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LED lighting in architecture and interior design:Everything you need to know

LED lighting in architecture and interior design: everything you need to know.

Lighting, like many other sectors, has been changing as technology has been evolving, arriving at LED lighting.

Traditional halogen light bulbs stopped being used years ago, giving way to this new type of lighting. But, even if it is a more environmentally friendly, longer lasting and better quality solution, there are also other reasons why it has become a key tool in architecture and interior design.

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Here we tell you everything you need to know about types of LED lighting, techniques, light fixtures, trends, etc., so that you can make the most of your architecture or interior design project. Don’t miss out!

 

iluminacion led

 

LED lighting

Although LED lighting began to be used around the 1970s, at the beginning it could barely reproduce 3 colours, so its use was rather limited.

Today, this type of lighting has evolved to achieve all kinds of shapes, colours and intensities, being a vitally important element in architecture and interior design projects.

While its use began to spread due to its being more long lasting, sustainable and economically viable, now it is the adaptability, flexibility and the endless possibilities it offers to create very different ambiences that has led it to consolidate its position as one of the main tools to provide ambience to and decorate and transform spaces.

LED lighting architecture

LED lighting is an element that can go unnoticed on most occasions, however, lighting that is wrongly designed and organised can create an uncomfortable space, where there is not enough visibility or too much intensity.

LED lighting trends

New trends in LED lighting point above all to a type of lighting integrated into the space in such a way that it is not directly perceived. The trick is to use this element subtly to create ambience, but without showing it.

However, in cases in which LED lighting is visible, the design should be carefully planned in a way that is consistent with the rest of the space.

Straight lines and very pronounced curves are now one of the most popular trends. Minimalism has become one of the most successful and in-demand options, and with LED lighting it is now easier than ever to highlight these forms.

Furthermore, the need to seek out products with less environmental impact has also led LED lighting to end up being a trend within architecture in its own right that is here to stay.

 

Indoor LED lighting

 

salon con lampara led suspendida

 

Indoor LED lighting is a way to turn any space into an attractive place with personality and where each detail of the design and architecture can stand out in a subtle and original way.

The main factors that should be taken into account in relation to indoor lighting are:

  • The colour temperature, which indoors is usually 2200 K to 3000 K.
  • The opening angles, which should be closed to highlight specific and open points or elements, in order to achieve a more uniform light.
  • The colour rendering index: the closer it is to 100, the truer the colour rendering will be.

By taking these details into account, it is possible to achieve very different indoor spaces and even completely transform a place by combining different light fixtures to convey a sensation of greater spaciousness or to create a cosy and peaceful sensation.

This is why the first objective of LED lighting is to achieve comfort in any space. However, it is also a tool that can make any architect’s work be perceived as genius if it is properly used to highlight architectural details, specific areas or to create the exact right ambience for each room. 

 

 

lámpara REM

 

Outdoor LED lighting

Like interiors, exteriors such as gardens or terraces also need customised lighting. Seeking a relaxing and peaceful ambience is simple when using LED light fixtures for exteriors, but it is important to avoid flat general lighting when trying to imitate natural daylight.

This type of lighting can vary depending largely on the place where it is installed. Regardless of the fact that they are outdoor spaces, they can be circulation areas, areas for relaxing, work areas, etc.

Circulation areas can be lit up from the wall or from the ground to frame paths and light up stairways or facades. To light up areas for relaxing, conversely, it is recommended avoiding general lights, so it is more appropriate to resort above all to floor lamps and table lamps or garland lights. In work areas where activities are carried out that require a little more brightness, like barbecue areas, another type of outdoor lighting will be needed, such as a Cabo or a Toni light.

 

KERALA LED Lámpara portátil

 

LED lighting trends

New trends in LED lighting point above all to a type of lighting integrated into the space in such a way that it is not directly perceived. The trick is to use this element subtly to create ambience, but without showing it.

However, in cases in which LED lighting is visible, the design should be carefully planned in a way that is consistent with the rest of the space.

Straight lines and very pronounced curves are now one of the most popular trends. Minimalism has become one of the most successful and in-demand options, and with LED lighting it is now easier than ever to highlight these forms.

Furthermore, the need to seek out products with less environmental impact has also led LED lighting to end up being a trend within architecture in its own right that is here to stay.

Indoor LED lighting

Indoor LED lighting is a way to turn any space into an attractive place with personality and where each detail of the design and architecture can stand out in a subtle and original way.

The main factors that should be taken into account in relation to indoor lighting are:

  • The colour temperature, which indoors is usually 2200 K to 3000 K.
  • The opening angles, which should be closed to highlight specific and open points or elements, in order to achieve a more uniform light.
  • The colour rendering index: the closer it is to 100, the truer the colour rendering will be.

By taking these details into account, it is possible to achieve very different indoor spaces and even completely transform a place by combining different light fixtures to convey a sensation of greater spaciousness or to create a cosy and peaceful sensation.

 

Types of LED lighting

There are different types of LED lighting that are more appropriate for certain areas depending on the ambience you want to create and on the functionality that each room has. In many cases, several types are combined to be used at different times, in order to highlight certain areas or to achieve more original results than with a general light.

Indirect LED lighting

Indirect light is projected onto surfaces such as the ceiling or the wall in order to illuminate through its reflection, not directly. It is perfect lighting for areas where the intention is to create a relaxed ambience and excessive brightness is not necessary.

The big advantage of indirect light is that it is very useful for visually expanding any space and highlighting architectural forms.

Direct LED lighting

Unlike what happens with indirect light, this type of lighting directly impacts a surface. While indirect light primarily serves to provide ambience, the main purpose of direct light is to illuminate, being more intense and appropriate for areas like studies, kitchens or bathrooms.

While both can be combined to achieve different results at different times, direct light is usually aimed at areas where greater visibility is required, contrary to what happens with indirect light, which is much dimmer and more diffuse.

LED accent lighting

While the two preceding types serve to illuminate more generally, accent lighting is used to highlight specific elements of a place’s design, like paintings, sculptures, etc.

 

whizz lámpara aplique extensible

 

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It is lighting that complements others by highlighting a room’s very specific points and focusing attention on them, and it is so attractive and versatile that it is used today in all types of spaces, from homes to restaurants and museums.

 

LED lighting intensity

Light intensity plays a crucial role in almost any day-to-day activity. Seeing clearly and distinguishing objects is important in activities that require more precision, however, in other spaces with different purposes, the light intensity required changes a lot.

While it is certain that it is to a certain extent subject to each person’s preferences, the light intensity will never be the same in spaces like an office or the living room of a house.

While light intensity can be measured in different ways, the most common measurement is lumens and lux.

  •     Lumens measure the luminous flux of a light fixture, in other words, the intensity of the light emitted.
  •     Lux, meanwhile, is the ratio of light intensity to the square metres to be illuminated.

Some factors like the opening angle, colour temperature or distance to the light source can to a large extent impact lumens.

LED colour temperature

LED colour temperature is a value that is measured in degrees Kelvin (K) and determines what we consider warm light hues and cold light hues. When a black body is heated, it irradiates a different type of light depending on the temperature, creating that warm or cold light that we understand as color temperature in a LED light fixture.

LED lights can be manufactured with a certain colour temperature by combining different chemical compounds. Furthermore, unlike other types of lighting like fluorescent tubes, LED lighting does not alter or harm the objects that it lights up since it does not emit ultraviolet or infrared radiation.

Three types of colour temperature can be distinguished: cold, neutral and warm, and each one is used for specific spaces.

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LED light fixtures

LED stands for Light Emitting Diode, which means that LED light fixtures are made up of a diode that produces light. Since their appearance, LED light fixtures have been evolving, moving from what at the beginning only produced red, green or yellow light with a pretty low intensity to what is today capable of lighting up entire rooms with different colour temperatures and intensities.

The extensive lighting possibilities offered by LED light fixtures, along with their many benefits, have led traditional halogen light bulbs to stop being used completely in order to move to the LED era.

LED light fixture characteristics

LED light fixtures have ended up being the most practical and efficient option when it comes to illuminating and this is due to several factors:

  • The light provided by LED light fixtures is brighter and sharper.
  • These types of light fixtures consume very little energy. In fact, while an 800-lumen halogen light bulb consumes 1000 W, an 850-lumen LED light consumes just 10 W, which would give us up to 90% less consumption for greater brightness.
  • They have a life time of 20,000 to 100,000 hours.
  • They are resistent to vibrations because they lack filaments.
  • They heat up less.
  • No ultraviolet or infrared emissions.
  • They are more environmentally friendly than any other type of light fixture.

 

These characteristics make LED light fixtures perfect for all types of spaces, from homes to restaurants, commercial premises and hotels. Furthermore, the extensive possibilities with regard to types of LED light fixtures, and their intensity and colour rendering mean that they can be used to achieve very different results and ambiences.

 

lámpara de mesa hotel

 

Types of LED light fixtures

One of the big advantages of LED light fixtures is that they are tremendously versatile and there are as many types and shapes as spaces to adapt to, so it is hard not to find the perfect light fixture for your project, whether indoors, outdoors or of any style.

Indoor LED light fixtures

Indoor LED lighting is vitally important in any interior design project, although there are several myths that can lead you to make poor use of light fixtures, achieving results that have nothing to do with the original plan.

In this respect, the two most important factors to consider are:

  •  Installing light fixtures only where necessary.
  • The light fixtures should not dazzle.

So, using one or another type of LED light fixture will largely depend on the space. In other words, in homes, light fixtures will vary depending on whether they are installed in the kitchen, in the living room, in the bedrooms, etc. And even within the same room they can vary if the intention is to combine several types or if the room has areas where different activities will be carried out, like a dining room and an area of relaxation with sofas and armchairs.

In other spaces like restaurants, hotels, commercial premises and others, any LED light fixtures used will be very different. In hotels, we can find areas of relaxation where it is more appropriate to use indirect lights combined with other types, while in restaurants, for instance, it may be necessary to combine a general light with others that light up the tables and other different light fixtures to create ambience or to highlight architectural or design details.

In any case, the important thing is to use the right light fixtures for each space, functionality and area, lay them out in a way that is useful and not counterproductive, and avoid them dazzling.

 

lámpara LOOP

 

Outdoor LED light fixtures 

Combining specific outdoor LED light fixtures will allow ambiences to be created that are as relaxing and natural as those we achieve indoors. In these cases, all we need to do is choose the right light fixtures, with an Ingress Protection adapted to the type of space in which each light fixture is going to be installed.

This will guarantee greater durability of the light fixtures, taking into account that they will have the necessary protection to resist sun, rain, etc.

Furthermore, the type of LED light fixture that is used outdoors will also vary according to its specific function and according to space that it will light up. This makes it possible to use recessed lights like the Crosby 70459N for circulation areas, stake lights to illuminate from the ground up like the Seth model, indirect wall lights and ornamental lights for areas of relaxation like porches or terraces.

LED stake light fixture

These are low cost light fixture that are easy to clean because they are watertight. LED stake light fixtures have a high Ingress Protection, so they are the perfect option for humid outdoor or indoor places like carparks and others. 

LED surface light fixture

LED surface light fixtures, like the stake ones, are very watertight, so they are suitable for use both in outdoor areas exposed to rain and in humid indoor areas like bathrooms or dressing rooms.

LED surface light fixtures are also easy to install, since given that they have a frame that houses the LED driver, no opening is required on the surface.

 

lámpara SCUBA

 

Linear LED light fixture

Linear LED light fixtures can be both recessed and suspended, and they are one of the most practical ways to light up big spaces. In fact, their versatility makes them one of the most in-demand options in places like offices.

These light fixtures can have different lumen, intensity and even colour temperature characteristics, so by combining them we can achieve endless different designs adapted to all types of requirements.

Designer LED suspended lights

LED suspended lights are a key element in the final outcome of an interior design project. Not only is it necessary to fulfill the function of appropriately illuminating, but it is also necessary to have a design that provides quality to the space it occupies and is consistent with the overall style of the place. 

In this respect, having designer lights like those designed for FARO Barcelona by Nahtrang, Nutcreatives, Andreu Carulla or Isaac Piñeiro can give whatever space you are creating a personal, elegant and stylish touch that will undoubtedly give your interior design great originality and added value.

Ceiling fan with LED light

Not only are ceiling fans a magnificent option to ventilate, renew the air and cool any space, but it is also possible to use fans with an incorporated LED light to fulfill several functions with a single fixture, by illuminating, cooling and ventilating at the same time.

It is a very practical option for homes, where a LED light incorporated into the ceiling fan would be enough to completely light up a room.

 

How to place and install a LED light fixture

Installing a LED light fixture can depend on many factors. Firstly on the type of light fixture, the surface on which it is installed, the light sockets, etc. Each type of light fixture can be easier or more difficult to install depending on whether they are recessed light fixtures, pendant light fixtures… However, you should also take into account where the light fixtures will be installed as soon as you start designing the lighting project.

The placement of LED light fixtures cannot be random, but rather a project studied in detail that takes into account the type of light required in each area, the activities that will be carried out in each space, the ambience that you intend to create and how it will affect each type of light and the final result.

At FARO, we have almost 40 years’ experience of working on lighting projects. We are experts in all types of LED light fixtures, their installation and their layout in spaces. Furthermore, our technical team supervises and monitors each lighting project from beginning to end, and with our post-sales service you will have nothing to worry about. Entrust the lighting to experts and your interior design project will be a guaranteed success.

 

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