Enlightenment affects us both physiologically and psychologically. We may sometimes take it for granted, but it is all around us. Shops, workplaces, restaurants and every flick of a light switch in our own home bathe us in a glow that can change our mood.
While we have limited control over the lighting design we encounter along the way, we can tailor the lighting in our homes to the rhythm of our days, providing soothing calmness when it’s nighttime, or an energy boost when we need it.
In a 2015 study at a Dutch elderly care center, researchers found that accent lighting can help to cheer up patients or reduce anxiety. Brighter light with cool blue accents had an uplifting effect, while dimmer light with orange tones in the same room created a cosy, calming atmosphere.
If you’re looking for your next DIY project, look no further – enhance your space with mood lighting for an aesthetic upgrade that can also improve your mood, sleep and productivity.
You’ve probably seen colorful mood lighting on TV, in showroom kitchens and in museums. It’s quite easy to recreate these same emotion-altering effects at home using LED lighting, which also happens to be used by the pros.
Light-emitting diodes (the words behind the LED acronym) are not only more energy efficient and last longer than incandescent bulbs, they are also more versatile.
Easy-to-use rolls of LED strip lighting open up a multitude of mood lighting options for the DIY home decorator, with RGB LED strip lighting adding even more customization options. LEDs produce light when an electric current passes through a microchip (rather than heating a metal filament), and the RGB version mixes red, blue, and green chips to produce light in a wide range of colors.
So do you want to buy LED light strips? Then read on below about the 5 best places to use them!
1. Under the bed
Placing lights under a bed can provide a comforting night light in a child’s room. In your own bedroom it can create a cozy atmosphere if you use amber tones or other warm tones. If your home is still in full swing, accent lighting under the bed can also help make the room appear tidier than it actually is.
Using color-changing LED light strips you can create a lounge feeling with purple, green, or whatever color you can think of.
As with other lighting venues, RGB accent lights give you options to switch up your lighting at night by adjusting brightness and color.
2. Under wall shelves
Lighting the underside of your shelves can highlight figurine collections, books, and other trinkets that make your home your own.
Shelves can also cast shadows on your alcove workspace or standard desk, so illuminate them just as you would wall cabinets. The same goes for kitchens with open shelves instead of cabinets.
Laundry rooms, which are usually in dark closets, garages or basements, are a great place for shelf-mounted LEDs. If you have a shelf above your washer and dryer, try lighting the bottom for better sorting and detergent pouring. If they are front loaders in a closet, simply place the strip lights on the ceiling as you would under a shelf.
3. Behind computer and TV screens
Bias lighting on the back of your computer or television screen can help relieve strain on the eyes while making images clearer. You can easily achieve this glowing effect by placing a strip of LED lights on the top, bottom, and bottom of the screen.
For gaming or night work, you can try RGB LED strips to change the color for the mood you want. However, choose pure white if you’re feeling creative – other shades can affect your ability to perceive colors accurately.
It’s tempting to rush right out for some LED strip lighting, but there are a few things to consider before you start filling your shopping cart.
4. Under cabin cupboards of the kitchen
As the name implies, under cabinet lighting illuminates the spaces under your cabinets. This is usually used under the top cabinets of a kitchen, and is partly responsible for making you swoon over showroom kitchens.
Lighting from the underside of a cabinet can create a better-lit workspace, whether that’s a cutting board on your counter or a notepad on the desk you use to work from home.
This task lighting prevents you from straining your eyes, and this accent lighting can also illuminate the room without having to turn on brighter lights when it’s time to go to sleep. Good for your night’s sleep, and at the same time energy-saving.
5. Under kick room
We’d all be hunched over floor cabinets if it weren’t for that little bit of kicking space that gives room for your toes.
LED strips under your base cabinets illuminate that foot-friendly area and give your kitchen a nice glow. It also prevents you from stubbing your toes during a nightly trip to the fridge.
Try using RGB LEDs for toe kicks that sparkle with vibrant colors. Set the lights to a red hue and skip your way through the bathroom, eyes closed, mummy arms outstretched, trying to avoid fully awakening.
Decisions to make before you buy
First, find out if you want plain white LEDs, RGB strips (for color), or RGBW bulbs (for both color and pure white light), and choose the brightness you want. Pro tip: RGB lights can produce white, but only by turning all three colors to their brightest. While this is a good approximation, it is not the same.
Think about how you want your lamps to look. Depending on the properties of the roll you buy, the colors may change per section, or the entire strip must be set to the same color. As with holiday lights, some lights allow you to program motion, while others remain static.
As the price range varies, so does the way you can control your lighting. On the budget-friendly end, most LED strips are programmed via a remote control. For some more customization, like brightness, you might want app-controlled lights. Most of them require Bluetooth, or you can use Wi-Fi and integrate them with a smart home device.
In addition to your lights, you will also need some supplies. To connect your LED strips without soldering, you need solderless clamps, or connectors. These can join two strips together or connect one strip with wiring. This wiring, or low-voltage cable, will in turn connect the strips to your 120-volt AC power supply, which converts to 12-volt DC. To spread your light you can get LED light strip channels.
Also, be sure to measure how long your string of lights should be so that the rolls of strip lights you buy don’t come up short or have too much left over. Some people find it helpful to draw a diagram that maps out their bulbs, connection points, power supply, and outlets.