With all the choices of LED fixtures, it’s no wonder I have had so many requests to design a new lighting plan for existing spaces. Gone are the days of halogen, incandescent and fluorescent bulbs. This is the age of the light emitting diode–LED–bulb.
The LED is a brighter bulb, that has a much longer life and uses less electricity. Most of us grew up buying our light bulbs with the mindset of more watts equals to brighter room. In reality, it’s the lumens that determines the brightness of the bulb. The watts only determines how much electricity it would use.
Using CNET’s table below, you can see that LED uses far less energy but produces more lumens.
Many of us already have recessed (can) lighting but have non-LED bulbs. You can use the LED without changing the housing.
HOWEVER, it may cause too much heat (it heats upwards where incandescent heats downwards) in the housing which may trip your breaker. Also, aesthetically, it may not fit well in your current housing.
LEDs generally shine bright and are not diffused. They also may not work with existing dimmer switches.
There are easy-to-use DIY retrofit housings for LED bulbs. The housing has a diffused lens so it’s not such a harsh stream. These are not expensive, however as you replace them for all the cans throughout your main level, it will add up. But it’s worth it.
If you haven’t made the switch yet, do a little research and compare. Lighting has a large impact on a space. It has to be spaced properly, have the right bulb and the right amount of brightness.
Here is another helpful chart for you from lumens.com.
If you’re not sure if you have the right lighting plan, whether overall lighting or task lighting, maybe a professional lighting design plan is what you need.