Finding the best Low cost lighting can be hard if you’re unaware of what features to look for especially that there are so many of them to find around. For this reason, we’ve put up a guide highlighting the top lights in the category.
Our team has researched and reviewed these products to help you come up with a better decision.
Low cost lighting
Light your home using the same amount of light for less money. An average household dedicates about 5% of its energy budget to lighting. Switching to energy-efficient lighting is one of the fastest ways to cut your energy bills. By replacing your home’s five most frequently used light fixtures or bulbs with models that have earned the ENERGY STAR, you can save $45 each year. New lighting standards took effect in 2012, and money-saving options such as halogen incandescent, CFL, and LED lightbulbs are available today. For high-quality products with the greatest energy savings, choose bulbs that have earned the ENERGY STAR.
New Lightbulbs: What’s the Difference?
Traditional incandescent bulbs use a lot of energy to produce light and are no longer manufactured.
- 90% of the energy is given off as heat
- That lost energy is money we are throwing away
Newer energy-saving lightbulbs provide the choices in colors and light levels you’ve come to expect. The new lights are also much more efficient — so they save you money.
What Are My Lighting Choices?
You have many choices in energy-efficient lighting. The most popular light bulbs available are halogen incandescents, compact fluorescent lamps (CFLs), and light-emitting diodes (LEDs). Although they can initially cost more than traditional incandescent bulbs, during their lifetime they save you money, because they use less energy. You can find these in most hardware and home improvement stores.
Controls such as timers and photocells save electricity by turning lights off when not in use. Dimmers save electricity when used to lower light levels. Be sure to select products that are compatible with the energy-efficient bulbs you want to use.
If you have outdoor lighting that is left on for a long time, using CFLs or LEDs in these fixtures will save a lot of energy. Most bare spiral CFLs can be used in enclosed fixtures that protect them from the weather. CFLs and LEDs are available as flood lights. These models have been tested to withstand the rain and snow so they can be used in exposed fixtures. Also look for ENERGY STAR-qualified fixtures that are designed for outdoor use and come with features like automatic daylight shut-off and motion sensors.
Halogen incandescents have a capsule inside that holds gas around a filament to increase bulb efficiency. They are available in a wide range of shapes and colors, and they can be used with dimmers. Halogen incandescent bulbs meet the federal minimum energy efficiency standard, but there are now many more efficient options to meet your lighting needs.
Compact fluorescent lamps (CFLs) are simply curly versions of the long tube fluorescent lights you may already have in a kitchen or garage. Because they use less electricity than traditional incandescents, typical CFLs can pay for themselves in less than nine months, and then start saving you money each month. An ENERGY STAR-qualified CFL uses about one-fourth the energy and lasts ten times longer than a comparable traditional incandescent bulb that puts out the same amount of light. A typical CFL can pay for itself in energy savings in less than 9 months and continue to save you money each month. A CFL uses about one-third the energy of a halogen incandescent.
CFL bulbs are available in a range of light colors, including warm (white to yellow) tones that were not as available when first introduced. Some are encased in a cover to further diffuse the light and provide a similar shape to the bulbs you are replacing. If you are looking for a dimmable bulb, check the package to make sure you purchase a CFL with that feature.
Fluorescent bulbs contain a small amount of mercury, and they should always be recycled at the end of their lifespan. Many retailers recycle CFLs for free. See EPA’s website for more information.
Light emitting diodes (LEDs) are a type of solid-state lighting — semiconductors that convert electricity into light. Although once known mainly for indicator and traffic lights, LEDs in white light, general illumination applications are one of today’s most energy-efficient and rapidly-developing technologies. ENERGY STAR-qualified LEDs use only 20%–25% of the energy and last 15 to 25 times longer than the traditional incandescent bulbs they replace. LEDs use 25%–30% of the energy and last 8 to 25 times longer than halogen incandescents.
LED bulbs are currently available in many products such as replacements for 40W, 60W, and 75W traditional incandescents, reflector bulbs often used in recessed fixtures, and small track lights, desk lamps, kitchen undercabinet lighting, and outdoor area lights. They come in a variety of colors, and some are dimmable or offer convenient features such as daylight and motion sensors. LEDs work well indoors and outdoors because of their durability and performance in cold environments. Look for LED products such as pathway lights, step lights, and porch lights for outdoor use. You can also find solar-powered outdoor lighting.
While LEDs are more expensive, they still save money because they last a long time and have very low energy use. As with other electronics, prices are expected to come down as more products enter the market.
THE COMPLETE GUIDE TO BUYING LIGHTING
Lighting can often be overlooked when it comes to re-decorating, because it is often thought of as a utilitarian rather than a key factor in the overall décor of your room. But, when chosen correctly, your lighting can become a true focal point and is guaranteed to take your home design to the next level!
We have put together the ultimate light buying guide to help you to choose the correct lighting for each room in your home, with the perfect balance of style and substance. Because choosing the correct lighting is not as simple as you may initially think…
CONSIDER THE SIZE OF THE ROOM
The first step to choosing the correct lights for your home is to work out how much light you need in a room to keep it well lit.
In 2010, the way we measure bulb brightness changed. Bulb brightness used to be referenced in wattage (W), but now it is referenced in lumen (LM).
Each room in your home will require a different number of lumens in order to be lit adequately. To work this out, you can check an illumination chart which will show you the ideal number of footcandles or lux you will need for a certain task.
A footcandle = the amount of light on a surface created by one candela that is a foot away from the surface.
A lux = the amount of light on a surface created by one candela that is a metre away from the surface.
One candela = the light from one standard candle.
If you are using feet, look at the number of footcandles. One footcandle is equal to 1 lumen per square foot. Multiply the number of footcandles by the square foot in the room and this will tell you how many lumens are required.
If you are using metres, look at the number of lux. One lux is equal to 1 lumen per square metre. Multiply the number of lux by the square metres in the room and this will tell you how many lumens are required.
Find our illumination chart below:
And if you’d like to see how the kelvins will affect your room, you can use this useful tool from 1000bulbs.com, which shows how the colour temperature will transform the lighting in this kitchen space.
UNDERSTAND THE THREE USES OF LIGHTING
Now that you know how many lumens are requires in each room, the next step is to understand the three main uses of lighting. Don’t make the common mistake of thinking that one type of lighting will suffice for an entire room. Lighting works much better when used in layers. So, it’s important that you put together a lighting plan for each room, and a successful lighting plan should include three uses of lighting: ambient, task and accent.
Ambient lighting is the main light source in the room and will usually be your starting point. This lighting will determine the overall mood within the room, for example a living room will have a warmer and more relaxing tone than that of a workspace. Ambient lighting tends to come from recessed lighting or wall light fixtures within the room.
Task lighting is focused light that is used when tasks will be carried out in the room. A good example of this is a desk lamp, which will often be adjustable in order to illuminate areas that you need the most to help you carry out tasks.
Another example is vanity lighting above a mirror and under-cabinet lighting in a kitchen.
Accent lighting is the most decorative type of lighting in the room, its used to highlight focal features such as wall art, bookshelves and fireplaces. Accent lighting could also be a focal point itself if you go for a statement piece. For example, our Wofi Indigo Ceiling Light Often floodlights, track lights, picture lights and wall-mounted fixings are used.
KNOW THE DIFFERENT TYPES OF LIGHTS AVAILABLE
Getting creative with your lighting will mean mixing different types of lights together, so its important that you know the different options available on the market.
Almost every room will have ceiling lights because they usually provide the ambient lighting within the room. The two main types of ceiling lights are pendent and flush lighting. Pendant lights hang down from the ceiling usually by a cord or chain whereas flush lights have little or no gap between the light fitting and the ceiling. There’s a vast array available on the market from strikingly stylish to the functional, and here at Lighting Style, we like to mix the two together!
Floor lamps are often pigeonholed to the ambient light category and also in the task lighting category, this is because they are perfect for adding extra illumination in rooms that need it but they can also be the perfect adjustable overhead lamp to add focused light in required areas. They are also ideal for adding smaller amounts of light in a room when needed, for example in the living room on an evening when you don’t want the main lights on, but you do want a small amount of light.
Table lamps are extremely versatile as they can be placed anywhere and usually create the task lighting within your room. They’re often adaptable to allow for versatile use, for example dimmable for a bedside table or adjustable for desk work. You could go for an extravagant design and use it as part of the room décor too, the options are endless!
Wall lighting does it all. They can create gorgeous accent and highlight focal
points within the room beautifully. They can help illuminate hallways and larger
rooms and add to the ambience within the room. They’re ideal outside lighting, or
when placed strategically they’re great task lights for focused reading.
Spotlights enhance visibility where you need it, they’re ideal task lighting. They are either made of several spotlights along a metal bar or a singular bright light that sits close to the ceiling. They can usually be adjusted to point in the correct direction for your needs.
GET THE RIGHT BULBS
Now that you know the different types of lights available, it’s time to choose the right bulbs! Many of our lights come with LED’s already installed, but some you will need to get the bulbs additionally if stated in the product description.
There are three main types of blubs; LED’s, CFL and Halogen. Incandescent bulbs are now being phased out.
LED’s: LED bulbs are a great eco-efficient option. They typically use 90% less energy than an incandescent bulb. They last the longest, they’re cheap to run and produce very little heat. Here at Lighting-Style we only stock LED’s (we think they’re fab!). Plus they are extremely versatile, meaning that during the manufacturing process they can be integrated straight into the frame of a light to create stunning strips of light, as seen in the image below:
CFL: Short for compact fluorescent lamp, CFL’s are the most common type of energy-saving bulb. They typically use 60-80% less energy than an incandescent bulb. They are a cheaper alternative to LED’s but they do take a while to reach their optimum brightness which can be frustrating when you need the light to complete a task.
Halogen: The cheapest of the three, halogen bulbs are dimmable but typically have a shorter lifespan. They use 20-30% less energy than an incandescent bulb.
At Lighting Style, we only offer LED’s. You can see our range below:
Choose the bulbs that best suits your lamp or light shade. Our decorative light bulbs are another great way of making a statement in your home, we have various lights where the bulb will still be visible, for example our Wofi Richael Pendant Light, so pairing with a statement bulb will make the light all the more stunning.
Shop our full range of bulbs here.
The cap, which is the base of the bulb, holds the bulb firmly in place while providing an electrical connection between the light and the bulb. In the above images you can see the cap type referenced under each image (E27, E14, G9, GU10 etc…). You will need to know the cap type of your light or lamp before purchasing a bulb for it.This can be found in all of our product descriptions, most typically an E27 or E14 bulb will be suitable, just be sure to check!
The kelvin scale
The next step is to understand the kelvin scale. The kelvin scale is used to describe the warmth or coolness of the light. The colour spectrum ranges from the yellow-based colour to the blue-based colour. As an example, people often prefer the yellow-based colours in a living room, and the blue-based colour in a utility, but there’s no right or wrong it’s ultimately down to your personal preference.
See our kelvin scale below.
Many of our LED lights can be temperature adjusted to suit your desired kelvins throughout the day. However, most of our LED lights are set at a default of 3000K, which gives a nice cosy feel to the room.
Once again just be sure to check the product description to see what the temperature is set to and also if it can be adjusted.
HOW TO LIGHT EACH ROOM IN YOUR HOME
While the layout of the room is down to your individual taste, there are some tips that we can give you that will work well for each room in your home.
Firstly, you need to decide on what mood you would like to create in each room and what type of lights will complement your personal style and the current design in your home.
This is arguably the most important area to ensure a grand entrance and a good first impression is created. Start with a dramatic statement light such as a chandelier overhead light, and then complement this with a floor lamp.
Kitchens are very busy spaces, where food preparation will take place. This means it must be illuminated well, especially in areas where you will be carrying out food preparation. Check out our blog post on kitchen lighting ideas for more inspiration!
You should start with general ambient lighting, we would suggest a pendant light or track lighting if you have a feature in the room, such as a kitchen island or breakfast bar, but if not recessed lighting will work well too.
You will also require task-orientated lighting where food preparation will take place, this can be provided by the addition of an under-cabinet lighting system. This will ensure that the kitchen is illuminated well enough in the areas that really need it, avoiding shadows being cast over knives and other potentially dangerous tools.
Dining Room Lighting
A common mistake with the dining room is hanging a chandelier over the table and thinking that is enough light for the whole room. It’s important to remember to create layers. A statement light over the dining room table is a great start, a chandelier or a pendant light will look stunning. Check out our blog post on dining room lighting ideas for more inspiration!
You then need to balance this, a great way to achieve this is to have recessed or track lighting, this will create the layers and avoid the room looking flat.
Living Room Lighting
The most multi-functional room in the home, the living room is an all-purpose area where you will watch TV, read books, chat with friends and family or do homework. This means the lighting in this room needs more diversity, to reflect the diverse tasks that are carried out in the room.
For general ambience, a pendant light or flush ceiling light overhead will create a good amount of light for the room. Then add floor and table lamps or sconces situated in task areas to provide more direct light, for example, if you have an armchair you like to read in or an area on the sofa where you tend to carry out tasks.
Vanity lighting is perfect for the bathroom, if you have a mirror in the bathroom then they are perfectly situated at the top of this. Not only will this add to the décor of the room, but it also adds the perfect amount of lighting in front of the mirror to help you when you’re getting ready in the morning.
For the general ambient lighting in the room, wall scones and recessed lighting will work a treat, and it’s always a good idea to get dimmable lights in the bathroom so that you can dim them when you would like to relax in the bathtub.
The perfect place to unwind and revive yourself, it’s important to have soft ambient lighting in the bedroom. A decorative semi-flush ceiling light that can be dimmed will give the perfect ornamental feature while providing you with soft ambient lighting. Complement this with accent lighting on the walls to give an extra luxurious feel. Many people also like to read in bed, so either an adjustable table lamp to go on your bedside table or a wall-mounted reading lamp is essential.
Home Office Lighting
You’ll need this area to focus on work, so this room needs function-orientated lighting. For the general ambience, recessed lighting or a flush overhead light will provide the main illumination for the room. Then you’ll need a desk lamp that can be adjusted in your main work area, and perhaps a floor lamp in dark corners or situated over the top of seating areas within the room.
Are you ready to take your lighting to the next level?
Lighting can have a massive impact on your home décor, and when done correctly it will provide the perfect atmosphere for each room in your home. So, if you’re ready to take your lighting to the next level then you’re in the right place!