Welcome to Illuminations LED Lighting Design. Right off the top, it is important for you to know that we are not just specialists in designing and installing LED lighting systems for new or existing homes—we’re the Experts.
Make no mistake; here at ILD we have been offering streamlined solutions for home and business owners since 1980. Still, it is not simply a matter of experience.
Every year we make it a point to invest in hours of continuing education for our technicians, installers, and designers. Your home or business is not the appropriate place for tradespeople to be learning their trade!
You deserve much better than some overnight startup who thinks that installing LED lighting is “easy”; that it requires no particular talent or skill; that it is a fast way to make money without investing in education and training. Bad training (or none at all) leaves you with buzzing, flickering, humming lights, bad design, and dimmers that just don’t work.
It takes artistic-sense to develop an aesthetically pleasing lighting plan; it takes an integrated crew, following precise directions, to realize your perfect lightscape. It is not a job for amateurs.
How We Do It
As mentioned, we have years of experience evaluating and testing numerous products. We never have any difficulty recommending quality LED products for residential and commercial applications. Store-bought, “bargain” LEDs may be cheaper, but remember what “cheaper” actually means.
One famous brand (Philips) has bulbs rated as a replacement for a 100 watt (W) lightbulb. But, if you read the small print, the bulbs aren’t rated for 100,000 hours, or even 50,000 hours; they’re rated little better than a CFL—only 15, 25, or 30,000 hours—depending on the model—and thus it is not a bargain at all.
Another well-known brand, Sylvania, has a 40 W replacement that lasts for 50,000 hours, and a 60 W replacement that only lasts 25,000, yet both are sold under the name “ULTRA”.
What It All Means
It is not the fault of any particular supplier, since most seem to have this failing. It is hard for them to switch from selling something to a customer that could be needed a dozen times per year, and instead sell something that customers will purchase once per decade. Having them fail sooner feels more like a traditional pricing model where manufacturers sell bulbs on a regular basis, even if it doesn’t make sense, or seem fair, to the consumer.
Quality is a Vital Component
The LED marketplace is a minefield for the consumer. Color temperatures are measured in Kelvins, but there is no industry standard. If you like the warm, pink/orange glow of the traditional incandescent light, one manufacturer might describe that color as 2700 Kelvin, but a different manufacturer might call it 3200 Kelvin. If you put those two bulbs beside each other, in a fixture, the difference is going to be quite obvious and jarring.
If the quality control is not good, you can even have two bulbs, made by the same manufacturer, with the same UPC, but from different batches, that are different colors. Getting the right bulbs for a task is not a job for the faint-hearted.
We are experienced in dimming LED lighting, as well as resolving flickering, humming, and buzzing issues with existing lighting control systems. Old-fashioned dimmers accomplished their task by adding a variable resistive load to actually reduce the voltage to the lamp. That works for filament bulbs, but wastes electricity and generates a lot of heat.
Triacs (Triode for Alternating Current) were electronic components invented to turn the voltage off for a few microseconds, so quickly that the eye cannot detect it. Those are the “rotary dimmers” that became common at the end of the last century. These cause buzzing and hum, even in incandescents, by “shaking” the filament, due to the magnetic flux caused by the rapid switching. Though LEDs don’t have filaments, they do have components that can vibrate in response to the rapidly changing magnetic fields. This can cause LEDs to buzz, hum, and even fail prematurely. There are better ways to solve these problems with modern technology and, not to belabor the point, we’re experts.
The Holistic Approach
We specialize in whole house batch LED lighting upgrades and replacements to achieve your desired results. Approaching it piecemeal, a couple of lamps at a time, or even room-by-room, can leave you with a mishmash of dull, poorly-lit corners, glaring over-illumination, and color combinations that would look better in a 1970s disco club.
Like any aesthetic endeavor, the lighting should flow from one area into the next, and not be a series of jarring transitions. Going from a dark, richly paneled hallway with cove lighting in the ceiling, and upward facing sconces on the wall, to a brightly lit area could be distinctly uncomfortable, and moving in the opposite direction could leave people stumbling and fumbling in the dark trying to find their way.
If you need to update, or if you’re faced with the results of somebody else’s questionable choices, we can replace and/or retrofit down lights, table lamps, chandeliers, and under cabinet lights with quality LED products. You’re not “stuck” and you don’t have to “live with it”; we are experts at design, redesign, and reconstruction.
As licensed electricians we can install new fixtures or dimmer controls designed for use with LED lighting products to resolve many issues. Trying to coax old, antedated equipment into handling a task for which it was not designed is an uphill battle and will result in problems further down the line.
We are also landscape and architectural lighting specialists, so we know how to replace power-hungry mercury vapor and halogen lighting with long life LED fixtures and lamps. It is vital to understand the difference between LED lamps which are designed for interior use as opposed to those designed for exterior use.
LED lights for exterior applications are specifically designed to be weather resistant, and generally designed with much greater power-handling and brightness. Those LEDs designed for interior uses provide adequate lighting for that purpose, however they are not weather resistant, and their power loading is much lower. It is inappropriate to substitute one for the other.
Please feel free to take advantage of our 37 years of expertise. Great results are no accident— they take skill, competence, and experience— and they never, ever, rely on luck. You won’t just be satisfied; you’ll be thrilled!