Flooring likely has undergone the most changes – growing from hardwood, vinyl tile, and linoleum a few decades ago to the many hard surfaces products we have today. Carpeting came and somewhat went in that interim also. The original choices have largely been retooled and reinvented for today’s use.
Another building product that has revolutionized what we can include in home renovations and new construction today is lighting. For years, we could just offer incandescent light fixtures – primarily as central ceiling fixtures or wall sconces. Along the way, we had fluorescent fixtures we could use, followed by limited applications of halogen lights. Now, LEDs have changed all of that and made it essentially obsolete.
Not only are LED lights more versatile than anything we have been able to use in the past, it turns out they are safer to use than products previously available. Obviously, they produce far less heat than the incandescent or halogen bulbs so the risk of burns from touching them or fires from flammable materials (paper or drapes, for instance) coming in contact with them is nearly eliminated.
LED lighting is available in everything from recessed or can lighting to bulbs for lamps, toe-kick lighting, under cabinet lighting, solar powered decorative and security lighting, in-cabinet and drawer lighting, indicator signals, night lights, and so much more. They come from large to small in size and in a variety of intensities and color outputs.
LED lighting reduces headaches, nausea, Alzheimer’s disease and related dementia conditions, mood disorders, stress, vision loss and eye disorders for those so affected – especially when compared to the flickering, alternating current, and other issues common with fluorescent and incandescent sources.
The light output from LED sources is the closest to sunlight of any type of light so it provides the best complement in this regard.
It’s possible to control the color temperature and brightness of LED lights so the ideal light can be used in each room – with the potential of creating more even lighting and positively affecting Alzheimer sufferers. A slight difference in color can affect how well we sleep and how alert we feel when we are awake. The blue spectrum suppresses melatonin which improves sleep quality.
LEDs only produce light in the visible range with no damaging UV or infrared radiation so this contributes to eye health. UV light is a factor in cataracts and age-related macular degeneration. LEDs also prevents straining the eyes which for seniors is important because eyes let less light in and take longer to adjust to changes in light levels.
The efficiency of LED lighting also drastically reduces lighting costs, using an average of 75 percent less energy and lasts 25 times longer than incandescent bulbs. They are reported to be about 4 times more energy efficient and last 5 times longer than fluorescent bulbs.
We now have a great solution to offer our aging-in-place clients and to use in our own homes as well.