The last 10 years has been a challenge to learn about the “new” LED (light-emitting diode) products and find the right fixtures with the right features. As much as we wanted to introduce this technology to our Clients, the products were not ready for the design demands of the kitchen and bath industry.
Choosing the right color produced by an LED has been a big battle between the designers who want the best color for the setting and the companies producing the options. Since the color of the light corresponds to the energy of the photon and the energy band gap of the semi-conductor (technical factors over which we have no control), we had to wait to see what products would be introduced. So we tested, we waited, we tested, and we waited some more. Sticking with the incandescent or halogen undercabinet lighting systems in the meantime, with all their faults, allowed us to achieve a natural light to compliment the finishes on our cabinetry, tile and countertop surfaces. This was a better trade off than the harsh, unforgiving light from the evolving LED choices.
But finally the waiting is over and we are specifying LED lighting for all our undercabinet, in-cabinet and accent lighting. The lower energy consumption, low heat emission, long life (30,000 hours of more!), durability and small sizes allow us to build in lighting in fun and functional spots: opening the corner base cabinet to illuminate the often-hidden contents; under a “floating vanity” to create warm ambience and a helpful night time glow; along the front of open shelves for those hard-to-read book titles. The color varieties from warm to cool have finally allowed us to select the light output that best suits the task and setting. A few added benefits: the cost is reasonable, the wiring and installation are relatively easy for our subcontractors, and our Clients won’t be changing any bulbs!