Lighting now is not just about flooding a room with light. LED lights have added a new luminescence to the field.

Mood lighting, soft lighting, up-lighting, down-lighting … Lighting is no longer just about heating a tungsten filament to find your way about in the dark.

The grand interiors of your home deserve better, and the subtle tone shifts that modern lamps produce highlight what to highlight in a room. Lighting up homes has thus evolved into a specialised stream in itself.

While many offices in Kerala consult professional lighting designers for their interiors, homes have not reached that stage. However, innovations in lighting technology have had an impact on the property development scene in the State in a major way. LED (light-emitting diodes) lights, which have revolutionised light designs and fixtures, is a clear frontrunner in the lighting and the light accessories market. A wide range of creative LED lights and fittings are now available on the market to create the right lighting ambience for your home.

Lending character

“Proper lighting can make a difference to the whole character of a room. Today, there are a wide variety of lighting products that can create the right effect and mood in a room. By choosing lighting and light fixtures wisely, you can highlight some areas in a room or apartment,” Veena M. Dhenkane, interior designer, says.

Lighting products basically fulfil two functions: illumination and decoration. Use of lights and light fixtures as an interior decoration element is an established trend. Today, a variety of fancy lights are available on the market in both modern and antique designs. Colour-changing fancy RGB LEDs are in high demand. The latest product in this segment are singing lamps which slot in MP3 players. Fix one of these in your homes and you will have a colour-changing lamp that belts out your favourite numbers.

“One of the biggest design advantages of LEDs is that they are best suited for concealed lighting. It finds a wide range of applications in both commercial and residential settings. Right from the kitchen counter to computer lab, concealed lighting can be used to create an unobtrusive and soothing light ambience,” A. Suresh, partner, Lakshmi Electricals, Thiruvananthapuram, says.

Square in a hole

“Square-shaped LED punch lamps are the latest products in this segment. It is now widely used as a commercial luminaire. The only thing that you need to have is a false ceiling to fix these types of concealed lamps,” Mr. Suresh says.

Linkable LED lights, punch lights and LED up- and down-lights are used as concealed lights. Use of diffuse LED lights to create a soft, even lighting ambience is in vogue. Another important application of LED lights is to highlight certain key areas on the room or wall, for instance the corner vase or a portrait hanging on the wall. LED focus lamps come in white shade and warm shade (a slight yellowish tint). “Warm light is used as mood lighting to create soft lighting effects and enhance the ambience of a place. LED up-lighting and concealed lighting in various hues are used to create this effect,” Mr. Suresh says.

LED-based chandeliers are also in high demand. With the advent of LEDs, the conventional antique design has given way to innovative and modern new designs in chandeliers. Crystal, textured glass, tinted glass and tiffany chandeliers are just some of the products.

Chinese-made lamps, chandeliers and light fixtures that come in local brand names are popular LED products today. The fact that the cost of LED lamps have considerably reduced over the past two years has only made these products more popular, Mr. Suresh says.

Illumination

“Although in terms of low power consumption and design, LED lamps have made great headway in the lighting industry, they cannot really be used as the main illumination source in a room. LED lamps are mostly used for their special effects and design innovations. When it comes to actually lighting up the room, the good old tube light and compact fluorescent lamps are still the most in demand,” he says.

The latest in this section are the slim and sleek tube lights with their high wattage and illumination. However, when it comes to coupling with wall fancy fixtures, CFL lamps are still the most popular.

Wall fancy light fixtures come in various materials such as plain glass, textured glass, fibre glass, smoked glass, coloured glass, steel, cane and even high-grade plastic.

“Plain glass fixtures in geometric shapes are most commonly used wall fancy lights. Depending on the quality of the fixture material and design, the price of wall fancy lights can range from Rs. 150 to Rs. 80,000,” Mr. Suresh says.