This week is all about the things that scare you, with trick or treaters going around neighbourhoods and horror films on every night; but does the idea of planning LED lighting scare you? Does the thought of starting from scratch, calculating drivers, picking colour temperatures and selecting cables fill you with dread? Well, don’t be too afraid, here’s a step by step guide to planning LED lighting to put you at ease.
For this example, let’s imagine you are building your dream kitchen from scratch.
Step 1 – Understanding LED lighting
A great place to start when you first look to update or redo your lighting is to understand why LED lighting is the best option. There are a lot of fantastic benefits to using LED lighting, namely the fact that halogen lighting is no longer on sale in the UK! But to make sure you are completely confident in your decision, here are some of the most important benefits of selecting LED lighting:
- LEDs are incredibly energy efficient
- They last longer than traditional lighting
- They are extremely bright
- They produce less heat with little to no UV emissions
- There are a variety of options for lighting control
- They are versatile
- They’re discreet
- They are safe
Step 2 – Remember the do’s and don’ts!
Before you begin the process, have a quick think about the important do’s and don’ts of planning LED lighting! We have a guide for that here.
Step 3 – Assess your natural light
The very first thing you should do when planning a lighting scheme is to really think about the natural light in your room. If you have lots of areas for sunlight to stream in you can focus less on the light output you require from your LED lighting and more on the style you’d like to choose. If you are short of natural light it’s important to think about this. Are there any places in your kitchen that will be completely dark? Then ensure this is compensated for in your lighting scheme. Will you require lots of even and bright light, even during the day? Then opt for continuous sources of light instead of spotlighting.
Step 4 – What colour temperature will match your worktops?
Colour temperature can seem like a complicated element of lighting to consider but it’s actually really simple! When it comes to this consideration the easiest way to decide what you need is to take a look at your worktops. If you have a worktop with warm tones in it, be that within wood or other solid worktops, it would be better to compliment this by pairing it with warmer colour temperatures. If you have cooler tones such as greys, whites and blacks then cooler temperatures would be better suited.
At TLW our lighting comes in three different colour temperatures: warm white (3000K), natural white (4000K) and daylight (6000K). Often a popular option would be to go for 4000K as this is a neutral colour temperature. You can also select CCT products that allow you to adjust the colour temperature to suit your mood and the time of day.
To read more on this, visit our blog.
Step 5 – Which should you choose: spot or continuous lighting?
The answer to this comes down to two things: how much natural light there is in your room and what is the style of your kitchen? Continuous lighting produces more light on a surface, so if your room has less natural light it is a good idea to spread your lighting further across the worktops for assistance with tasks.
Another reason to go for continuous lighting is if your kitchen is more modern than traditional. Modern and contemporary kitchens often look better with continuous lighting.
Traditional kitchens often suit spotlighting as this gives the room a softer look. With VEW lighting there is no need to worry about dark spots when it comes to our spotlighting as VEW lights have extremely wide beam angles. To see an example of why it is important to select high quality spotlights click here!
For further help understanding the different uses for spot and continuous lighting watch this video!
Step 6 – Think: how do I plan to use my kitchen?
If you look back in history, the use of kitchens was generally always the same: to prepare food. Fast forward in time and the use of kitchens has moved more towards socialising. The room is often a hub for the family where they spend a lot of time outside of simple food preparation. That’s why it’s important to ask yourself how you plan to use your kitchen.
If your kitchen is small with nowhere to sit then your lighting scheme may not require as many layers of lighting as one that has a seating or dining area.
If you intend to spend a lot of time in your kitchen it’s important to consider how you want the room to transition between each type of activity you will do in there. For example, if you were to sit in the evening to share a meal with family and friends, you will not require the same amount of high light output that you would if you were preparing a meal. Therefore, it’s important to be able to switch certain layers of lighting off and leave others on. Ambient lighting creates softness to a kitchen and allows you to have different lighting scenes in one room.
Ensure that you think about each area of lighting carefully and make sure you include lights wherever they will be most useful to you.
Step 7 – Selecting your lights
Once you’ve decided which areas you want to light, what colour temperature you require and whether they should be spot or continuous lights, you’re ready to select the products that are right for you!
When making your decisions, consider the look and finish of the fittings as a lot of VEW lighting products come in more than one finish option. If you are choosing to use spotlighting, ensure that you space these evenly around your kitchen.
To see our full range of kitchen lighting, click here.
Step 8 – Calculating your drivers
This might seem like the most complicated and confusing step in the process but it’s really quite simple!
When calculating how many drivers you require you must first look at the layout of your kitchen. If all your cabinets are together with nothing separating them then you only need to consider the wattage of driver you require. If you have units that are separated by things like ovens, appliances or they are simply split across your room, you will need separate drivers for each area. Basically, if you couldn’t run cables from one place to another without them being seen then you need separate drivers!
Once you’ve finalised how many divers you need you next need to calculate the wattage of each driver. The first thing you need to consider when in this calulcation requirements is the wattage of your products. This detail will always be specified on our website and in our brochure under each product.
For example, if you were going to use a length of LED tape – let’s say you decided to use a 9.6w tape, this means that your selected tape’s wattage is 9.6w per metre. If you were going to use 2 metres of the tape, you would need to do this simple calculation:
9.6w x 2 = 19.2w
Therefore you would need to select a 30w driver or higher. You must always select a driver that is higher in wattage than the products you are using.
For more in depth guidance on this, please read our blog.
Step 9 – Consider how you will control your lighting
At TLW we provide many different options for lighting control. These include remote controls, sensors, wall switches, wall touch panels and smart systems.
For more information on this please read our blog. If you require further guidance please don’t hesitate to give us a call!
Step 10 – Safety first
Ensure that any area that you are installing lighting in that make come into contact with liquids has the correct IP rating.
For help with this please make sure to read our blog.
Now you’re ready to go!
At TLW there is absolutely no question too big or too small to ask us. We are always here to help. If you have any questions about planning your lighting please do get in touch!
Download our PDF guide to planning LED Lighting.
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