Under Cabinet Lighting

Choosing the right LEDs for the correct business function

The biggest question I have regarding business design for exterior and interior lighting is with regard to cutting costs, while increasing the professional look of business.  I have always found the balance of timeless classic looks with the updated trendy looks hard to mesh at times.  Make sure to check out Facebook.com for more lighting ideas since there are a lot of word of mouth advertising on there.  But one of the best ways to really make these 2 happen is with LED lighting.  LED lights have the ability to take a business from bla and boring especially at night, to party popping and upscale.  There are many factors to consider when choosing the correct LEDs for a business, such as are they water proof lights that can go on the outside, or are they more interior lights that need to be hidden away as accent lighting.  You will consider these properties when choosing lights: Lumens, colors, lifespan, warranty, plug options and connections, hardwiring, cut and connect, and dimmable.

Lumens

Not many people realize that there is actually a brightness to lighting that needs to be taken into account when purchasing lighting.  With LED lighting in Strip lights, or LED panel lights, the number of LEDs per foot will determine just how bright the LED strip is.  For instance, there is normal bright, super bright, Ultra bright to name a few.  Along with the CRI of the lights.  Most test in the 80s with some companies achieving a CRI in the 90s.  Obviously the number of LEDs per foot will increase respectively with each but all this is something to consider. Especially if the color is going to affect the ambiance of the lighting area.  

Colors

Colors of LEDs need to be considered when purchasing LED lighting.  Is the business going for some sort of Christmas light type look and needing a multicolor strip, or are they really looking for something more classy like a Cool white.  Something interesting to note is even the white lights that we typically think of lighting our homes and offices have variations of color.  There is a Cool white which is typically 6000K.  This is most often used in Doctors offices where a lot of bright white light is needed and can tend to have a bluish hue to the light.  The next white color is the most popular color and is a little more yellow in tint, or “warm”  which is warm white.  Warm white is 3000K and is reminiscent of old bulbs.  A lot of residential homes have this type of white in them.  The final white color to consider is the Pure white which is a 4200K.  This white is a type of color that has the closest to daylight as possible.  It is an ambient light that most associated with the outside.  This particular white color is not as popular but is projected to become the most popular since it mimics the sunlight.

Color Temp Comparison

Lifespan

How often do you want to change out your lights?  A lot of companies are in the business of pushing lights that last about as long as regular light bulbs.  In the LED strips and panels there is still about an average of 3 years that the lights are projected to last; however, there are companies out there that have lights that will last up to 11 years or more with continuous light usage.  These lights are manufactured to a higher quality and can last much longer due to the science behind the manufacturing, and the price is pretty much the same.

Warranty

LED lights have such high competition that anything less than a 10-year warranty is a problem.  Since the best in the industry can achieve a 10-year life long status any lighting company should back their product for this amount of time.  However, most cheaply made products will most likely not even have a manufacturing facility in the U.S. which means you will have a harder time getting lights replaced once the warranty is up, especially if that company is out of business in a couple years.  The other factors you want to consider with warranty is functionality of the lights.  Can you plug in multiple light strips?  How long of a light strip can you run?

Plug Options and connections

The amperage of the plug is necessary and very different if you plan on plugging in 3, 8 inch panels vs. 40 feet of light strip.  Most people will associate this with Christmas light strips that will burn out after certain bulbs burn out, and only a certain number of light strips can be connected.  The interesting thing about LED light strips and LED panels or bars is that the number is limitless as long as the power source is able to keep up with the amount.   Go check out the Inspired LED company on Amazon. At this point you just have to consider if you want something to plug into the wall, or if you want to have the whole system hardwired into the currently lighting system with switches and dimmers.                

Hardwire

Hardwiring is a great option especially for the long term LED lighting system.  The LED lights are to be integrated into the system with transformers and various tools lights wall dimmers that can now function like the current light systems already in place in a business.  The limitations on panels happen when there are various lengths under the spaces that you want to install the lights underneath.  For instance there are Under Cabinet Lighting options, and then there is over cabinets, under counters, along the bottoms of walls, under beds, inside closet lighting etc.  A good choice to take care of all of these is to choose the Cut and connect option where the designer can cut light strips to length in rder to fit the needs of the area.

Cut and Connect

There are companies that can cut the LED strips at certain points and then connection wires run from one strip to the next strip, in order to keep the lighting all connected to 1 wall dimmer and power source, transformer etc.  The cut and connect option is becoming very popular today since all that needs to be purchased to expand is a few more accessories.  The left over strips can be used to light just about anything even including sewing machines.  If you are going to go this route you should learn what a tiger paw connector is, and how simple the whole process of expansion can be for a project.  Dimming is the final option to consider.

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Dimmable

How bright do you want your LEDs?  Do you want to be able to dim the lights?  There are a couple different dimmer options, such as a 4-position dimmer, or a Lutron wall dimmer.  The choice comes down to hardwire or plug and play.  Most homeowners who want DIY quick and easy install will choose the 4-position dimmer with the correct AMP power supply.  While the more advanced lighting expert will opt for a Lutron wall dimmer to make that happen.

For more information and even to talk with on staff designers and very good customer service get in contact with Inspired LED.  This is an American Company that is local to Arizona. Google search them Under Cabinet Lighting Scottsdale and they should be first.