“A lot of people say to me that LEDs are cold, but that depends. There are various types of LED; the technology is quite diverse,” says Thorburn.
A big trend in the development of this technology is the ability to change the colour of the LED, either with ‘tuneable white’ or ‘warm dimming’. This creates a viable option for people who dislike even slightly colder lighting. “Traditionally it’s been great for offices; you can come into your office in the morning and have it at a nice warm colour temperature, and then cool it during the day and warm it again towards the evening, mimicking that daylight curve.”
For anyone who is curious about seeing the LED lighting systems available, the ECC showroom in Auckland has the lighting set up with individual controls. “People can actually see the effect of the lights and these systems: the concealed LED systems, magnetic systems, wall-washing, warm-dim – we’ve got them built in to our showroom.”
Planning for the future
Thorburn warns that people often underestimate what is involved with lighting when building, and as a result they don’t start it early enough. “It should be done in the early stages of planning because it can make a huge difference to a home.” Another feature to consider in the planning stage is home automation. People are generally aware of smart-wiring for their audio and television, but still prefer to control their lighting from a switch on the wall. Even if you aren’t ready for it, advises Thorburn, it is worth getting the cables and wiring in there. It is easier to change things later if you have built in the wiring. “I think in the next 10 years, you’ll see a huge change in the way that you can control lighting systems.”
Fortunately, getting this process right is something that ECC can help with. “We advise people on what the best options are and we develop a concept with them, draw it up in CAD and offer them all the information.” If you’re planning to build or renovate, for best results make sure you plan for the most effective lighting solutions right from the beginning and you can enjoy a timeless design for many years.