LED lamps offer a new future in energy-efficient lighting. Producing the same amount of light as traditional incandescent bulbs but at much lower wattages, these high-tech lamps outlast hot, inefficient filamented bulbs and even newer lamp choices, including halogen and compact fluorescent options. With thousands of hours of life span and cool operation, LED lighting can produce unique, practical and decorative results in your living room.
Use LED lighting tape to add a line of diffuse light that defines the edge of a molding or a recessed ceiling, borders a prized piece of artwork or brightens bookshelves. This string of LED lamps functions like holiday lights without the temporary-use designation. You can add a false ceiling element to define a recess and then light it to elevate or emphasize ceiling heights, or implement lighting tape to draw the eye to a decorative or functional room element.
Updated Table Lamps
Because LED lamps replace the incandescent bulbs that formerly served as the light source in tabletop lamps, you can combine modern technology with the interesting older fixtures you find at estate auctions, flea markets or yard sales. As of August 2013, LED lamps can replace a 60-watt incandescent bulb with equivalent lighting power at substantially less electrical requirement. A 10.8-watt LED produces enough lumens—the measure of light output—to take over for a 60-watt incandescent bulb. For safety's sake, before you update a vintage find with a 21st-century lamp, verify that the wiring remains pliable—not dried out and brittle—and that the light socket shows no sign of misuse or damage.
Recessed lighting fixtures can produce a diffuse glow where lamps don't fit and tape would be visible. If you choose this design style, plan to hire an electrician to install the proper wiring for these fixtures and look for a pro to create recesses and install your fixtures. These lights work on walls and in ceilings, singly to create a pattern of light or in a group to build up a chandelier-like effect without a hanging fixture.
Think like a theatrical light designer and look for ways to filter LED lamps through colored gels or glass. Especially in a room furnished with neutral shades, this type of lighting enables you to decorate with color without using paint, replacing fabrics or adding wall coverings. You can incorporate these touches temporarily for a party or special event, or set up a select number of lights you can turn on to add color without serving as a main light source.
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