Top 4 things to know about LED interior lighting

Living Room in Singapore condo. This shows wallpaper on false ceiling. Down lights and wiring. There is cove lighting. Feature wall.

1. The LED wave is here to stay

The LED wave is huge, Singapore or elsewhere. That’s because LED is an obvious better choice. It lasts longer (over 20 years), does not flicker, and is much more energy-efficient than its predecessors. What spurring this growth even more is LED’s synergy with Apps. And Apps growth is driven by more and more smart phones. With lighting apps, you control the intensity and hue of your home. This is powerful. Change the mood of your home instantly to fit any occasion. Philips, leading the LED trend in Singapore and pretty much everywhere else, has a variety of consumer control apps for your home. The cost range is large, depending on what fittings you use. However, as a good gauge, Ikea has bulbs as low as $5.

In Singapore especially, electrical costs will always rise. Save on that and all your repair costs and light changing efforts by switching to LED. Home Design recommends LED for Singapore interior design and decor, and incorporates this into our designs.

2. How to choose the right LED?

Choosing the right LED is to get its dimensions, luminescence, and colour temperature (for non-changeable sources) right.

This shows normal beam angle for lights in HDB. At a 60 degree angle for LED lights for 2.5m of ceiling height. This is the most common setting in Singapore.

Choose an LED based on the right dimensions. It is key to know where you will place the LED. Though obvious, remembering it outright will save you a lot of possible trouble. For instance, when building any custom furniture, one must ensure there is the right allowance for the lights to go in. Beam angle and light placement is also crucial to predict what your end result will be.

Luminscence is what is now used to compare bulbs. Whereas wattage is more familiar, wattage is not an accurate differentiator of bulbs. This is because wattage measures power. LED bulbs are much more energy efficient. A 7W LED will produce more light than a 7W fluorescent light. Lumens measures light output. As a very rough estimation, multiply by 100 to get an LED lumen value. Here is an estimate for wattage selection:

Watts (Power)

Average Lumens (Brightness)

Use this for

3W 200 Candle Bulbs, Lamp shades. Because its not that bright, often use for close lighting.
5W 300 Downlights. Common colour-changing bulbs.
6W 400 Quite common. Bedrooms, corridors.
7W 460 Accent lighting. Bedrooms slightly more bright.
12W 800 Less common. Very high ceiling downlights. Or where a lot of light is required.

This is the colour spectrum for LED. This shows how warm a light can be. The range is wide for different effects.

A last consideration is Colour temperature. This is normally measured via the Kelvin scale. It ranges from 2700K to 6000K. At the 2700K extreme, the light feel is a warm mood. At 6000K, light resembles daylight. The image above provides a visualization of colour temperature. Colour temperature should be planned in unison with decor, furniture, paint and other room features to create a congruent theme. With colour-changing LEDs, you can change the colour temperature to fit mood or occasion.

3. What are the most common uses in Singapore?

Downlights, covelights , light tubes are most common.

A ceiling with a lot of downlights. This shows a strong usage of down lights in Singapore. With Many LED lights, you can create a hotel feel. The flat panel one creates a lot of light. Many down lights is more classy.

Downlights refer to the spots of light fittings. Light fittings come in different colours, are usually either circular or in a square, and are either rotatable or not. This is shown above. Remember to consider the right colour and wattage for your downlight. Other then ceilings, the fixture can also be used as an uplight, as shown above as well.

This is a common LED strip. They come in metres. Usually we call it 5050 or RGB. RGB is to say it comes with colour changing powers.This s the cove light. Cove light is made by led strips or T5. These need a driver to run. T5s are more plug-and-play. These are easy for a home owner to install.         

Covelights create a glow effect. This glow effect is common in both homes and commercial property. Walk around shopping centres and take a peek at any glow areas. You’ll see that the glow is created by an LED strip as above. These are relatively cheap but need a driver to work (or 2 depending on the distance).

Light tubes. These are commonly known as T5 or T8. They should come with a holder and a driver together.

Light tubes such as those above have a variety of functions such as study tables or even as a downlight. The core advantage of this is that its very quickly replaceable.

Due to its long life, you will not be changing any LED frequently. Therefore, we think that unless you like the effect, you should not weight this convenient too highly. If you go for a strip, go for it for its effect.

Track lighting. This is for accent purposes. An example is to highlight a painting. Or to put forth a wall more strongly.

The remaining lights can be categorized into decor and functional. Decor includes wall lighting, accent lighting using tracks or even LED chandeliers. LEDs may also augment the space functionally. For example, study areas such as tables may also utilize an LED lamp. A bedside table LED lamp may aid reading.

4. How do I go about planning my lights?

We believe lights matter a great deal to your final design outcome. Furthermore, the logistics are such that lights must come first and last. Thus, plan for it from the start.

This photo shows a past project. There is a warm feel. This is made by the glow box. Made out of acrylic. Next to the bedside giving the warmth of a fire place.

A good starting point is to think form follows function. What would you use this space for? A reading table needs a light, and so might your bedside table or a walk way. Thinking of functionality answers the “where” question. To get to the “what”, consider design and feel. Lighting should be synchronous with your interior design. A light definitely needs to be there, but which light depends on the style of your house. Think intensity (lumens or lux), warmth (Kelvin) and position. For example, this warm bedside table light in one of our projects creates a cosy, hotel feeling for the room.

Also bear in mind the environment. A good lighting plan should accommodate day and night situations. Furthermore, it should take into account natural light that comes into the room.

Contact Us Now! Home Design Pte Ltd

Contact Us now to have a free consultation on your renovation or interior design lighting plan. We are experienced with lighting and are Philips-certified LED Professionals. E-mail enquiry@homedesign.sg.

Posted on October 9, 2014 in Electrician & Lighting, Renovation Articles

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