Tag Archives: Technology

Light Fair 2011: All about LEDs


When Judy and I visited Light Fair International this year, one thing was immediately obvious – the future of lighting is LED technology.  In fact, more than 90% of the new products we saw used some sort of LED as a light source.

So what exactly is an LED?  And what are the advantages/disadvantages of using them?  I’ll answer these questions so that you can feel comfortable about bringing LED technology into your life.  It’s just a matter of time before we see them everywhere!


What is an LED?

LED stands for “light emitting diode.”  It is a semiconductor light source that has been used since 1962 as indicator lights in many devices.   Recent advances in technology have increased the color range and brightness of LEDs, so that they are now widely used in all types of lighting – from street lamps to desk lamps.

Advantages of LEDs

LEDs have two main advantages – they are extremely energy efficient, and they have a very long life.  It only takes about 13Watts to power an LED with the light output of a 100Watt Incandescent!  And they have a life span of 50,000-100,000 hours.   These attributes make LEDs a favorite among green designers.

LEDs can be very compact and give off little heat.  This allows them to be used in places where traditional light sources would not work.  Flexible LED strips are available that are paper thin and can be placed in almost any location – including outdoors.

Disadvantages (and things to watch out for)

Despite advances in technology, many LEDs are known to have inconsistent light color output.  This means that two “identical” LED fixtures placed side-by-side could give off different colors of light.  Usually, the differences are small.   But in some cases the differences can be noticeable and ugly.  The only way to be sure is to order samples or see the products in person before you buy.

LEDs can also be prone to “flicker,” a phenomenon where the diode turns on and off in rapid succession.  Flicker can lead to all sorts of problems – hyperactivity or distraction in children, migraines, and even epileptic seizures.  In most cases, flicker can be avoided by choosing a better ballast for your light fixture.  As with fluorescent lights, electronic ballasts are usually better than magnetic ballasts.

LEDs are typically more expensive than older lighting technologies.  But their increased efficiency means that they will “pay for themselves” in the form of reduced electricity bills.

There’s no avoiding LEDs – they are quickly becoming the future of lighting.  I hope these tips will make the transition easier for you!


image 1 &  6: studio1onethousand.com

image 2: wikipedia

image 3: frogdesign

image 4: google

image 5: tech lighting

Light Fair 2011: The Best and Brightest

Judy and I attended Light Fair International last week in Philadelphia.  We had a great time exploring the exhibition floor to get the scoop on the latest in lighting technology.  We sifted through the the huge number of products to bring you our selection of the Best and Brightest from Light Fair 2011.

1. Warm light and cool light. The most important offering at this year’s fair was a new techology in LEDs that allows them to emit a warm light.  We saw almost every company take advantage of this new development, and most products are available in cool or warm versions – gone are the days where your only choice for LEDs is cold white light! 

2. IBISS by Tech Lighting. This handsome new fixture immediately became one of our favorites.  The two flat LED panels are completely adjustable, allowing you to shine light up, down, or on a wall.  It can even be attached to a track system. 

3. Railtones by Tech.  This favorite isn’t a light at all!  It’s a wireless speaker that can be attached directly to a track light system- what a great idea!  It  interfaces wirelessly with your home stereo or computer.

4. Aurora by Pure Lighting.  This breathtaking down light is for the minimalist in all of us.  The flush- mounted faceplate is integrated into the surrounding drywall, giving it a truly trimless, knife-edge appearance.  Some models can be adjusted to give off almost any color.


5. Calculite by Philips.  This elegant LED down light is among the smallest around – only 1.75″ in diameter.  But it packs a punch, and has an impressive beam spread.  The innovative installation system involves just one screw, and allows for a large selection of trims and lenses.

6. Loira Sconce by Cantalupi.  This gorgeous gold-plated sconce by Cantalupi speaks for itself.

7. LED lights by Cantalupi.  Like the sconce above, these Italian fixtures speak for themselves.  Small and inconspicuous at only 2 inches across, they can be used almost anywhere – even under water.

8. Softline by Edge Lighting.  A tiny strip of LEDs was mounted on the back of what looks like a measuring tape, giving off a diffuse upward light.  I love the simplicity of this fixture.

9. LED lightbulb by Philips.  Much of the show was dedicated to lightbulbs that could replace older incandescent and fluorescents.  This candelabra bulb was the best-looking among them. 

10. LED Circa Pendant by Phillips.  This pendant, made with hand-blown glass, is beautiful AND environmentally friendly.

11.  Modular Flourescent by Bartco.  These fixtures can be arranged in almost any configuration you can dream-up.


12.  Mini Star By NSL.  Flat under-cabinet LED lights are an simple and attractive solution for kitchens.  They give off a lot of light with almost no heat.

13. V Rail LED.  A great alternative to step lights, this underlit railing will never get hot to the touch thanks to LED technology.

14. Wine Rack with mini-LEDs by MP Lighting.  This is a great example of how LEDs can go almost anywhere – look closely and you’ll see the tiny downlights above each bottle.  Imagine all the possibilites!


Who Knew Design Lines Could Bowl?

Got the shoes check. A brightly colored ball check. Scorecard check. Design Lines Team check.

Last week, Stephanie, Lauren, Molly and I went to a party hosted by Neuwave Systems at Western Lanes off of Hillsborough Street in Raleigh. Recently completing the audio and visual systems for the bowling alley, Neuwave provides their customers with the best in home & commercial technology systems.

The mixes of people were diverse ranging from tech savvy reps, builders, families and friends.

As far as the scoring goes, I must say Lauren took the lead early on and never looked back.

Award Winning Interior Design | Raleigh, NC