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What Type of Lighting is Best for Singapore Homes?

Whenever anyone asks about recent trends in lighting design and use, they inevitably bring up the enormous, and still growing, popularity of LED lighting.

Everyone seems to be jumping on the LED bandwagon. However, before you spend time and money replacing every single light with LED light bulbs in your living room or bedrooms, let’s take a quick look first at what you’re expecting in general, and at the ones that you currently have in particular. 

Lighting for Effect – Incandescent Lamp

If other than illumination, you are intending to create ambience in your home, then you should most likely consider using incandescent bulbs for lighting. 

They produce a valued source of amber coloured cast, making everything within the space – skin tones, furniture and artwork to look warm and cosy. Those warm amber hues represent light source emitting at a temperature of between 2,000 to 3,000 degrees K. 

In case, you are confused with the comparative temperature measurement of hot or cold, ‘K’ or ‘Kelvin’ is a numerical value assigned to the colour emitted by a light source, which is measured in degrees of Kelvin.

Anyway, scientists sought to further confuse everyone by naming yet another temperature scale after the inventor himself.  

Photo Credit by Philips USA

For the technically curious, the light spectrum temperature scale runs from 1,000 to 10,000 K. The LED in contrast, can be programmed to burn at any range of the temperature scale.

Yet, a LED light source burning at the same colour temperature range as an incandescent light emits a significantly different shade of light. 

These differing characteristics in LED lights make them less popular among homeowners who prefer the warm character given off by incandescent lights. LEDs are also known to give off a much ‘harsher’ light compared to an incandescent bulb. 

So, before you head out to lighting shops in Singapore and replace those incandescent bulbs with LED ones, you should first do a test with an LED bulb in your home - to make sure the light source emitted from LEDs are what you want to achieve. 

The Evergreen Fluorescent Lamp

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Many of us are familiar with the standard fluorescent lamp because they are commonly used in homes and offices, and they are very affordable. They have been around for a very long time and interestingly, were first developed for commercial use during the 1930's. 

Although fixtures for incandescent lamps are much cheaper to install compared with fluorescent lamp fixtures, the energy efficiency and cost savings in the long run typically offsets the higher initial cost of setting up the latter.

For obvious reasons, the fluorescent lamp has remained a strong contender and is still very popular among homeowners because they last much longer. On average, their lifespan is six times longer than a regular incandescent bulb.

Against this backdrop, fluorescent lighting emits a lot less heat compared to incandescent bulbs, which is considerably an advantage in our tropical and humid climate.

The Other Competitor – Compact Fluorescent Lamp

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If ambience doesn’t bother you, and your main focus is just to illuminate your home, then you could also consider CFLs.

The acronym stands for ‘Compact Fluorescent Lamp’ and these are the energy saving, coiling-type of light bulbs that fit into the same screw-type sockets as incandescent bulbs. 

CFLs only started to gain popularity with consumers in the 1990s, after improvements were made to their performance, price, energy efficiency (they use about 75 percent less energy compared with incandescent bulbs) and lifespan (they also last about 10 times longer). 

Before their acceptance by the mass market, fluorescent tubes were the mainstay for many years. And because CFLs are every bit as economic to run as fluorescent lamps and LEDs are, installing these economic CFLs in your home is also a good option.

The Potential of LEDs

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Back to LED light bulbs, there is simply no doubt they represent a major invention in the lighting world. They have been responsible for illuminating the skylines of major cities and buildings in a vivid palette of colours. 

Additionally, the ease of being programmed easily by a computer, along with their ability to be dimmed has also changed the theatrical lighting world forever.  

With their small size, potential power, energy efficiency and versatility, they have already established themselves to be ideally used for countless decorative, engineering, transportation and architectural endeavours. 

Although they have yet to demonstrate any distinctive advantage(s) over the commonly used fluorescent lamp or CFL for homeowners, their potential to ‘upstage’ the traditional indoor lighting options should in no way be under-estimated, considering the potential and future prowess of LEDs.

Their value as a light source has been adamantly proven in thousands of applications. And, who knows?

Scientists may well crack the colour temperature conundrum, enabling future LED bulbs to be flexible in replicating all kinds of hue, warmth and brightness. As we said earlier, they are still in its infancy stage in terms of research and manufacturing.