Lighting is one of the most important parts of a room that many people fail to properly consider. Lighting has come a long way since the days of simple fixtures and lamps. Thanks to LEDs and other innovations in the industry, today’s lighting can do much more and transform a room in ways that old lights simply couldn’t. The tiny size of LEDs combined with the fact that the bulb doesn’t get hot yet still puts out a great amount of light gives home builders flexibility they’ve never had before. When you add in the inexpensive cost of LEDs, you’ve got many new options for lights that don’t add much to the budget. Here are some new yet simple lighting solutions that home buyers may request in their new homes.
One of the more difficult places to light is the closet. Some homes don’t even have lights in the closet—they rely on the lighting from the room to provide enough illumination to see. Others have one bare bulb hanging down in the center of the space, which isn’t very attractive.
With LEDs, lighting doesn’t have to come from the ceiling. Instead, LEDs can be incorporated into hanging rods, illuminating the closet without adding any extra fixtures. Many drawers and shelves include built-in lights, making it easier to see everything you need. Drawer lights automatically turn on when the drawer is opened, or the entire system may be motion activated.
Since LEDs don’t put out much heat, it’s perfectly safe to have them near clothing. You can use them in vanities without worrying that they will melt makeup, or put them in kitchen cabinets near food or paper goods.
The only consideration builders need to keep in mind is that these areas will need power. Few closets have electrical outlets installed in them, but that may need to change in the future. These lighted closet systems will need to be wired into the home while it’s being built or will need an outlet if they’re added in later.
New Lighted Bathroom Fans
Few people ever really think about their bathroom fan. They use it to get rid of odors, but that’s about it. One new interesting take on the bath fan is made by Broan. These new Chroma fans are designed to be more decorative and incorporate light. While lighted bathroom fans aren’t new, the Chroma take on it is: the LEDs in these fans change colors. You can select from a number of different color options on the app, creating some amazing new lighting for your bathroom. You can even set the Chroma fan lights to cycle through different colors, creating a disco in your bathroom.
Kids will especially love this. They can have a different bathroom light color every day, or have a special color for bath time, one for brushing their teeth, etc. It gives parents a fun new way of convincing their kids to take care of these basic tasks without a fight.
Lighting in the Vanity
Another unique product for the bathroom comes from Kohler. Their Kohler Konnect system actually connects the lighting in the bathroom with the plumbing, and it’s all motion controlled. If you put your foot under the vanity, it lights up the mirror and the sink. There are even some options for freestanding vanities with privacy glass. The glass is clear at first, but if you make a specific motion, it becomes frosted, so you have privacy. A change in the built-in lighting can make the glass see-through or completely opaque.
This is a very interesting new technology that may become more commonplace in the future. You can have glass-front cabinets that you can make opaque to keep people from seeing in them, for example. It could also be a great addition to glass shower enclosures.
Light Up Corners and Other Odd Spaces
With areas like the kitchen, it’s not always easy to light up all of those dark spaces using overhead lights. Corners under cabinets, big lower cabinets, and other spaces may always be dark. LED lights take care of those issues. Just by adding a few small spotlights or light strips, you can transform the lighting in a space. Again, many of these lights can be motion-controlled.
Even overhead light fixtures can be used to direct light into corners and other spaces. LED light strips can be used in flexible tubes to allow you to aim the light better. This also makes it possible to light up the entire fixture. A glass piece can have LEDs throughout it, for example. You’re no longer bound by the restrictions caused by larger light bulbs.
As lights become smaller, cooler, and more powerful, expect to see more and more unique uses. Who knows, there could come a time when most of the rooms in a house make use of innovative LED lights and no longer have a single light fixture in the center of the ceiling.