How LEDs Have Influenced Design

Illuminating everything from the ceiling frescos in the Sistine Chapel to the iconic arch at Wembley Stadium in London, LEDs are bringing a fresh new style to interior and exterior design.

LEDs mock natural lighting

As LEDs have started to be implemented into homes and workspaces, they’ve proven that good indoor lighting can offer much more than just brightness. It can provide beauty, elegance, esthetic, comfort, ambience and character into any space when used appropriately.

The Leica Camera headquarters, for example, have a modern and sophisticated feel thanks to the tasteful mix of LED and fluorescent lighting.

Leica Headquarters

Photo credit: LEDs Magazine

The lighting in the Leica workspace blends seamlessly into the building’s design, providing a beautifully clean look and an optimum work environment. The design incorporates a mix of color temperatures to provide the look and feel of natural light.

Natural light doesn’t just enhance the look of the interior, however — it also has the ability to uplift people’s spirits.

Feeling blue? LEDs can change your mood

In addition to creating a more comfortable visual experience, LED lights have even proven to be able to change moods.

Thanks to modern technology, mood lighting can be controlled by connecting smartphones to LEDs or by using other high tech lighting systems. According to the Cooperative Research Network, adjusting the color of lighting can help people feel happier and not as tired at the end of the day.

Humans prefer daylight, and so any sort of lighting that more naturally resembles sunlight makes them more energetic. These mood-enhancing lighting systems can be programmed to shut off, however, when everyone has gone home for the night. In fact, the Leica facility has programmed its lighting system to dim when feasible to save energy and also to extinguish in areas whenever unoccupied.

LEDs brighten outdoor displays

While natural lighting may be preferable for indoor spaces, who doesn’t love a good outdoor light display?

To attract and excite onlookers, the outside of buildings and major landmarks, such as Madison Square Garden and the Calgary Tower, are receiving LED upgrades to their appearance.

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Photo credit: New York Post

Outdoor venues are beginning to see the advantages of LEDs for several reasons, including:

  • Lower energy consumptions
  • Availability in a broad range of brilliant, saturated colors
  • Lower maintenance costs
  • High efficiency
  • Very long lifetimes

Whether used for indoor or outdoor applications, there’s clearly a bright future for LED lighting.

LED Light as Art

SHY Light Bronze by Bec Brittain

SHY Light Bronze by Bec Brittain

Now that we have looked into the technology and markets for LED-based tube lighting, let’s take a few moments to admire the creative side of LED lighting – a very artistic approach to using LED tubes as a medium.  The collection of LED lighting from New York City-based Bec Brittain, The SHY Light, uses thin LED tubes to redefine LED lighting that’s very different from your standard T-12 fixture.

Inspired by crystalline structures and the way they grow, the LED light fixtures can take on the shape of a pyramid or polyhedron and are configured in modules so that they can be reconfigured in a myriad of different ways depending on the space from retail to high-end homes.  The SHY LED lighting has been featured in LUX, Dwell and Interior Design.

After first working with fluorescent tubes, Brittain told the blog “You have been here sometime” that she turned to LEDs due to simpler wiring, but also for advances in the quality of light.  Her first priority is to design things that can be passed on to future generations.

The New York Times Magazine recently focused on Brittain and her new role as LED lighting designer.  With degrees in architecture and philosophy, she worked in lighting design with lighting design specialist Lindsey Adelman while at the same time designing braided leather jewelry and bug sculptures. “I’d like to explore the possibility of bringing the materiality and femininity of my other projects into my design work,” Brittain said. “You can only do so many things at once.”

For Further Reading

Times Magazine (The New York Times), Seeing the Light, http://tmagazine.blogs.nytimes.com/2012/10/31/seeing-the-light-2/

You Have Been Here Sometime, A Conversation with Bec Brittain, http://youhavebeenheresometime.blogspot.com/2012/01/conversation-with-bec-brittain.html

Clearlysapphire.com, Deep Dive: LED Tubes Gain Traction, http://blog.clearlysapphire.com/?p=247