How should I choose the right LED lighting for my home?

A home feels better with the right lighting.

There are 3 main aspects that need to be considered when selecting lighting in an area: the task/s you are doing in the room, the general illumination which will lighten a complete room, the different accents you wish to create when highlighting an object, or to create some depth in a room by installing some indirect light (not task related). 

If you want to create a cozy atmosphere in your home, especially in the living room, you might consider a combination of these different lighting functions. 

What you need to know about LED lights.

The color of the light, measured in kelvin (K). A warm light will have up to 3000K, a relatively white light will have between 3000K to 5000K and a cool or blue light will be above 5000K. 

Lumen is the unit defining the quantity of light produced by a LED light. A reading light such as a night chest light, will have about 400-500 lumens (task lighting), if you need a bright light in your garage you might select a ceiling light with approximately 2500 – 3500 lumens (general room lighting).

If you have a light with several light bulbs, you then have to multiply the lumens by the quantity of light sources. For example, a light with 900 lumens can be composed of 3 bulbs of 300 lumens each.

1 – Task lighting: The task you are doing in the room.

Do you need a reading light near to the seating area or by your bed? A desk or wall light for your office? Do you need light at the table top of your kitchen for cooking?

A task lighting will have about 400 (reading) to 700 (cooking area) lumens. For the task lighting a white light about 3500-4000K is recommended. 

2 – General light:

You want a general light in the living room because you want to be able to see well when tidying up the room in the evening or a good even illumination in the dressing room. For a general lighting in your living room or bathroom for example, a dimmer could be recommended for a range of lighting effects. 

The number of lumens required will also depend on the size of the room and what intensity you want. A classic situation could be a general light around 2000 to 3000 lumens for a room of 20qm. In a living room you might still prefer to keep the light within the white spectrum (3500-4500 Kelvin) while your garage might deserve a lighting with a cool/blue light with 6000K unless there is a working area where Task lighting is more appropriate (see above). 

3 – For indirect lighting or object lighting:

Do you have a piece of art on the wall or the light itself should be a eye catcher? Do you want to create a cozy atmosphere by placing indirect light in the living room, bathroom or bed room? 

In a home you would typically use lights with 300 to 500 lumens and up to 2500K. This will depend on the effect you want to create. When in doubt, consult with an expert at a lighting specialty shop. 

Conclusion

Most of the time you will need different sources of lighting with different functions in a same room. This will also contribute to a cozy atmosphere. 

When renovating a place make sure you reconsider your lighting. You might change the use of the room or move the furniture around. If it is the case and electric cables need to be moved, hire a professional electrician. You will be safer and happy if you can avoid any cable-clutter! 

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