Tag Archives | LED

Go Green: A Range of Energy Efficient Lamps

There are two things that make a lamp energy efficient: the light bulb and heat management. The type of light bulb a lamp uses will impact the amount of energy it uses –incandescent are the least energy efficient, compact florescent are second best, and LEDs are most energy efficient. The heat around the light bulb can greatly affect the bulb’s life. Well designed lamps and light bulbs will have a system to draw the heat away from the bulb. Below you will see that the LEAF lamp is designed to draw heat away from the light source, while LED lights bulbs have wafers that act as heat management system.

The LEAF Lamp

luxury light fixture

In our post Designer Desk Lamp Profile we highlighted the LEAF Lamp by Yves Behar. Two aluminum blades create an organic leaf shape. The light bulb consists of 20 LEDs which allows you to change the color of the light from a functional cool white light to a warm yellow white light. The lamp is designed to draw heat away from the LED lights – which allows the lamp to use 40% less energy than a compact florescent light. It was named by Time Magazine as one of the Best Inventions of 2007.

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LED Lights and Lamps

LED Light Bulbs

It is pretty easy to order LED light bulbs online – Amazon stocks them. You can see from a number of the designs that the top portion is like a normal light bulb while the bottom half has a wafer design. These wafers draw heat away from the LED lights, allowing them to work more efficiently.

You can even buy an LED bulb that is remote control and changes color.  If it gray outside, why not fill the room with yellow or green light. These light bulbs simply screw into normal ceiling light sockets or even into table or floor lamps.

Mood Lights

We have written about a range of different mood lights, like the Yantouch (which looks and works a bit like an iPad) and the Philips Mood Lighting Collection – all of which use LED lights:

Motion Sensor Lights

Amazon also has a range of motion sensor battery powered LED lights. These are ideal for putting inside of closets, kitchen cabinets or even as floor lighting. They only come on when someone is in the room or accessing a cabinet.

walk in closet lights

Florescent Lamps

florescent lamps

We recently highlighted the work of Studio mischer‘traxler who went out and created these florescent lamps. The idea behind the designs is that we are all making a switch to compact florescent light bulbs, so they wanted to see how they could turn normal lamps into using the longer florescent light strips. Which are more energy efficient than normal incandescent light bulbs.

Natural Lighting

The most energy efficient lighting is natural lighting. There are a number of ways this can be done around the home. For example in our closet lighting ideas post we highlighted solartubes which are tubes that are fitted into the roof of the house. Sunlight then filters down through the tubes and acts as light bulbs during the day (they can also be fitted with lights to be used at night). This concept is also being used in poorer countries by taking water bottles, filling them with water, and fitting them into holes in the roof.


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Floating Lights Using Balloons and Helium

Helium Balloon LED Lights

In our post on balloon lighting we highlighted the fact that you could put battery powered LED lights into balloons and fill them up with helium to create unique floating lights. You could easily do this yourself with latex balloons and a rented helium gas tank from a party shop, or there are ready made LED balloons like Illoom Balloons which have a battery powered light already fitted inside of the balloon.

Luc Schouten has taken this balloon lighting concept and designed a more refined version. The Floating Light Lamp uses transparent balloons and a specially designed LED lamp that fits to the balloon – it is a patent pending design. The balloons come in a range of LED colors and there are 3 lighting effects: strobe, flash, or glow. Each balloon will last up to 10 hours.

Balloon LED Lights

via Yanko Design

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Aquarium Lighting Guide: The Basics of Light Selection

There are tons of aquarium lighting options out there, from bulbs, fixtures and hoods to light strips and tubes. The right lighting is an essential aspect not only to the aesthetics of the tank, but to the health and happiness of the fish as well. This basic aquarium lighting guide will give you some useful and unique ideas to help get you started on choosing the right lights.

aquarium lighting

Aquarium Lighting Selection

  • Incandescent Lights

Incandescent light fixtures have the cheapest initial cost, but you should avoid them for several reasons. They burn out faster than other types, so you will need to replace them more often. They use more electricity than other types and will unnecessarily drive up your power bill. Finally, they produce a lot of heat which interferes with the tank’s water temperature regulation. If you purchase a smaller starter aquarium kit it will likely come with an incandescent fixture. You can easily replace this fixture with a more efficient one that will cost you less in the long run.

  • Fluorescent Lights

Fluorescent fixtures are most commonly used for aquarium light settings. The fixtures and the bulbs are more expensive than incandescent ones, but you will not have to replace them as often and they cost less to run. Standard fluorescent lighting will get the job done for most any aquarium, but there are other types that are better suited for certain environments. Very high output (V.H.O.) fluorescent lights are great for large/tall tanks, reef aquarium lighting, or those with densely packed plant life. They produce as much as three times the amount of light as a standard fluorescent bulb. Power compact fluorescent lights are another option for plant and reef fanatics. They give off a little more light than V.H.O.s and some can fit into regular incandescent fixtures, just be careful not to exceed the fixture’s max wattage allowance.

  • Led Aquarium Lighting Guide

Using LED lighting to simulate moonlight is a captivating way to illuminate a tank at night without disrupting the routine of the fish. When done properly it can even stimulate more healthy growth and activity during the night time hours. Blue LED lighting with a spectrum of 470 nm to 480 nm is optimal for moonlight simulation. They create a soft blue glow that makes the tank look fantastic and you should see an improvement in vegetation growth with no difference in the energy level of the fish. Try having them come on about an hour before your day time lighting goes off and shut off around three or four in the morning.

For more on moon lighting have a look at our post: DIY Aquarium Moon Lighting To See The Fishes At Night

Fish alone do not need a particularly well-lit tank. In fact, most generally prefer just enough light to be able to tell the difference between day time and night time (and for you, enough to be able to adequately see the fish). Putting the lighting on a timer is the easiest way to provide them with the recommended 10 to 12 hours of light each day. Tanks with live anemones, corals, and/or plants crave more intense lighting and should receive around 12 to 14 hours of light per day.

image credits: Pete Brown


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L&L Design Guide: Laundry Room Lighting Ideas

Adding the right kind of lighting to a laundry room will help make the space more usable. Here are the best laundry room lighting ideas, from installing solar tubes to quick installing battery powered motion sensor lights.

A florescent light strip might not sound like the most decorative type of light fixture to use, but there are a number of benefits with this type of lighting. The reason why this is the best lighting for a laundry room is because of the white light it gives off. Under white light, you can see true colors (those nice halogen lights give off a slight orange tint, distorting colors around it). You’ll be able to see clearly if there are any stains or marks left on the clothing. Alternatives to those long florescent light strips include using florescent flush mount lights or just compact florescent light bulbs.

laundry room lighting

A laundry room using a flush mount light

Recessed lighting is a popular choice in modern homes. This is when the light fixtures are installed within the ceiling, hiding all the parts. One or two of these in a laundry room should be enough. You can even use the compact florescent light bulbs here. Other common lighting options for a laundry room are: flush mount lights, pendant lights if you have a tall room (they help bring the light down), and track lights if you have a wide room (they can be angled to different parts of the room).

solar tube

A solar tube installed in a closet - by solatube.com

If your laundry room is on the top floor of the house (which is a good idea as the bedrooms will also be on the same level, making it easier carrying all the laundry around), one unique lighting option would to use solar tubes. These are tubes that are fitted into the ceiling – they go all the way to the top of the roof outside, and bring light inside during the day. There are options to have a light fitted within the solar tube so it can be used at night – a unique and green laundry lighting option.

If you have a small laundry room that just stores the washing machine, then there are simple and inexpensive lighting options that can be installed within minutes. Quick and simple laundry room lighting fixtures would include using battery powered LED lights. These come in the form of little pucks or light strips. You can even choose from motion sensing ones, or push on/off ones.

LED lights

Tap and motion sensor puck lights

image credits: Amber


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Lighting Up The Sky: The Tri Blade LED Boomerang

LED Boomerang

LED Light Up Boomerang

Here is an interesting idea: an LED boomerang. The SCIMITAR is designed by Eric Darnell, a six time World Boomerang champion. It is a tri blade boomerang that has 3 LED lights, comes in 3 different colors, and has two different light settings: flashing or steady. This light up boomerang is ambidextrous so it is ideal for right and left handers. They can be bought here at Black Jax Sports starting at $12.99.

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Lighting The Night With LED Skateboard Lights

There are a number of ways to light up a skateboard. As seen below there are LED risers, stick on pucks, light tape, the DIY route and buying a Photon Board which has lights imbedded in the deck. Most of these skateboard lights can easily be bought online. Check out the photos below and the links to the shops.

Skateboard LED Risers

Skateboard LED Risers

LED Lighted Risers

LED Risers in action

Skateboard Riser Lights

Xboard Illuminators LED Risers

LED Risers:

Just like normal risers, the LED versions fit above the trucks and will light the whole area around the skateboard.


LED Skate Wheels

Another skateboard lighting option is to buy wheels that have LED lights within them, like the ones from Skate Wheels:

Skateboard wheel lights

Skateboard puck lights Stick on Pucks

Stick on pucks are a simple and easy way of adding skateboard led lights.

Light Boards

A great way of having a skateboard with lights is to buy a board that has lights built into the deck. Photon Light Boards has a range of decks with a choice of 6 different colored LED lights. There is even a socket on the deck where you plug in the power adapter to charge the battery. Have a look at how it works in the video below.

Light Tape

In our post here Light Tape: Freedom in Lighting Design we highlighted the innovative lighting solution ‘Light Tape’. It is as thin as a credit card, can be cut, and is highly durable. It was the stuff that was used to make the suits in the latest TRON movie. So if you want to take on the project of adding your own skateboard lights head on over to their site. Have a look at what these biker guys did with Light Tape:


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