LEDs provide new opportunities for lighting small spaces once inaccessible by bulb technology. Because these semiconductor chips are miniscule but pack a lot of light, they are illuminating living spaces in ways we’ve never seen before. Orlando Custom Home Builder Jorge Ulibarri is in the final stage of constructing a Mod-Mediterranean home that is the perfect canvas for indirect lighting. “We used LED tape lights to create illuminated silhouettes that draw the eye to architectural details,” explains Ulibarri who designed the 4,800 sq. ft. home as a fusion of Old World and contemporary design.
The home’s elevation is Spanish-Mediterranean but the interiors showcase clean lines, sleek fixtures and finishes such as glass mosaics mixed with rustic beams, travertine floors and other raw natural materials.
“Lighting design plays an important role in creating the Mod-Mediterranean style. It has to be done right, with a modern, edgy allure that melds with more rustic features. LED indirect lighting creates that contemporary vibe in a traditional setting,” says Ulibarri.
In the kitchen, Ulibarri added LED tape lighting to the interior, top and bottom of the upper cabinets as well as the bottom of the kitchen island for toe kick lighting. When lit from within, the frosted glass cabinet panels cast a soft glow in the kitchen. LED indirect lighting in the open kitchen provides added illumination without casting distracting glare on the flat screen TV in the adjoining living room. “LEDs work well in the kitchen because they provide a powerful light source without giving off a lot of heat. Keeping the temperature down in kitchen is a challenge because you have to balance the need for light with other heat radiant sources such as the oven and range. LEDs give off less heat than other light sources such as halogens and incandescent lights,” explains Ulibarri. Consider that a typical incandescent bulb runs at 200 degrees above room temperature.
LED Tape consists of a dot of light spaced approximately every 5/8 inch. The quality of LED chips varies in terms of the light conducting phosphorous coating (a proprietary recipe that differs among each manufacturer). Ulibarri installed high quality LED Tape light with a color temperature of 3000K at an approximate cost of $18 per liner foot for materials and installation. Prices vary depending on the complexity of the project and installation.
Ulibarri installed LED tape light to illuminate the sides of the soaring Mod-Mediterranean fireplace, a centerpiece that anchors the aesthetic. LED tape light also illuminates the built-in glass tile mosaic and glass inlay above hearth.
In the hallway, LED tape lights hidden in the barrel ceiling cove cast a soft glow on the travertine tile framed in glass tiles.
No matter what your style, any home has several “sweet spots” for LED lighting, areas where LEDs are practical and economical. Terry McGowan, Director Engineering & Technology American Lighting Association, offers the following ideas for LED lighting:
– Portable task lights
– New or retrofit downlights in ceilings
– Under and over-cabinet lighting
– Interior cabinet lighting
– Indirect lighting – particularly in coves
– Outline lighting (for example, outlining a door so it can be seen at night for orientation)
LEDs can product light colors in the entire spectrum and come in a color temperature measured in Kelvins (K) in a range of 2700K-6500K. As a general rule when selecting the right LED lighting, remember: the higher the Kelvin number, the bluer the light will appear. The lower the Kelvin number, the warmer the light appears. LED lighting opens up new possibilities in lighting design. These are just a few ideas for inspiration to show you the potential of this energy-efficient lighting tool.