The rapid growth of LED lighting is creating new opportunities for builders, interior designers and audio/video systems specialists.
And recent advancements have led to a new generation of lighting products that offer homeowners better lighting while also providing energy and cost savings. But not all LED lighting products are created equal. Homeowners and builders who rush out to buy LED products from the local hardware store or big box retailer often get the products home only to realize they don't perform as expected. In many cases, they aren't happy with the color of the lighting or find that the products don't dim properly.
As a homeowner's trusted expert on all things residential, homebuilders have the opportunity offer the right lighting solution for any application.
To help you get started on building your LED lighting offerings, here are a few of Energy Squad’s most-recommended products, which are included in our “LED Diet” offering.
Switch Lighting A-Lamps
The 60-watt incandescent bulb is the staple of the (inefficient) American home. The problem with most brought LEDs bought in a big-box store is their inability to be placed inside an enclosed fixture like a wall sconce, surface mount, closet fixture, old-school globe, etc. The liquid cooling technology built into the Switch line of products allows these to run 40 percent cooler than standard LEDs and maintains the only specification we’ve seen for totally enclosed fixtures. All Switch products have a lifetime warranty on residential installations.
LEDnovation ‘Warm Dimming’ BR30
The BR30 lamp adorns 5-inch recessed lighting sockets like no other, and the LEDnovation ‘Warm Dim’ BR30 replicates the ‘yellowing’ effect of an incandescent lamp when dimmed. Most LEDs hold their color temperatures true when dimmed, which happens to be quite favorable with most lighting designers and homeowners we’ve worked with. And those diehards who are starting to hoard incandescent and halogen bulbs now have a more efficient solution to consider, as legislation phases out the 65-watt BR30 next year.
For residential applications, the 50-watt halogen has been one of the most challenging LED lamps to manufacturer. Like Switch, Soraa is one of those companies that specializes in building one bulb type— and they’ve knocked it out of the park! They’ve licked everything from the halogen equivalent (if not better) on light output, color quality and thermal management. Most inferior products fail in enclosed fixture applications, and if you read the fine print on some of their boxes, most high-output products are not meant to be housed in recessed fixtures. Soraa’s Snap system couples its high output MR16 10-degree lamp with a prismatic lens and an array of magnetic filter and lens attachments to adjust beam spreads, color temperature, and CCT. The company has even built an outdoor product.
A perfect recessed lighting solution for any 3-to-6-inch ceiling can. Pick your light output. Pick your color temperature. Pick your trim. Have a nice day! The DMF line of LED luminaries are a perfect value solution for both new construction and retrofit. Rather than cramming little bitty LED Drivers into the neck of a light bulb, DMF (with some help from Cree) developed a line of LED lamps that hide inside of your recessed can to give a very high-end look for not much money when compared to high-end residential LED fixtures.
Technical Consumer Products (TCP Lighting)
If there is one U.S. manufacturer out there that has the most comprehensive LED lamp product line, it’s TCP. The problem with buying LED products at the big box stores is the lack of selection of varying color temperatures and beam spreads for the most common bulb types. Homeowners don’t realize this when shopping—and that is why it is so important for a builder, designer or systems integrator to familiarize themselves with TCP. In most cases TCP has four color temperature selections and three beam spreads for the most common residential bulb replacements.
TCP also offers a Connected by TCP Home Smart lighting system that allows you to adjust your LED lighting via a smartphone, tablet or computer.
Jonathan Stovall is the founder of Energy Squad, a green tech distributor for the custom electronics channel. Energy Squad has developed the LED Diet, a training and installation program for installing LEDs into homes.