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Around the House with Julia
LED lighting offers bright new options for your home

By Julia Strzesieski

LED lighting on the upper soffits of this room combined
with recessed lighting creates warmth and ambience

Saving energy and money while adding value to your home or property are good reasons to switch from incandescent lighting to LEDs (light emitting diodes). LEDs appear to be bulbs, but are actually tiny semiconductors. When power is applied, moving electrons stimulate the semiconductors and create photons, or visible light.

Because LEDs do not use filaments like incandescent bulbs, they last longer (up to 100,000 average hours), emit much less heat, and are more efficient in consumption and output.

Unlike incandescents, LEDs are built inside of solid, protective cases, making them extremely durable. They are becoming more commonplace in everyday applications, such as traffic and signal lights, status indicators on electronic equipment, exit signs, and in emergency vehicle lights. LEDs are also becoming popular in home décor.

LED holiday light sets are also now widely available. Although they may be a little more expensive than traditional holiday lights, you will easily make up the cost in energy savings. These LED light strands can be found in assorted solid colors, multicolored, cool white and bright white, in addition to specialty lighting like snowflakes or icicle lighting.

LED lighting can be easily installed throughout your home in a variety of areas. Light up that stairwell or workstation, or change out those buzzing fluorescents and cool down with low-temperature-running LED lights, which contain no mercury.

Here are some types of available LED lighting and the areas they can be used in.

LED ribbon strips are an excellent choice to light a china collection in a hutch or a task area. These strips are flexible and can be cut every two inches or so, are available in assorted colors, and many are waterproof. And, at only 1.5 watts per foot, you can light up your pantry, closets, or other small areas for less power than one regular light bulb.

LED light bars are great for garages, basements, or any other place you need a light to help
you find your way. They usually come in 10- and 20-inch sizes and are shock- and weatherproof, and can be connected together for up to 20 feet.

Cascade LED light bars are also waterproof but are very high powered, bright and dimmable, making them good choices for hallways and large spaces. Generally available in both one and two foot versions, they are great alternatives to fluorescents and even some overhead lights.

Battery-operated LED lights can add additional light for convenience and safety to areas where there are no electrical outlets, such as a closet or a porch.

With their installation ease, flexibility and cost-saving advantages, LED lights will make your completed projects look clean and bright in no time.

See you around the house!

Julia Strzesieski is the marketing coordinator for Cole Hardware and can be reached at

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