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LED Strip Lights

My lighting design for the study, hallway and bathroom includes a number of concealed LED strip lights for general ambience, which will be augmented by general task lighting:

  • In the study I intend to have dimmable LED strip lights running across every other truss to throw uplight onto the ceiling and for general illumination instead of a ceiling pendant light.
  • In the bathroom, there will be concealed LED strip lights above and below the built in medicine cabinet, which will be supplemented by two wall lights.
  • In the hallway, there will be a short run of concealed LED strip lighting on top of the box out for the steel beam which supports our chimney breast to wash the brick wall above instead of any ceiling pendants.

The LED strip lights are something we are buying for the contractor to install, so I have just undertaken some in depth research into specifying them as typically at work we leave this to the electrical engineers and lighting designers!  Apologies in advance for the somewhat dry nature of the below, I just want to have this information to hand for ease of future reference… all information gained from the links below.

Colour temperature

  • Provided in degrees Kelvin
  • A candle is 1500 K, an incandescent light bulb is 2700 K, a blue sky is 10, 000 K
  • In a residential application, you ideally want a temperature around 2700 K – 3400K

Colour Rendition Index (CRI)

  • Given as a score out of 100
  • The closer you are to 100, the more accurate the light source
  • An incandescent light bulb is 100
  • The best LED lights give 91, but 80 is still acceptable (see link for example)

Water Resistance

  • IP33 – Not water resistant
  • IP67 – Water resistant, and required in areas where the LED could be splashed (kitchen backsplashes, bathrooms)

Lumens

  • This is the light output.
  • Now that incandescent light bulbs are being phased out, the old method of understanding light output by Watts (and knowing how bright a 60W vs a 100W light bulb is) is now no longer relevant.
  • You want roughly 400 lumens for a bed side light, and 1500-3000 lumens in a living room (spread over multiple bulbs)
  • A 60 Watt bulb = 700 lumens
  • A 100 Watt bulb = 1300 lumens

Size of LED

  • One way to increase LED output is increase the size from 35:28 to 50:50
  • 35:28 – more subtle light
  • 50:50 – suitable for washing walls and ceilings

Spacing of LED

  • Another way of increasing the output is to increase the spacing of LEDs/ metre
  • 30 LED/ m – quite subtle – ideal for a low cove, or kitchen kickplate
  • 60 LED/m – ideal for task lighting like under kitchen upper cabinets
  • 120 LED/m – best for high coves and pathways

3 Places to get LED Strip lights:

References:

  • How to choose an LED Strip – A handy link that explains in detail all of the variations in LED strip lights.
  • 5 Tips for choosing the right LED bulb – This link has the basics noted above but with diagrams to show the different colour temperatures and the difference between varying colour rendition index values.
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