Archive for May, 2011

Outdoor Kitchen

Background: Durham Pendant Light, Customized for Wall Mounting

and foreground:

Lancaster Lantern

The push towards higher efficiency in lighting gives us some great options but certainly hasn’t simplified the choices. Dimming is not a good idea with every lamp type (ie Incandescent, Fluorescent, LED).

Here is our take on the current state. If you are using incandescent lamps, adding a dimmer is worth considering. You will save energy and increase your control over light output. For compact fluorescent, the specialized equipment required for dimming will be obsolete in a few years. LED is the future, but has not hit the mainstream yet.

Pros and cons for dimmers and lamp type:

  • Incandescent Lamp (Light Bulb)
    • Conventional dimmer will reduce electricity consumption and will increase lamp life.
    • Frequent on/off switching WILL NOT reduce lamp life.
    • No warm up time.
  • CFL (Compact Fluorescent Lamp)
    • Requires special dimmers and special dimmable lamps.
    • Frequent on/off switching WILL reduce lamp life.
    • Requires warm up of 30-480 seconds.
  • LED (Light Emitting Diode)
    • Compatible with conventional dimmers.
    • Frequent on/off switching should not reduce lamp life.
    • Energy consumption is reduced with or without dimmer.
    • No warm up time.
    • Still an emerging technology.

Our recommendation, install CFL lamps in areas that tend to remain lit for longer periods where light quality is not critical. Use incandescent lamps in areas that are frequently switched off and on, and where dimming adjustment is preferred. Give LED a try if you want to be on the leading edge of energy efficient trends in lighting.

updated 5-10-2011

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