public structures like traffic and signal lights. You can switch the lights off and on as often as you want without affecting its life expectancy or light emission.

Standard lighting options take several seconds before they reach full brightness. Turning them on and off all the time shortens their lifespan and makes them dimmer.

LED Lights Can Run in Extreme Temperatures

People living in areas with harsh winters can use these lights for their outdoor lighting needs. Some fluorescent lamps can break when they’re exposed to sub-zero temperatures. If you want to have a lighting system that works no matter where you are, you can count on LED bulbs to do the job.

LEDs are Safer than Other Lighting Options

Incandescent light bulbs can get hot to the touch if you leave it on for long periods of time. This is because of its low energy efficiency, expelling more heat than light when you use it. You can suffer from burns if you touch these lights, especially if you’re using it for your household lamps.

LEDs, on the other hand, generates little to no heat. It takes 85 LED bulbs to match the heat generated by a single incandescent bulb. It prevents safety risks like fire and other forms of injury.

Get Your LED Bulbs Today!

The future of smart, eco-friendly lighting systems is with LED. It’s the next big leap in human technology when it comes to energy efficiency, durability, and safety. All other forms of lighting are becoming more obsolete because of LED.

This light can do more than brighten your surroundings. It makes the atmosphere more comfortable and productive. You can use it with intelligent sensors and controls for smarter lighting solutions.

If you want to get LED lights for your place, we can help. We have an inventory of more than 2,000 LED options that can fit your needs. Some of these include rope lights, strip lights, bulbs, and other fixtures.

Do you want to know more about LED lights and their benefits? Contact us today!

Ways to Use LED Lighting at Your Wedding

The price of weddings has skyrocketed in recent years. While things like the wedding dress, jewelry, and staff eat up a lot of the budget, they aren’t the most expensive item.

If you’re planning a wedding, get ready to spend around 50% of the budget on the venue. Not an easy pill to swallow, but that’s what you should expect.

While we can’t make all of your wedding woes disappear, we’re here to help you with one aspect of your big day.

You need a great setting with a romantic ambiance. Have you considered LED wedding lighting?

We’re going to walk you through how to use LED lighting to make your wedding venue glow with romance. Keep reading!

Why Should You Use LED Wedding Lighting?

LED lights have plenty of benefits. They are versatile, long-lasting, and look amazing.

You might’ve heard that LED lights can be a bit more expensive. Over time, they can save you money.

They last a much longer time than regular bulbs. Plus, they are energy efficient and don’t emit as much heat.

These sound like great reasons to use them in your home, but what about your wedding? For all the aforementioned reasons and more, LED wedding lighting will make your day that much more special.

We’ve got a ton of great tips to light up your night! Take notes – you’ll want to use them all.

Get Your Glow On

What do you do if you’ve found the perfect venue but they don’t allow candles? While candlesticks impart a beautiful soft glow to your nuptials, they’re also kind of a fire hazard.

LED wedding lighting to the rescue! LED flameless candles look just like the real thing.

They can flicker and glow, and some even come in different colors. Plus they turn on and off with a switch – no lighting and blowing out tons of smokey candles.

String It Up

One of the most versatile kinds of LED lights is string lighting. While you can string the lights around the perimeter, there are so many more things you can do.

You can create contrasting stripes or shapes on the walls of your venue. Try hanging a cluster from the ceiling and gathering it together, for a classic, almost curtain-like shape.

If you’ve got the extra time, string LED lights across the ceiling. This creates a soft, romantic atmosphere, perfect for your first dance together.

Center of Attention

One of the benefits of LED lights is that many of them don’t need to be plugged in. You can buy LED lights in many sizes with a battery pack attached.

As such, you’ll find the smallest lights are perfect for your centerpieces! Your tablescapes will sparkle with lots of twinkling fairy lights.

For example, small LED lights can fit inside of lots of different containers. Try placing them in wine bottles or small bell jars with a few flowers.

Want to really impress your guests? Fill a hurricane vase with beads, gravel, and/or flowers in your wedding colors.

Fill it up to the top with water. Float a flameless tea light at the top and wait for the oohs and ahs to start!

Outdoor Solutions

Is there anything more beautiful than an outdoor wedding? The sky as your canopy, the grass or a sandy beach as the aisle you walk down?

It can be a real headache to light an outdoor venue. You’ll need to lug a noisy generator out to the area if you’re using traditional lighting.

With LED wedding lighting, you won’t have any of those issues. LED lights can be as bright or as soft as you need them to be.

Try stringing them over the tops of your tables to create a gorgeous awning. Use strips of LED lights or stand-alone flameless candles to define the path to the altar.

Another great idea? Take those hurricane vases we talked about before and place them in the grass or sand to create a mysterious atmosphere.

Getting hitched after dark? Don’t forget to visit at night to see what your wedding lighting needs will be and plan accordingly.

Define Your Wedding Style

Just like every other element of your wedding, the type of LED wedding lighting you choose will set the mood. You need to speak to your style with your decorations.

Take a moment to think about what you want your wedding to look like. Once you’ve got a picture of what you’d like, you can start looking at lighting options.

Here are a few styles to inspire you:

  • Classic: Think wall sconces, chandeliers, and lots of candles
  • Unique: The opposite of classic. Think edgy, trendy, and different – harsh angles and interesting shapes. For the most creative brides and grooms only
  • Retro: Like to throw it back to a classier time? You’ve got a lot of material to work with. From industrial 50s bulbs to space-age 60s shapes, to art deco sconces
  • Romantic: This will involve lots of candles and lots of twinkling and sparkling. A canopy of string lights is ideal for this style
  • Modern: Party lighting is a big part of this style. Add in lots of colors to make your style pop

These are just a few ideas to get you started. Don’t feel the need to stick to just these concepts.

Make Your Wedding Your Own

Now that you see that LED wedding lighting has so many uses that regular lights can’t touch, you can really get creative.

Put a few LED lights in balloons and watch the fun float. Use colored LEDs to spell out the word “love” or your initials.

Line the dance floor with LED lights, or even use LEDs to create light up columns.

No matter what you decide to do for your big day, just know we’ve got you covered. We’ve got a huge selection of LED specialty lights, rope lighting, and other various LED light fixtures.

Planning a wedding is exciting, and while some elements can be stressful, it doesn’t have to be. Look at our wide array of LED options and light up your wedding!

The Advantages of LED Lighting

Saving money is always on the homeowner’s agenda. At the same time, you don’t want to give up quality and value just to save a buck. Fortunately, when it comes to your lighting, LED light bulbs for home lighting solutions allow you the opportunity to enjoy high quality and savings each time you flip a switch.

According to research, the U.S. Department of Energy has predicted that switching to LED lights during the next couple of decades may generate $250 billion worth of energy cost savings.

So, LED lighting sounds appealing. But what exactly are all of the advantages of this cutting-edge lighting technology? Here’s a look at why you may want to consider LED light bulbs for home lighting solutions.

Let’s get started!

How Exactly do LED Light Bulbs for Home Lighting Solutions Work?

Your traditional incandescent bulb produces light when a current passes through the inside metal piece. But with an LED light, electrons pass through a semiconductor instead. That means you don’t have to worry about a filament wearing out inside of it.

What makes LED lights so popular not only in home applications but also in commercial ones is that they’re capable of producing light in various colors. On top of this, they can emit light without a bunch of annoying glare.

Plus, you can easily turn them off and on without shortening their lifespans. (Try doing that with a fluorescent bulb.)

Efficiency

The biggest reason LED lights are all the rave today is that they use around half of the electricity that your traditional fluorescent, incandescent, and halogen bulbs do. This results in major energy savings, particularly if you keep your lights on for long periods of time.

LED light bulbs for home solutions also aim their light in specific directions. This is the opposite of what you experience with traditional bulbs, which produce light in every direction. The directional lighting you get with LEDs reduces wasted energy and light.

Operation in Cold Temperatures and Wet Weather

Another great thing about LED light bulbs for home lighting solutions is that they embrace the cold. Meanwhile, fluorescent lamps and cold temperatures don’t mix.

If you have a fluorescent bulb in a cold space, a higher voltage will be needed to start your lamp, and the light won’t look as intense as it normally does.

However, an LED bulb’s performance actually improves as the operating temperature drops. This is why LED bulbs fit naturally in refrigerators and freezers.

On top of that, the lack of a filament inside an LED bulb means the light can withstand more shock and vibration compared with a standard bulb. So, snow and rain are no match for it.

Instant Operation

Another advantage of using LED lights in your home? As soon as you turn on an LED lamp, the brightness level will be 100%. This is not so with fluorescent or high-intensity discharge lamps, which might require at least three minutes to reach their maximum light outputs.

Long Life

You wear many hats. “Home light bulb replacer” shouldn’t be one you have to put on too often.

Fortunately, with LED lighting solutions, you have one fewer hat to wear on a regular basis. Why? Because LED lights last a long time.

A traditional incandescent bulb lasts around 1,000 hours, and a compact fluorescent one lasts between 8,000 and 10,000 hours. But an LED light? It’ll last you a whopping 30,000 to 50,000 hours.

For this reason, they’re perfect to use in fixtures that might be hard to reach regularly. And they’ll generate significant savings for you since you don’t have to keep buying replacement bulbs.

Use of Controls

Like dimmers? They work wonderfully with LED light bulbs.

As we mentioned before, LED bulbs are semiconductor devices, so they inherently work well with controls. In fact, you can dim some LED bulbs to about 10% of their light outputs. On the contrary, the majority of fluorescent lights reach only around 30% of their full brightness.

LED bulbs also provide continuous rather than tiered dimming. In other words, the dimming process couldn’t be smoother or more seamless.

Intelligence and Eco-Friendliness

Interested in going green? LED bulbs are just what you need.

Light today does a lot more than simply brighten our paths and make our homes more comfortable and secure. It can also decrease our environmental footprint.

If homeowners pair LED bulbs with intelligent controls and sensors, they can enjoy smarter and more sustainable lighting solutions in the years to come.

Not only that, but LED bulbs don’t contain mercury, which can be harmful to the environment.

No Need to Feel Burned

Under 10% of incandescent lamps’ power becomes visible light. Most of their power ends up being converted to infrared heat, which can burn both materials and people.

On the contrary, LED lights produce virtually no ultraviolet or infrared heat. So, they’re clearly safer to use in your home.

Convenient Size and Superior Appearance

Bigger isn’t always better. In fact, when it comes to lighting, a small size may be just what you need.

LED light bulbs can be as tiny as 2mm, so they’re perfect for compact areas. In addition, these light bulbs have unique aesthetic advantages compared with your run-of-the-mill incandescent lights, which depend on extremely inefficient filters for producing color.

Hardiness

Since LED lights don’t have glass enclosures or filaments, they’re resistant to breaking. Traditional incandescent bulbs? Not so much.

Instead of using glass, LED lights are mounted on circuit boards and are connected to soldered leads. The leads may be susceptible to impact but not more than your mobile phone would be. Overall, LED lights are generally immune to impacts such as vibrations.

How We Can Help

We offer a wide range of LED light bulbs for home lighting solutions, including rope lights, strip lights, bulbs, and fixtures.

With our inventory of more than 2,000 items, we can easily help you to meet your unique lighting need.

Get in touch with us to find out more about how our lights can add money to your pocket and value to your home and life.

5 Reasons LED Neon Rope Light is Better Than Traditional Glass Neon

Lights have come a long way over the past 100 years. Now, decorative lighting designs can fit any vision.

Consumers find it difficult to make a choice between traditional and modern styles. When choosing lights for home decor, the options can easily overwhelm. Though trends go in and out on these sorts of things, the technology only expands.

To narrow things down, we’re going to recommend you design with LED neon rope light. These lights feature significant advantages over traditional glass neon.

Don’t just follow a trend, get out in front and know why you made your choice.

Neon Rope Light Advantages

Light emitting diodes (LED) have been around for nearly 40 years now. You see them popping up in more places every year. A recent development of LED tech introduced them for use as standard light fixture bulbs. These work by using dozens of smaller lights to create the desired brightness.

Engineers designed LED neon rope light configurations specifically to replace traditional glass neon. They took the energy efficient LED and strung them together in tubing that amplifies the light. This created a cheaper and more reliable alternative to glass neon.

LED replacements for many lighting applications continue to increase because, in the end, LED just works better. Let’s go over the advantages that LED specifically has over glass neon.

1. Flexibility

The clearest advantage of LED neon rope light systems comes from the flexible tubing that houses it. Glass neon requires tools and equipment to shape and therefore must be built by craftsmen or professionals.

Creating a design with LED rope only takes the imagination and will to do so. The material is lightweight and doesn’t heat up. Breaking an LED light rope takes a lot of effort and usually cutting tools.

The flexibility also aids when using a neon rope light for floor decorating. No need to fear stepping on the flexible plastic material — it won’t break.

They make great runners for stairs or along sharp corners because they can bend and contort to the desired shape. They can also add an additional buffer of protection against wear on the edges of steps or carpet thresholds.

2. Easy Installation

Installation procedures don’t require special teams either. No more dedicated wall space and a team to secure the sometimes heavy, and always fragile, glass neon. No more fear of broken glass spilling mercury or fluorite gas into the air.

While you can buy some pre-built kits which will include a neon rope light or two and some brackets, it is just as easy to do with basic tools.

Some zip ties and nails make almost any configuration of light possible, and they are easy to remove and reuse.

Glue, tape, or other adhesives can be used to hold the ropes in place, depending on the surface. Some rope light strips come with an adhesive layer ready to go.

Consumers sometimes worry about doubling up effects. These can occur when running rope lights around themselves to form letters or to cover larger areas. Doubling up on a neon rope light has a minimal effect in creating more brightness because the plastic housing also gets doubled.

3. Brighter

LED lights create more lumens per foot by nearly double. Some users appreciate that neon offers a more continuous light look, while LED has brighter and darker spots. However, from a distance and with newer housing, the light diffusion with LED excels across the board.

Up close, glass neon also features dark spots and bright spots as the gas inside excites unevenly. Mostly this is due to temperature and curvature changes in the glass which allow more or less gas inside the chamber.

LED neon rope light customers often look for softer glows that can be used as comfort or mood lighting. But other applications of LED, especially flashlights, show the superiority of LED bulbs.

4. Longer Life Span

As a solid-state semiconductor, LED uses less power to create the same lumens. This makes LED last longer because less wear occurs on each of the lights. The lights also share the workload over a larger surface area, so they shoulder less of the work.

Together these two features enable LED to glow brightly for upwards of three times longer than traditional glass neon.

Glass neon suffers from a multitude of problems for longevity. One comes from the fragile nature of glass. Also, neon works via exciting gasses in a tube.

The electrodes exciting the gas, depending on the shape, can be a long distance from the gas in the middle. To reach the middle of a shape may require more power to be pushed along to gain the same effective brightness. A lot of that power gets lost as waste heat at the tubes’ ends, which causes them to deteriorate more quickly.

5. Energy Efficiency

The same technology and features that create the longer lifespan for LED contribute to better energy efficiency. Less overall power requirement for the same brightness saves money. Not needing to replace lights also saves materials, which saves in manufacturing.

Heat loss concerns don’t pop up in LED neon rope light like they do in traditional glass neon. Glass neon also requires kilovolts of energy to power, which requires dedicated circuits the same as a cooking stove or clothes dryer.

Glass Neon Benefit

Glass neon does have one benefit over LED. Because LED works through semiconductor technology, it has a magnetic resonance. For a home which has family members using unshielded medical devices, like a pacemaker, this could pose a problem.

This health benefit of glass neon gets quickly outweighed, in most situations, by the presence of the heavy metals and toxic gasses used to make glass neon colors. But fair is fair, and a lack of electromagnetic resonance may be vital for some people.

More Lighting Ideas

If you need more ideas and tips about LED rope lights, we have a whole category about them on our blog.

You can find creative ways to use LED. Some tips on how best to mount lights. We even have more tech talk about how lights work and can work for you.

Looking to buy? We have neon rope lights and accessories ready to order. Come see what we can do for you.

The Advantages of LED Lighting

Saving money is always on the homeowner’s agenda. At the same time, you don’t want to give up quality and value just to save a buck. Fortunately, when it comes to your lighting, LED light bulbs for home lighting solutions allow you the opportunity to enjoy high quality and savings each time you flip a switch.

According to research, the U.S. Department of Energy has predicted that switching to LED lights during the next couple of decades may generate $250 billion worth of energy cost savings.

So, LED lighting sounds appealing. But what exactly are all of the advantages of this cutting-edge lighting technology? Here’s a look at why you may want to consider LED light bulbs for home lighting solutions.

Let’s get started!

How Exactly do LED Light Bulbs for Home Lighting Solutions Work?

Your traditional incandescent bulb produces light when a current passes through the inside metal piece. But with an LED light, electrons pass through a semiconductor instead. That means you don’t have to worry about a filament wearing out inside of it.

What makes LED lights so popular not only in home applications but also in commercial ones is that they’re capable of producing light in various colors. On top of this, they can emit light without a bunch of annoying glare.

Plus, you can easily turn them off and on without shortening their lifespans. (Try doing that with a fluorescent bulb.)

Efficiency

The biggest reason LED lights are all the rave today is that they use around half of the electricity that your traditional fluorescent, incandescent, and halogen bulbs do. This results in major energy savings, particularly if you keep your lights on for long periods of time.

LED light bulbs for home solutions also aim their light in specific directions. This is the opposite of what you experience with traditional bulbs, which produce light in every direction. The directional lighting you get with LEDs reduces wasted energy and light.

Operation in Cold Temperatures and Wet Weather

Another great thing about LED light bulbs for home lighting solutions is that they embrace the cold. Meanwhile, fluorescent lamps and cold temperatures don’t mix.

If you have a fluorescent bulb in a cold space, a higher voltage will be needed to start your lamp, and the light won’t look as intense as it normally does.

However, an LED bulb’s performance actually improves as the operating temperature drops. This is why LED bulbs fit naturally in refrigerators and freezers.

On top of that, the lack of a filament inside an LED bulb means the light can withstand more shock and vibration compared with a standard bulb. So, snow and rain are no match for it.

Instant Operation

Another advantage of using LED lights in your home? As soon as you turn on an LED lamp, the brightness level will be 100%. This is not so with fluorescent or high-intensity discharge lamps, which might require at least three minutes to reach their maximum light outputs.

Long Life

You wear many hats. “Home light bulb replacer” shouldn’t be one you have to put on too often.

Fortunately, with LED lighting solutions, you have one fewer hat to wear on a regular basis. Why? Because LED lights last a long time.

A traditional incandescent bulb lasts around 1,000 hours, and a compact fluorescent one lasts between 8,000 and 10,000 hours. But an LED light? It’ll last you a whopping 30,000 to 50,000 hours.

For this reason, they’re perfect to use in fixtures that might be hard to reach regularly. And they’ll generate significant savings for you since you don’t have to keep buying replacement bulbs.

Use of Controls

Like dimmers? They work wonderfully with LED light bulbs.

As we mentioned before, LED bulbs are semiconductor devices, so they inherently work well with controls. In fact, you can dim some LED bulbs to about 10% of their light outputs. On the contrary, the majority of fluorescent lights reach only around 30% of their full brightness.

LED bulbs also provide continuous rather than tiered dimming. In other words, the dimming process couldn’t be smoother or more seamless.

Intelligence and Eco-Friendliness

Interested in going green? LED bulbs are just what you need.

Light today does a lot more than simply brighten our paths and make our homes more comfortable and secure. It can also decrease our environmental footprint.

If homeowners pair LED bulbs with intelligent controls and sensors, they can enjoy smarter and more sustainable lighting solutions in the years to come.

Not only that, but LED bulbs don’t contain mercury, which can be harmful to the environment.

No Need to Feel Burned

Under 10% of incandescent lamps’ power becomes visible light. Most of their power ends up being converted to infrared heat, which can burn both materials and people.

On the contrary, LED lights produce virtually no ultraviolet or infrared heat. So, they’re clearly safer to use in your home.

Convenient Size and Superior Appearance

Bigger isn’t always better. In fact, when it comes to lighting, a small size may be just what you need.

LED light bulbs can be as tiny as 2mm, so they’re perfect for compact areas. In addition, these light bulbs have unique aesthetic advantages compared with your run-of-the-mill incandescent lights, which depend on extremely inefficient filters for producing color.

Hardiness

Since LED lights don’t have glass enclosures or filaments, they’re resistant to breaking. Traditional incandescent bulbs? Not so much.

Instead of using glass, LED lights are mounted on circuit boards and are connected to soldered leads. The leads may be susceptible to impact but not more than your mobile phone would be. Overall, LED lights are generally immune to impacts such as vibrations.

How We Can Help

We offer a wide range of LED light bulbs for home lighting solutions, including rope lights, strip lights, bulbs, and fixtures.

With our inventory of more than 2,000 items, we can easily help you to meet your unique lighting need.

Get in touch with us to find out more about how our lights can add money to your pocket and value to your home and life.

5 Advantages of LED Neon Rope Light Over Traditional Glass Neon

Lights have come a long way over the past 100 years. Now, decorative lighting designs can fit any vision.

Consumers find it difficult to make a choice between traditional and modern styles. When choosing lights for home decor, the options can easily overwhelm. Though trends go in and out on these sorts of things, the technology only expands.

To narrow things down, we’re going to recommend you design with LED neon rope light. These lights feature significant advantages over traditional glass neon.

Don’t just follow a trend, get out in front and know why you made your choice.

Neon Rope Light Advantages

Light emitting diodes (LED) have been around for nearly 40 years now. You see them popping up in more places every year. A recent development of LED tech introduced them for use as standard light fixture bulbs. These work by using dozens of smaller lights to create the desired brightness.

Engineers designed LED neon rope light configurations specifically to replace traditional glass neon. They took the energy efficient LED and strung them together in tubing that amplifies the light. This created a cheaper and more reliable alternative to glass neon.

LED replacements for many lighting applications continue to increase because, in the end, LED just works better. Let’s go over the advantages that LED specifically has over glass neon.

1. Flexibility

The clearest advantage of LED neon rope light systems comes from the flexible tubing that houses it. Glass neon requires tools and equipment to shape and therefore must be built by craftsmen or professionals.

Creating a design with LED rope only takes the imagination and will to do so. The material is lightweight and doesn’t heat up. Breaking an LED light rope takes a lot of effort and usually cutting tools.

The flexibility also aids when using a neon rope light for floor decorating. No need to fear stepping on the flexible plastic material — it won’t break.

They make great runners for stairs or along sharp corners because they can bend and contort to the desired shape. They can also add an additional buffer of protection against wear on the edges of steps or carpet thresholds.

2. Easy Installation

Installation procedures don’t require special teams either. No more dedicated wall space and a team to secure the sometimes heavy, and always fragile, glass neon. No more fear of broken glass spilling mercury or fluorite gas into the air.

While you can buy some pre-built kits which will include a neon rope light or two and some brackets, it is just as easy to do with basic tools.

Some zip ties and nails make almost any configuration of light possible, and they are easy to remove and reuse.

Glue, tape, or other adhesives can be used to hold the ropes in place, depending on the surface. Some rope light strips come with an adhesive layer ready to go.

Consumers sometimes worry about doubling up effects. These can occur when running rope lights around themselves to form letters or to cover larger areas. Doubling up on a neon rope light has a minimal effect in creating more brightness because the plastic housing also gets doubled.

3. Brighter

LED lights create more lumens per foot by nearly double. Some users appreciate that neon offers a more continuous light look, while LED has brighter and darker spots. However, from a distance and with newer housing, the light diffusion with LED excels across the board.

Up close, glass neon also features dark spots and bright spots as the gas inside excites unevenly. Mostly this is due to temperature and curvature changes in the glass which allow more or less gas inside the chamber.

LED neon rope light customers often look for softer glows that can be used as comfort or mood lighting. But other applications of LED, especially flashlights, show the superiority of LED bulbs.

4. Longer Life Span

As a solid-state semiconductor, LED uses less power to create the same lumens. This makes LED last longer because less wear occurs on each of the lights. The lights also share the workload over a larger surface area, so they shoulder less of the work.

Together these two features enable LED to glow brightly for upwards of three times longer than traditional glass neon.

Glass neon suffers from a multitude of problems for longevity. One comes from the fragile nature of glass. Also, neon works via exciting gasses in a tube.

The electrodes exciting the gas, depending on the shape, can be a long distance from the gas in the middle. To reach the middle of a shape may require more power to be pushed along to gain the same effective brightness. A lot of that power gets lost as waste heat at the tubes’ ends, which causes them to deteriorate more quickly.

5. Energy Efficiency

The same technology and features that create the longer lifespan for LED contribute to better energy efficiency. Less overall power requirement for the same brightness saves money. Not needing to replace lights also saves materials, which saves in manufacturing.

Heat loss concerns don’t pop up in LED neon rope light like they do in traditional glass neon. Glass neon also requires kilovolts of energy to power, which requires dedicated circuits the same as a cooking stove or clothes dryer.

Glass Neon Benefit

Glass neon does have one benefit over LED. Because LED works through semiconductor technology, it has a magnetic resonance. For a home which has family members using unshielded medical devices, like a pacemaker, this could pose a problem.

This health benefit of glass neon gets quickly outweighed, in most situations, by the presence of the heavy metals and toxic gasses used to make glass neon colors. But fair is fair, and a lack of electromagnetic resonance may be vital for some people.

More Lighting Ideas

If you need more ideas and tips about LED rope lights, we have a whole category about them on our blog.

You can find creative ways to use LED. Some tips on how best to mount lights. We even have more tech talk about how lights work and can work for you.

Looking to buy? We have neon rope lights and accessories ready to order. Come see what we can do for you.

8 Awesome Ways to Use Rope Lighting

Rope lighting doesn’t just have to be for the holidays.

Granted, the approach of the festive season gives us many more ways to use rope lighting for decoration purposes, but you don’t have to limit yourself to just that.

There are so many creative ways to use rope lighting. Whether you’re looking to spruce up your backyard, the inside of your home, or even your car.

Read on to find out 8 awesome and creative ways to use rope lighting.

1. Spell It Out

Amongst the many creative ways to use rope lighting for decoration, this is one of our favorites. It’s a great way to make a bold statement, and it’s all over Pinterest.

This nifty DIY crafting blog offers a great tutorial on how to create your own glowing rope light word art.

2. Bright Back Lighting

Backlighting can add a stylish glow to everything from your headboard to the back of your television.

Behind a headboard, backlighting offers a soft glow that will be gentler on tired eyes than your average room light or side table lamp. It’s the perfect light to use when settling into bed to read before you drop off.

Bias Lighting

Backlighting can create a beautiful ambient effect in any room of your home. The ambient backlighting that is put behind a screen is often called bias lighting.

In fact, more than being just another pretty accessory for your home, it can even solve eye strain problems associated with staring at a screen in the dark.

If you use bias lighting, you may notice it increases the contrast of the image color on your tv screen. Due to this, the image color and quality will look deeper and more intense.

Of all the ways to use rope lighting, this has to be one of the best, and most multi-functional!

3. Mirror Mirror On The Wall

Rope lights are a great way to decorate a vanity or wall mirror.

Most women will probably agree on how annoying it can be when you’re applying makeup or primping for a night out, and your light is too dim to properly see what you’re doing.

Rope lights solve this problem by shining light inoffensively in the direction of your face. You could do this with your bathroom mirror or cabinet.

You can even tuck the lights neatly underneath the mirror too to make it look backlit. It’s a perfect lighting solution!

4. Storage Lighting

For those looking to rummage through their closet or drawers when it’s dark, rope lighting is a great way of lighting things up so you can see exactly what you have.

This way, you don’t need to run the batteries down on your old emergency torch!

This doesn’t have to be limited to closets or drawers either. Lining parts of your attic or basement with rope lights will have the same effect, and might even make them feel less spooky, too!

At least this way you can always rely on seeing where you’re going while sorting through you’re things.

5. Bar and Counter Lighting

If you’re lucky enough to have your own personal bar area, take inspiration from the deco of the most stylish bars.

LED rope lighting instantly adds a cool, modern edge to any bar. A dandy decorating tip that will give your tipple den a Blade Runner vibe.

Similarly, you can try this with kitchen countertops too if it matches the style. Trust us, it looks really cool!

6. Balcony Bling

Balcony and exterior lighting on your home doesn’t just have to be for the holidays. A well-lit balcony can add mood and atmosphere that will make sitting out and enjoying the cool Winter air that little bit more pleasant.

You can use the rope lights to line the edges of your balcony. For a more festive touch, wrap them around the railings and go for seasonal colors such as green or red – or both!

7. Shed Some Light On Your Art

This couple from San Francisco used LEDs to light up some modern art in their lounge. Using just a strip of rope lighting as backlighting, they managed to give new life to a piece of old airplane.

The same could be done with a canvas or even a frame. Rope lighting can really bring out the color in a good painting or photograph. It can allow people to see it as it would be seen on display at an exhibition.

It’s a simple but effective way to elevate your art and works for sculptures on models on display, too!

8. Decorating Your Garden

Brighten up your flower bed with the ethereal glow of fun colored rope lights. Great for use in landscaping, lights can really give your garden an extra something.

Depending on the time of year, you can go for different moods, too. At Halloween, you can create a ghostly glow with orange, red, or even green lights for a spooky touch.

At Christmas time you can opt for festive flashing lights in lots of different colors.

Placing rope lighting in or around a rockery or pond makes for a really nice touch too. Lighting up walkways and paths to or around a bigger garden or yard not only has safety benefits but can also look really magical.

You can even go for a more rustic look by filling old mason jars or glass bottles with tangles of rope lights and place them around your garden.

There are loads of cool ways to use rope lighting in your garden, and it doesn’t even have to be difficult.

In fact, you should check out our tips on how to weather-proof LED rope lights. This is of course very important if you’re going to be using them outside.

The Ways To Use Rope Lighting Are Endless

These are just a few ideas for ways to use rope lighting to decorate and make your home and garden shine.

We offer a wide variety of different lights and everything you need to prepare, shop for, and eventually install your new rope lighting.

Browse our wide variety of different colored rope lights today, and let us light up your life!

6 Ways to Create an Intimate Atmosphere with Lighting

Can you remember the last time you felt calm and relaxed?

It is hard to achieve that with constant harsh lighting, which often results in the opposite effect.

An intimate atmosphere with lighting can greatly improve feelings of relaxation and closeness to your loved ones.

Simple changes to lighting in particular rooms is the easiest method. Lighting is much less expensive than other forms of renovation and decor, and often it can make the biggest difference.

Let’s be honest, aren’t we all looking for cheap ways to impress our relatives this holiday season?

Read on for six easy lighting changes to create a more intimate atmosphere.

1. Warm and Cool Light

Did you know that there are actually warm and cool lights in terms of color?

The secret is the temperature of the light. And, light color can actually be measured by the Kelvin temperature scale.

Temperatures that are between 2,700 to 3,000K tend to emit a warm, yellow color and is considered lower.

Midrange temperatures would be between 3,500 and 4,100K and emit a neutral, white appearance.

Lastly, temperatures that are 5,000K or above emit a cool, bluish tinted appearance.

Use a variety of these in your home. Warmer lights fit best in living rooms, and bedrooms. Neutral lights work well in kitchens or offices.

Then, cooler lights are best in areas where you crave daylight-tinted bulbs, such as reading areas or above greenery.

2. Soft, Dim Lights

Recall the last time you enjoyed a romantic dinner by candlelight or dimmed lanterns.

Wouldn’t you love to recreate that effect in your own home, whenever you’d like?

It can be possible with soft and dim light to channel your favorite five-star restaurant in your dining room.

To get the intimate atmosphere with lighting, simply install dimmers or purchase lights with dimming abilities.

Place these lights in areas where intimacy is desired, such as dining rooms, kitchens, bedrooms, or living rooms. Next, it’s just all about the timing.

3. Colored Lights

Did you know that different colors can stimulate different moods?

To manipulate your mood as well as other family members, add in lights that provoke various emotions.

Some examples of the different colors and moods according to Mind Body Green include:

  • Red: Energizing, and stimulating
  • Orange: Creative, and warming
  • Yellow: Positive, and strength
  • Green: Balance, compassion, harmony
  • Blue: Calm, loyalty, expressive
  • Indigo: Integrity, intuitive, insightful
  • Violet: Wisdom, inspiration, transformation

Light therapy can also be used to increase vitamin D production and provide numerous health benefits.

4. Focal Lights

Focal lights can be perfect for kitchens, bars, and living rooms. Carefully placed decorations can be perfect for an intimate atmosphere with lighting.

Simply decide the areas that you would like to be your focal points of the room, and place lighting in that area.

This tip can be combined with other changes, such as colored lighting, dim lighting, or warm/cold lighting.

The point is, pick something you love and improve it with light. This could be as simple as a flower arrangement, or as large as a piece of furniture.

Use this to direct attention to that area, making an excellent talking point for visitors and family. You could even highlight your favorite piece of artwork.

5. Accent Lamps

Accent lamps are perfect for any area of the home, from bedrooms to living rooms.

They can be rope lights, floor lamps, or table lamps, but the important part is that the light brings value to your life.

These are perfect to decorate a room while adding an intimate atmosphere with lighting.

In addition, multiple accent lights can create a beautiful effect in a room. Choose lights that highlight your personal style.

Fun options could include lava lamps or Chinese lanterns. Or, channel your inner bohemian style with a Moroccan lantern that reminds you of all your past journeys.

Regardless, use lighting as both an accent and mood-setter for any room in your home.

6. Clear Twinkle Lights

Clear twinkle lights can be ideal to place under or behind furniture. In the kitchen, you could even place them below or above cabinets for an intimate effect.

However, proceed with caution in the placement of this type of light. Unless it is a college dorm room, obvious twinkle lights can look out of place.

The exception could be in the bedroom, especially if the lights are shrouded with curtains.

But, you are not limited in options to place the lights. This is the perfect opportunity to get creative and think of new ways to use them.

The best option is to use them in an indirect method of placement and to reap the intimate atmosphere.

Moreover, colored twinkle lights can add to the effect of intimacy by stimulating certain moods, as mentioned above.

For a romantic atmosphere, choose clear or white twinkle to boost the feelings of love and calm.

The Best Intimate Atmosphere with Lighting

In terms of lighting options, only the best should be used. The highest quality at reasonable prices should be the goal of any consumer.

Additionally, companies should be flexible to customize any lighting project goals and inspirations you have in mind.

And, options should never be limited in terms of lighting. You want many options to choose from to make the best choice for your lovely home.

From electricians to homeowners, to business owners, Bird Dog Lighting can fulfill all of your lighting needs.

In addition, with the holidays quickly approaching, wow your neighbors with the top of the line Christmas and winter-themed lights.

Find your inspiration, and begin to plan for your new, intimate lighting for your home.

Check out our LED light fixture products to begin creating an intimate atmosphere with today.

5 Ways to Use LED Rope Lights in Your Kitchen

Are you redecorating your kitchen to prepare for the upcoming holiday season?

If you are in the search of an inexpensive, beautiful, and functional decoration, look no further than LED rope lights.

What exactly are LED rope lights?

This form of lighting is basically small bulbs that are embedded into a solid tube of clear and bendable plastic.

They can come in a variety of colors and styles to fit exactly what you are looking for in your new, artistic kitchen.

These lights are also specially designed to last for years, even with hours of daily use. The possibilities of use are truly only limited by your imagination.

One of the easier areas of your home to use these lights is in the kitchen, and they can add personal flair to the room that can be enjoyed by the family and visitors alike.

Read on to learn the best ways to use LED rope lights in your kitchen.

Best Ways To Use LED Rope Lights In Your Kitchen

1. Under And Over Cabinet Lighting

One of the darkest places in the kitchen is often directly under the cabinets. This can make it more difficult to access jars and other kitchen supplies that are stored on the counter.

Therefore, one of the easiest solutions is LED rope lights placed underneath the cabinets.

This can help you see exactly what you are reaching for, as well as make it easier to clean.

There is also the added bonus of the beauty that is created by the dimmed light under the cabinets.

Another tip is to add them above the cabinets for a cozy effect to the kitchen, as well as helping bring attention to the ceiling and making the room appear larger.

This can also improve any decor or wine bottles you may have on top of the cabinets, which adds a rustic charm the entire kitchen.

2. Accent Lights

Using LED rope lights as accent lights is another option that can be especially lovely in a kitchen.

There a number of ways to use these as an accent, but one key placement is beside or around your favorite piece of artwork.

This can help bring attention to that artwork, as well as improve the appearance of color and details in the piece of art.

Another option is around other decorations, such as pottery, sculptures, flowers, or potpourri.

The use of them in the method will help guests and family members notice the little details that speak to your style.

The important part here is to stay creative in how you accent your kitchen. Instead of asking where you can put rope lights, ask where you can’t put them!

3. Mood Lighting

Lighting continues to be one of the main ways that the mood of a room can be set, from the instant you walk in.

Think back to the last romantic dinner that you and a loved one went out for. The lighting tends to be just dim enough to eat by but maintains the romantic, and calm atmosphere.

This is what LED rope lights can achieve quite easily in your kitchen or dining room.

In addition, this solution avoids you needing to completely change any other lights or bulbs, or make a more expensive light.

It is easy to switch off the regular lights and turn these on instead to promote the same calm mood that keeps people coming back.

4. Light The Dark Corners

In almost every house, there is at least one awkwardly dark corner. Sometimes they are in living rooms, or bedrooms, but if yours is in your kitchen then rope lights can improve these enormously.

Simply wrap them around something in the corner, turn them on, and it is no longer a dark, creepy corner.

You can also make it extra fun with different color options, possibly for different times of year and holidays.

In addition, this can also improve the functionality of the corner itself, and allow you to decorate it more easily with the style that you love.

Who knows what the untapped possibilities are for that corner?

5. Expand To the Outdoors

In most parts of the world, the summer can be a lovely time to eat outside and enjoy the gentle fireflies and cool nights.

It is also a time of grilling, fresh fruit, family, and laughter. Therefore, expanding your kitchen into the outdoors can be an excellent addition to the already-pleasant time of year that summer is.

Even if you are not entertaining, you can easily enjoy a hot cup of tea into the fall and winter with your lit outdoor kitchen.

You can hang them from the ceiling of the porch or sunroom, or add them as part of your outdoor decor or garden.

Regardless, this option is perfect to spend some extra time outside with lovely mood lighting.

Invest In The Best LED Rope Lights

The benefits and possibilities of LED rope lights are almost endless, especially in the kitchen.

There are many options for decor to choose from, such as placing them on top or under cabinets, using them as accent lights or mood lighting, using them to light dark corners, and lighting the way to your outdoor kitchen.

These are also important because they serve as an extremely inexpensive alternative to other lighting solutions.

But, while they are inexpensive, they can help your home and kitchen look luxurious regardless of where you place them.

They are very customizable and functional, and installation is fairly straightforward and can be completed in just a few minutes. The hardest part is deciding where to put them.

Check out our Rope Light shop page and these warm white, clear rope lights to perfectly place in your kitchen.

An Event Planner’s Guide to LED Rope Lights

LED lights last longer than other lights AND save you money at the same time. It’s no wonder more and more people are starting to use LED lights in their homes.

If you’re trying to find better ways to light up your house, LED rope lights may not be your first choice, but they absolutely should be.

Take a look a look at how many ways LED lights can benefit your home, both inside and out!

What Are LED Rope Lights?

Led rope lights are made from LED bulbs that are strung together inside a flexible, rubber rope. They are low-voltage, and they don’t use a lot of electricity compared to other lights.

Because the rubber rope protects them, you can use LED lights inside or outside. They don’t get as warm as other lights, so you can leave them on for long periods of time, or even overnight, without worrying about them overheating or burning out.

These rope lights come in a variety of different colors, and they are super easy to install. A lot of LED rope light strips come with an adhesive back, so you just stick them where you want them and turn them on.

When you think of LED lights, your mind might automatically go to parties or fancy events, but there are a lot of helpful uses for LED lights at home as well.

Once you see all these amazing LED light ideas, you won’t want to light up your house any other way.

LED Rope Lights Inside

LED lights work really well as mood lights. They give off a nice glow, but they aren’t too bright either. This makes them perfect for a warm, cozy feel that really stands out when the rest of the lights are turned off.

Use LED Lights As Nightlights

You can line these along the hallway floor so if someone needs to use the bathroom during the night, they don’t have to fumble around in complete darkness or blind themselves with the bright, overhead lights.

Just run them where the floor meets the wall, and it will give off enough light to see where you’re going with the lights off. You can put them higher on the wall if you want, like where the wall meets the roof, but it tends to work the best on the ground.

You can also use LED lights as nightlights in places like a child’s room. If your kids don’t like the dark, LED lights will brighten up the room enough for them to see all the dark corners, but it is also dim enough for them to fall asleep easily.

You can even hang some LED lights in your own room for those early mornings or late nights. You can get up and get ready for work without waking up your partner.

Wherever you need light during the night, maybe even inside the bathroom itself, you can easily find a place to hang LED lights.

Use LED Lights Inside Closets

With everything you keep in there, it can be hard to see in your closet.

Just string some LED lights on the ceiling of your closet, along with the sides, or on the edge of a shelf, and you’ll suddenly be able to find that shirt you were looking for.

This is also a good strategy for pantries, deep cabinets, and hallways closets. Sometimes the normal lights aren’t positioned right or bright enough to let you see into these places very well.

As long as there’s an outlet nearby, LED rope lights are a great way to light up those hard-to-see places.

Use LED Lights On The Stairs

People can see where each step is which reduces the risk of someone falling, especially at night. It also looks amazing.

Use LED Lights In Your Computer/TV Room

The best way to watch a movie or play video games is in the dark, but the dark can also make your computer/TV screens too bright.

A few LED lights around the ceiling brighten the room just enough so your eyes don’t hurt from the glare of the screens but not enough to make the screens seem dull.

This also makes it easy to get more popcorn when you run out or take a bathroom break. You don’t have to ruin the mood by turning on the room lights.

LED Rope Lights Outside

LED lights are a great way to light up your yard because you can buy them in long strips that cover a lot of space. Because they are so flexible, you can get them into odd corners or wrap them around posts or railing. They are especially popular around the holiday seasons.

USE LED Lights Along Walkways

LED lights will outline your walkway when it gets dark, so if you’re getting home late, you don’t have to be afraid of tripping.

This is a good choice if you host a lot of parties or events at your house. With a lot of people walking to and from your door in the evening, it helps them know where they are supposed to go.

It also looks incredibly beautiful, so you should line your walkway even if you don’t have a lot of guests!

Use LED Lights As Outdoor Lamps

Line the back deck with LED rope lights to brighten up the space. Hang them over nearby bushes or wrap them around the trees in your backyard. It’s a great way to light up large areas without having to install traditional lanterns.

You can also use LED lights to create a canopy of lights above the deck. Stretch them from the edge of the roof over to the trees or let them drape loselyfrom wires.

The overhead LEDs will give you more than enough light to BBQ, eat, or play games.

Use LED Lights To Replace Candle Dinners

On those nights that are just too windy for candles, hang LED rope lights from the underside of your outdoor umbrella. The light will easily light up the table, and it will feel just as intimate as candles.

Brighten Up Your House With Some LED Lights

LED lights are can hang almost anyway, and they are quick and easy to install. They work just as well outside as they do inside, and they can be used as a low, ambient light or a full, bright light just as strong as your normal lights. If you can think of a place for LED rope lights, you put them there.

Want a few suggestions on other LED light ideas? Check out some ways you can decorate your room with LED lights!

How to Mix and Match Colored LED Light Strips

Colored lighting can transform the mood of any space. To set the tone in yours, check out the following tips for using colored LED light strips together.

 

Often times, when we think about adding color to a room, we think about paint. But have you ever considered adding colored lights instead?

Using colored lights is a new decorating tool that many designers have permanently placed in their toolbox. Changing the color of lights can significantly alter the look and feel of a room.

LED lights strips have evolved significantly and are rapidly rising in modern lighting design all over the world. Architects and designers are choosing to use LED light strips in residential, commercial, and industrial projects at an increasing rate.

This is because it not only increases efficiency, but there are numerous options when it comes to color and brightness.

Colored lighting can transform the mood of any space. Knowing how to mix and match your colors can also impact the result greatly. Check out the following tips for using colored LED light strips together

Working With Colored LED Light Strips

Understanding Color Theory

Colors are important when trying to make things look good, whether it’s the clothes you wear or the way the paint on your walls match your furniture. But what do you do when you’re not sure if certain colors go together?

If you can’t trust your own judgment, understanding the basics of color theory will always help you pick the right colors.

The Basics

Complementary colors are two colors that fall opposite each other on the color wheel. For example, violet and yellow, or red and green.

Split complementary colors use three colors. This option takes one color and matches it with the two colors adjacent to its complementary color. For example, red, blue-green and yellow-green.

Analogous colors are any three colors that fall next to each other on the color wheel. For example, blue, blue-green, and green.

Triadic colors are any three colors that are equally apart on the color wheel. For example, green, orange, and violet.

Tetradic or double complementary colors combines four colors together, in the form of two sets of complementary colors. For example, blue and orange are paired with green and red.

Now that you understand the basics of color theory, you’ll be able to choose the right color to mix and match your colored LED light strips for your space.

Something else to be aware of is that using color in lights is slightly different than mixing and matching colors of solid objects. This is because not only can lights be adjusted based on brightness preference, lights can also be mixed creating an entirely new color.

Let’s get into mixing and matching colors when it comes to lights.

Additive Color Theory

The first method of coloring light is the additive theory which presents itself primarily in RGB lighting. RGB includes the colors: red, green, and blue.

The additive theory works by fading up and down the colored LED lights in order to mix the colors into the desired result. Additive color mixing is the best way to get deep colors.

Subtractive Color Theory

The subtractive color theory usually presents itself in CNY lighting. CNY includes the colors: cyan, magenta, and yellow.

Mixing the CMY colors when subtracting from white light gets better results than using RGB colors to subtract. In short, the CMY color wheel subtracts from white light, while the RGB color wheel adds colored light.

Matching RGB And CMY

Mixing and matching RGB and CMY lights is how you can play with your lights to make sure you get the exact shade of color you want. If you are just pairing your colored LED light strips next to one another, then basic color theory is enough to know what is going to look good.

Colors Have Emotions

Colors are often times associated with specific emotions and feelings. When lighting your space, this is definitely something you should be aware of. Color psychology is a subject that has been studied by scientists for centuries.

Below are some of the common pairings that are generally agreed upon.

  • Red: evil, anger, fear
  • Yellow: bright, happy
  • Orange: intimate, warm
  • Violet: royal, fun, playful
  • Green: nature, money, growth

If you are designing with colored LED light strips, you will definitely need to keep in mind how different colors influence the emotion of the space.

How To Use Your Colored LED Light Strips

There are several different ways you can use LED light strips throughout any space. Light strips can highlight and accept specific objects such as architecture, artwork, or any other features that are not being featured enough with just ambient lighting.

Using your colored LED light strips, you can add backlighting behind computer monitors, around artwork, in cabinets, on stairs, or underneath furniture. Not only do they look great, often times they provide very practical purposes too.

For example, light strips can help light a dark hallway so that children can find their way to the bathroom easily.

Besides providing a variety of lighting options that will suit any space, LED lights also come with several advantages. Some of these include longer lifespan, uses less power, easy installation, and highly efficient.

Consider Existing Decor

Before you get started with your colored lighting, you should also know that colored light is only visible because it reflects off of a surface. That means that a white surface is best when trying to get the most out of colored lighting.

That is why is it very important to consider your existing decor. If you have dark walls, the effects of the colored lighting will be muted. If you have brightly colored walls, the colored lighting will mix with that color and may result in a color result you do not like.

Ideally, you will have pure white walls. That will allow your space to be an empty canvas which can reflect your colored lighting the best.

Ready To Start Mixing And Matching?

Hopefully, you have a better understanding of how to mix and match colors to best fit your space. Colored lighting is a great way to set the mood and personalize your space.

Check us out to find out more ways to create your perfect space with LED lights!

5 Ways LED Office Lights Can Improve Productivity

5 Ways LED Office Lights Can Improve Productivity

Did you know LED lighting has been shown to increase alertness, thought processing and overall productivity in the workplace?

If you’re a business owner, manager or supervisor, quality and productivity are high up there on your priority list.

Let’s take a look at 5 ways LED office lights can improve your productivity.

1. Circadian Rhythms

Circadian rhythms are our bodies’ natural cycle of energy flowing through us at any given time. These rhythms aid us in being able to be alert during the day, have a slight slump midday for a siesta, and sleep restfully at night.

Circadian rhythms are naturally balanced by our exposure to sunlight during the day. Sunshine tells our bodies to shut off the production of melatonin needed for sleep and increase the production of dopamine and serotonin.

But with the Environmental Protection Agency reporting that city dwellers spend more than 90% of their lives inside, the sun can’t perform this same task as well as it did decades ago.

This is where using LED office lights can really help you out. Because outdoor lighting is so similar to blue-based LED lights, studies have shown that LEDs can be a viable substitute for natural light.

Participants exposed to 5 hours of blue-based backlit LED lights from their computer screens in the evening:

  • Produced less melatonin, the brain chemical that induces sleep
  • Reported feeling less tired and more alert
  • Performed better on exercises involving attention

These test subjects significantly outperformed those exposed to comparable florescent lit computer screens.

Just as LED lights have been shown to improve learning in classrooms, it appears the same principle applies to LED office lights and increased productivity in the workplace.

2. Effects on Mood/Reduction in Seasonal Affective Disorder Symptoms

Moods are affected by light exposure due to the light’s effect on the chemicals in the brain, namely dopamine, serotonin, and melatonin. LED office lights can offer a reliable substitute for the natural outdoor lighting indoors to regulate these hormones and balance out moods.

A 2013 study observed the effects of 6 energy-efficient LED lighting components:

  1. Vertically integrated LED light fixtures
  2. Occupancy sensors
  3. Task lights
  4. Blinds
  5. Daylight Harvesting Lights
  6. High-performance lights with automation systems

The study’s findings were:

  • 8.3% improvement in office productivity
  • A reported 33% enhancement in mood states with LED
  • This improvement in mood converts to a nearly 6% increase in workplace efficiency
  • 289% total Return on Investment (ROI)

The conclusion from this study is that LED usage brings triple bottom down savings for the company.

Seasonal Affective Disorder

Because many of us spend so much of our time indoors, a relatively new diagnosis has sprung into existence: Seasonal Affective Disorder, or SAD.

SAD occurs when a person’s Circadian rhythms are out-of-whack due to many factors. But the one we’ll focus on here is indoor lighting.

There are specially designed SAD lamps to alleviate symptoms and balance out a person’s mood. And many of these lamps use LED power.

How many of us have known the “cranky person” of the workplace? This person just never seems to be happy or content with anything. Having mood swings at the drop of a hat.

While there are many factors that contribute to this person’s state, LED office lights can help improve mood fluctuations like these. They do this through their effects on hormone levels in the brain.

3. Perception and Cognition

In a study on how lights affect our productivity, researchers compared fluorescent lights with 3 types of LED lighting.

The primary findings from this study showed that LED lights enhanced wakeful states, increased positive moods and accelerated performance. The data are as follows for those exposed to LEDs:

  • A little over 8% improvement in the completion of tests of cognition and visual acuity
  • Enhanced alertness and presence
  • Decreased reports of depressive symptoms
  • Decreased exhaustion or fatigue
  • Quicker reaction speeds

The conclusion was that perception, cognition and alertness are positively affected by exposure to LED office lights.

4. Preserving Healthy Sleep Patterns

Commercial LED lighting has so many advantages as outlined above. It’s also important to use LED office lights responsibly.

A restful sleep is crucial for the health, strength and productivity of your employees. They need to be able to wind down and drift off to sleep when they return home.

This should be on your radar as a business owner because well-rested employees are more alert and safer.

Because blue-based LED lighting stimulates attention and wakefulness and reduces melatonin production, you’ll want to be able to adjust the lights during the last few hours of the workday.

Allowing for less blue light towards the end of the workday allows the body to shift into a more natural state of being. And this promotes healthy sleep patterns.

5. Myths on LED Lights

There are some myths on LED lighting you should know about. It’s important to keep these separate from legitimate studies.

Myth 1: LED Lights Don’t Conserve Energy

The truth is, LED lights use less than 50% of the energy used by fluorescent bulbs and about a ninth of the energy of an incandescent light.

Myth 2: It’s Only a Lightbulb

LEDs, or Light Emitting Diodes, actually use computer technology and are programmable to reduce costs and impact on the environment.

This provides you with many more options than the average light bulb.

Myth 3: LEDs Aren’t Worth the Extra Expense

This all depends on whether you’re a short-term or long-term thinker. While LEDs may be more costly at the outset, they average a lifespan of 50,000 hours.

This equals an estimated lifespan:

  • 50 times that of an average incandescent light
  • About 25 times the life cycle of a halogen bulb
  • Approximately 10 times longer than a compact fluorescent light

This is even without considering all of the added benefits to cognition, alertness and productivity we’ve outlined for you in this article.

Improving Productivity with LED Office Lights

From balancing out mood levels to improving cognition and perception, LED office lights offer much support on their contribution to productivity in the workplace.

If you’re in the market for LED lighting and want more tips on how you can use it to light up your productivity, check us out at Birddog Distributing.

A Guide To Bias Lights – The Saviors For Your Eyes

Has watching television or spending hours on your computer left you with discomfort and headaches? Many people spend countless hours in front of a screen, be it a television or monitor. Our eyes dilate each time we look at a screen as they are exposed to the light present in front of us. If the light isn’t present in the overall scenery and comes from one specific location, it puts more strain on the eyes.

Most of us, when we watch television, prefer to have the lights dim or turned off. This makes the screen the only source of light, leaving the rest of our vision scenery completely black. This puts strain on the eyes. It is important to have light around the screen so the eyes can sort of ease itself when viewing the screen. This is where bias lights come in to play.


What is bias lighting?

We know, no one likes to watch television with the lights completely on. It ruins the overall viewing pleasure and leads to glare on the screen. Bias lights on the other hand not only optimize your viewing pleasure, but also help relieve the strain on your eyes from excess viewing. What bias lights do is they introduce general luminance around the television, in the room, without any mainstream distribution.

Bias lights are strategically placed behind your screen, so they introduce light in your viewing background scenery. Since the light is directly behind the screen, it doesn’t glare on to the screen or shine directly at you from any angle. This can easily be done in your living room or office space.


Setting up bias lights

The first thing you need to consider when you decide to install bias lighting is select the correct color temperature. For home theater setups, you want a nice cool white color. You want to select a color that is similar to that which your television emits. Typical HDTV screens are calibrated to and emit around 6000K so you want bias lighting that ranges from 5,000-6,000K. While typical light bulbs have a color temperature of around 2700K, they are generally not a good option for bias lighting. You will need to get specific bulbs for this task.

LED strip lights work well in cool white. You can easily set them up behind your television or screen and they emit the perfect amount of light to allow your eyes to ease their vision into the screen rather than strain them.


Other benefits of bias lighting

Bias lights not only reduce the strain on your eyes but improve your viewing pleasure. It greatly improves the contrast of your screen. The below contrast test can help explain that better:

The bar in the middle is a uniform grey color throughout. However, against a dark background it is perceived by our eyes to be lighter. Adding bias lights, enables you to get the perfect contrast from your screen and every color appears to the eyes as they should.

Adding LED bias lights, will also allow you to keep the brightness on your television low. This helps extend the life of your television screen. Bias lighting can also be a part of the overall lighting setup for your home theater to ensure you have optimal viewing experience.

Bias lights help set up the ideal viewing experience that will optimize your overall home theater experience. It isn’t hard to set up and you can even purchase commercially assembled bias lights if you don’t want to make your own. So what are you waiting for? Don’t you want to enhance your viewing pleasure? Get bias lights and say good-bye to eyestrain and headaches and hello to the best viewing experience of your life.

 

About the author

Katie Porter is an aspiring writer, movie lover, and part of the team at Seatup. In her free time, she enjoys exploring her home state Colorado and plays in women’s amateur rugby league.

The Evolution of LED Strip Lights

The history of electric lighting dates back to the late 1800s and the invention of the light bulb. Although it would still be decades before the average home enjoyed electric lighting as a matter of course, the utility and convenience of this invention would come to change the way people lived, allowing us to squeeze more hours of activity into every day.

Of course, we can improve nearly every invention, and lighting is no exception. In 1962, a scientist name Nick Holonyak, Jr. working for GE created the first light emitting diode (LED), or at least the first practical, visible model similar to the ones we use today. Incredibly, he did this while attempting to create a semiconductor laser.

At the time, he probably didn’t know what his invention would become. He likely never imagined that one day LEDs would be the premiere, energy-efficient form of home and commercial lighting. With the first LEDs selling for over $200 each, they certainly weren’t in the price range of most consumers. And yet, Holonyak anticipated that LEDs would one day replace traditional incandescent bulbs. In a 2012 interview he stated that he just didn’t expect it to take so long for LEDs to catch on.

How did the LEDs we use today evolve from their humble beginnings and how did they go from the go-to for digital clocks to the bulbs, rope lights, and strip lights that are now as common as gas lamps once were?

How LEDs Work

Before we can understand how LEDs became so popular, it’s important to know how they work, mainly because they are so different from incandescent lighting. Incandescent lights, for example, pass electrical current through a filament that heats up and glows, giving off light.

A light emitting diode, on the other hand, is a semiconductor that releases photons (light) as a side effect of forcing the movement of electrons with electric current. As such, it creates no heat. All you have to do is get near an incandescent bulb that has been on for a while to feel the heat it puts off. LED bulbs have no such issues. They also require a lot less electricity to produce the same amount of light as an incandescent bulb.

Even with the advantages inherent to LED technology, however, it would still be many years before these lights became popular for common lighting products we use today. Why did it take so long to conceive of using LEDs in light bulbs, televisions, and strip or rope lights?

Holonyak’s Invention

Holonyak first devised the LED as a laser technology that just happened to produce visible light. The low-intensity infrared light he originally conceived is still used today. If you have a remote for your television or other home electronics, you’ve seen it in action.

Unfortunately, there weren’t a lot of practical applications for LEDs at the time because they were so expensive to produce, and initially, only available in red. Commercial development continued throughout the 1960s, with advances made in the colors. However, the products were too expensive and inefficient to effectively appeal to a consumer market.

T. P. Pearsall

In the mid-’70s, T. P. Pearsall was experimenting with new semiconductor materials to find ways to adapt LED technology for use in optical fiber transmissions for telecommunications. He ended up creating the first LEDs that paired intense brightness with higher efficiency.

Even so, it would still be quite a while before LEDs left the realm of indicator lamps and commercial applications. It would be many years before LEDs became a viable consumer light source. Why? Perhaps because no one saw a real need to improve on incandescent lighting. Maybe it just took longer than anticipated to develop inexpensive and energy-efficient consumer models.

LEDs Today

The good news is that the slow progression of this technology has finally paid off. Today, we enjoy LED options not only in clocks and remote controls, but in TVs and computer monitors, as well as in every light fixture.

Additionally, we have products like rope and strip lights that we can hook up to sensors, dimmers, and other controls for both practical and aesthetic purposes. It took decades for LEDs to reach the superior status they enjoy today, but thankfully consumers now enjoy the safe, efficient lighting only LEDs can provide.

Creative Ways to Use Rope Lights in Your Backyard

Rope lights are not the novelty item they once were.  Many now consider them a legitimate source of illumination that you can use in a variety of creative ways to take your backyard retreat to the next level. Even professional designers are working them into indoor and outdoor lighting designs. Whether you go for simple white lights or colored ropes, you have the opportunity to make your outdoor space unique and display your personal style in the process. If you’ve never decorated with rope lights before, you might not know where to begin. However, there are plenty of options to explore, and once you get started you’ll no doubt come up with your own ideas. Here are just a few suggestions to get your creative juices flowing.

Adorn Eaves and Railings

If your main goal is to add illumination to your space in a fun and creative way, you don’t have to go nuts with artistic touches. You can keep your look clean and simple by running your rope lights along the eaves of your home or winding them around railings for stairs or fencing. You could also run them around the edges of windows, doors, arches, columns, or other architectural features, highlighting every aspect of your structure. Those looking for something with a little more visual interest can also try creating a table centerpiece with rope lights arranged under netting for an ethereal look. Or you could string rope lights under the edges of tables or underneath bench seating.

Delineate Boundaries

The average backyard offers plenty of opportunities to use rope lights in creative ways.  One option that’s pretty simple is using ropes to highlight edges. You can string them along the borders between grassy areas and your patio or deck or around landscaped islands or planter boxes. They can run along the edges of stairs or pathways, or go around water features like fountains, a pond, or a pool, just for example. Using rope lights to delineate boundaries can not only help to highlight the features of your yard and provide illumination, but also allow you a creative outlet to personalize your outdoor space and wow your guests.

Landscape Lighting

If you’re not keen on the relative uniformity of running rope lights along railings or around planter boxes, you can get a bit more organic with your application.  Try winding your rope lights around and up tree trunks and branches or through dense bushes on your property. Getting it right may require some finagling after dark when you can better see the results of your efforts.

Awesome Awnings

Overhead lighting is often a concern when it comes to your outdoor spaces. Without a ceiling for light fixtures you’ll find yourself somewhat limited to lighting that leaps off the wall or springs from the ground. Of course, rope lights make it easy to buck this trend are really create some spectacular overhead lighting effects, such as an awning made of light. You’ll need to set up sturdy and well-supported pole parallel to your house to drape the lights across, or else set up two parallel poles. From there you can extend rope light strings out from the side of your structure or stretch them across your parallel poles. Several strings can be strung across the open space to create a beautiful awning of light that drapes your patio or deck in a gentle glow.

Wall Art or Backlit Wall Hangings

Who needs neon when you can create your own designs with rope lights? You can make custom wall art in simple shapes like a heart or a star, for example, or you could spell out your family name or a favorite word in lights on the side of your house or in a grassy expanse of yard. Alternately, you could use rope lights to backlight outdoor wall art already in place. Rope lights could be placed behind tire planters, a weeping wall, or even antique windows or shutters hung outside for decorative effect. You might even find a fantastically large branch or piece of driftwood to backlight and hang. The sky is the limit when you use rope lighting as not only a way to illuminate your backyard, but to explore your creativity and imagination.

Brazos Manufacturing – Lighting It Up For The Holidays With LED Rope Lights

Brazos Yard Ramp with fork lift

Brazos Manufacturing (www.brazosmanufacturing.com) is always moving forward with innovative solutions to traditional challenges. One challenge that faces shipping docks these days is operating in low light conditions with running all hours of the day. Chris Pinyan, President of Brazos, noticed that yardramps could be made safer by increasing yardramp visibility with LED lighting.

Jeremy Feistner and Hagan Schmidt with Birddog Lighting (http://www.birddogdistributing.com/) not only provided the LED lighting and components necessary for this operation, but also were strategic in guiding us through the LED selection process.

 

Brazos Yard Ramp looking down ramp out of truck

 

Bernadette Garcia-Falcon, who works in Business Development at UPS (www.UPS.com), made all the necessary arrangements to get a UPS trailer on site, overnight, for the photo shoot on this project.

Brazos Yard Ramp on UPS trailer

 

With developing these great relationships Brazos is now proud to offer the new Safety Lighting System (SLS) as an option on all of its yardramps. Here are some pictures from the night of photo shoot.

Brazos Yard Ramp looking up ramp into truck

 

During the photo shoot William Fergason, Plant Manager at Brazos, had the idea of driving a truck up the heavy duty yardramp. It almost looked like we were at a car show.

Brazos Yard Ramp with truck

 

Contact Brandy or Troy for more information on how to get a hold of the yardramp Safety Lighting System (SLS) today:
http://brazosmanufacturing.com/brazos-safety-lighted-yardramp/
brandy@brazosmanufacturing.com
troy@brazosmanufacturing.com

 

Contact Jeremy or Hagan with Birddog Lighting to explore the array of LED solutions they have to offer:
http://www.birddogdistributing.com/
jeremy@birddogdistributing.com
hagan@birddogdistributing.com

How to Power Your LED Light Strips

There’s no end to the ways you can utilize LED light strips to add illumination and ambience to any room, or even outdoor spaces. You may be most familiar with LED lights in alarm clocks and on DVR displays.  However, you can now use these long-lasting, energy-saving lighting options throughout your home in a variety of ways. LED light strips, in particular, are extremely versatile.  You can add them to all kinds of places around your property. Certainly they can serve a practical purpose.  You can place them under high cabinets to add lighting to work spaces like the kitchen counter, your laundry room folding station, or a work bench in the garage, just for example. They can also highlight architectural features in your home.  Simply position them along base boards or crown molding, place them around windows and doors, run them along the edge of a staircase or up a bannister, or even add them to furniture, like the underside of a dining table or the inside of a cabinet with glass doors. In short, there are numerous ways in which you can get creative with strip lights.  The same is true for other LED lighting options like rope lights or pucks, for that matter. The practical question you have to ask, however, is how you’re going to power these lights. You might not be keen on running cords all over your house to get the lighting effects that you crave. Here are a couple of options to consider.

Contact the Dealer

More often than not, LED light strips will come with its own power supply attached, or at least included. If this isn’t the case, there’s a good chance the dealer or manufacturer of the light strips also sells power supply setups so you can get your light strips up and running. There are endless tutorials online to help you get LED strip lights working.  You will, however, want to make sure that you’re using the correct power supply.  You don’t want to accidentally overload the strip and blow out the lights. The best way to ensure you’re using the correct load is to purchase the appropriate power supply for your strip lights. Keep in mind that hooking up power to lighting fixtures on your own can be dangerous.  You never want to risk electrocution or start an electrical fire. If you have little experience working with electronics or you’re unsure about creating a safe and stable product, it’s best to seek out fixtures that have their own power supply rather than testing your DIY skills.

Hard Wiring

The best way to power your LED lights is to hard wire them into your electrical system. Unless you’re a pro yourself, you’ll want to hire a professional electrician to manage this task for you. He or she will cut holes in the walls to run cabling in order to attach your new lights to proper electrical outputs.  They will also add new switches on the wall so that you can easily turn your strip lights on and off. You will then want to patch your walls, and viola – easy access to lighting. These days you can set up lights to work with a remote control or on an app for your smartphone. The nice thing about spending a little extra to go this route is that you won’t have any noticeable cables or wires. Unfortunately, you won’t have the option to move your lighting once it’s in place.  You will, however, have the peace of mind that comes with knowing your electrician has followed applicable building codes and safely installed your lighting.

Exposed Cords

Perhaps you’re the type that likes to keep your options open.  If so, you can simply use strip lighting that comes with a power cord you can plug into the wall. This simple solution means that you will have a cord dangling off the end of your light strip.  There are, however, plenty of creative ways to run cords around edges of cabinets or corners of walls to hide them.

Batteries

One final option to power strip lighting is the use of battery packs. This isn’t the ideal solution as you’ll have to change batteries periodically.  You’ll also need to find a place to mount and hide the battery pack. That said, this option allows you to enjoy the same opportunity to move lighting as you’ll get with a power cord, as well as the benefit of hiding the power supply, like when you hard wire your lighting. Each option has benefits and drawbacks.  You’ll simply have to weigh your needs to determine the best way to power the LED strip lights in your home.

CRI Basics Explained

In case you didn’t know, not all lighting is created equal. For one thing, there are now a whole slew of energy-saving options available on the market.  You no longer have to rely on antiquated incandescent bulbs sucking up energy.  Unless, of course, you love the artistry and golden illumination of old-timey Edison bulbs. You can now use CFLs and LEDs to illuminate your home in an energy-efficient manner. You’ll also find options to make your lights dim or bright and change the color of illumination. Setting aside obvious color differences between everyday lighting and novelty bulbs in blues, greens, reds, and more, your average bulb could produce light that is white, yellow, blue, or green in hue. Consider the difference between an incandescent and fluorescent bulb. You could tell one from the other without ever seeing the bulb or fixture just from the color of light.  Whether you know it or not, the light each type of bulb emits can affect the way you perceive the color of the objects that the bulb illuminates. You might not think twice about the relative color of the incandescent bulbs or LED strip lights you purchase for home lighting. However, it’s important to understand how they differ in terms of practical applications and the aesthetics of your environment. In other words, you need to know the basics of CRI. Here’s a breakdown of the concept.

What is CRI?

CRI stands for Color Rendering Index.  It is a means of measuring how well (or how poorly) a given light source reveals an object’s “true” color.  This effect is measured on a scale ranging from 0 to 100, with 100 being the light of the sun.  At that rate, lights render colors of an object in their truest form. It’s also important to understand that color rendering is different from color temperature.

How Does the Spectrum Work?

The CRI compares every light source to the brightest example of visible light: the sun. The closer a bulb rates to 100 on the index, the truer the light it provides. For example, it might surprise you to learn that incandescent bulbs tend to render objects in the truest light, at least for synthetic light sources. These bulbs tend to rate above 90 on the color rendering index, and often above 95,  Naturally the exact rating will depend on the particular product you choose. LEDs also fare well, often earning a rating of near 90. You could find some options above 90 if you specifically look for high-CRI LEDs. By comparison, fluorescent bulbs tend to earn CRI ratings of about 60-80, depending on the product.  Some, however, have been designed to improve their CRI. For practical purposes, any bulb with a CRI of 90 or above will provide a level of lighting that is considered true, although it won’t precisely match the power of the sun. Bulbs offering a CRI of 85-90 are adequate.

Why is CRI Important?

Imagine a fridge, food prep area, or cooking surface that is dimly lit or cast in a green glow. Will you be able to tell if meat is good or rotten, if spots on your produce are dirt or mold, or if foods are cooked to perfection or if they’re still too raw? This is a situation in which the right lighting is essential for the purposes of safety and practical use of your space. You might be able to function in your living room, den, or backyard with only an artfully-placed rope light to illuminate the lounge space.  However, when you’re preparing a meal you want bright lighting that displays the truest color of the items you intend to cook and eat. The same basic principle applies to a variety of work spaces. Artists working into the night want to make sure their works come out the way they envisioned them, for example. Perhaps more fitting for the average adult is the concept of watching TV or staring at a computer monitor or mobile device. A light source that offers a high CRI rating is less likely to compete with the light from these electronics. The decision to install incandescent bulbs, CFLs, or LED rope lights in your living spaces will depend largely on how you intend to use them, as well as the aesthetic you’re trying to create. Understanding the basics of CRI can only help you to make the right choices for your home.

The Differences between LED, CFL, and Halogen Lighting

Not too long ago, the only thing you had to worry about when purchasing a light bulb was what wattage to buy. Unless, of course, you were purchasing a novelty light such as a bulb that could change colors. These days, the task of lighting your home has become a lot more difficult thanks to a wide variety of new lighting options on the market. Of course, it’s not all bad. Newer forms of lighting offer energy efficiency that is simply not possible when using traditional incandescent bulbs. This allows consumers to lower their utility bills even as they reduce their carbon footprint. The problem is how to decide which lighting options best suit your needs. How can you choose between modern LED, CFL, and halogen lights? How do costs and performance stack up? How do you choose between halogen bulbs, CFLs, and LED options like bulbs, strip lights, or LED rope lights, just for example? Here are just a few things you need to know about the differences between these types of lighting so that you can make an informed decision.

How They Work

Although all light bulbs work similarly, it’s clear that they don’t work exactly the same. Some produce different color temperatures, some save energy and money, and so on. It is the different ways in which light bulbs achieve the same effect that makes one better than another. So which one should you choose? It may depend on what you’re hoping to accomplish and how much you want to spend in the process. Either way, it begins with knowing how each type of bulb works. Halogen lights are very similar to incandescent bulbs.  They rely on electricity to heat a filament to the point that it produces light.  This is why these bulbs are so hot. However, halogen bulbs contain halogen gas and a tungsten filament.  Both of these elements allow for a greater output of light with less wattage.  Halogen bulbs, therefore, are more efficient and long-lasting than traditional incandescent bulbs. CFLs, or compact fluorescent lights, function by passing electrical current through a tube that contains argon and mercury vapor. This creates ultraviolet light that interacts with a fluorescent (phosphor) coating in the bulb to make visible light. The process requires less energy than heating filaments.  It can, however, take a few minutes for these bulbs to reach full illumination. Finally, there are LEDs, or light emitting diodes, which are much more complex. Instead of having electricity simply pass through a filament or tube, LEDs rely on a p-n junction that passes electrical current from one semiconductor to another, transferring electrons in the process to create photons that produce light. This is the most efficient process in terms of energy consumption. From a user standpoint, you should note that halogen lights produce the same warm color as incandescent bulbs. You can purchase CFLs and LEDs in a range of color options so that you can have cool or warm tones to the light, as you prefer.

Energy Required

Let’s start with a basis of comparison by looking at traditional incandescent bulbs, such as the fairly standard 60-watt bulb. These produce approximately 800 lumens and most homeowners use them for indoor lighting. For the same relative lumens, a halogen bulb requires roughly 40 watts of electricity, a CFL needs only about 15 watts, and an LED can do the job for roughly 5 watts. The exact number will depend on the product, and lumens are rarely precisely uniform from one type of light to the next. However, you can see immediately that LED lighting options are likely to use the least energy.  This is true whether you’re replacing bulbs or adding LED strip lights to your home.

Lifespan of Product

Again, LEDs take the win in the category of longevity. An incandescent bulb might produce about 1,000 hours of light, lasting approximately one year (if used an average of 3 hours per day); a halogen light can produce about 3,000 hours of light, lasting roughly 3 years; a CFL produces about 8,000-10,000 hours of light (lasting 8-10 years); and an LED could produce more than 25,000 hours of light, lasting 25 years or more. You’ll pay a little more up front for LED options.  However, prices have come down substantially over the last few years. It’s easy to see that you’ll get your use value and more out of them and save a lot of money on both energy consumption and replacement costs over time. In addition, there are now LED bulbs made to fit into standard fixtures.  Now you no longer have to add new LED fixtures to your home to enjoy the many benefits these lighting options offer.