How to Use LED Strip Lights in Your Home

LED strip lights are a new type of lighting technology which can be used in new and exciting ways. As LED technologies have continued to develop, resulting in the capability to emit enough brightness and quality of light for general illumination applications. Here we will explain what exactly LED strip lighting is, and how can you get started using it in your own home. 

Definition of LED strip lighting

LED strip lights are a linear array of LED chips which are mounted onto a long and narrow electrical circuit board. The circuit board is typically flexible, and the LED strips are usually packaged into reels. Most types of LED strips can be cut and trimmed using regular scissors to the particular length required. 

Double-sided adhesive backing tape typically comes pre applied onto the backside of an LED strip, allowing you to simply peel the paper backing and stick and then mount the LED strip onto virtually any surface.

What kind of light can an LED strip emit?

The type of light that an LED strip emits is determined by which type of LED has been mounted onto the LED strip. There is a wide variety of both white and coloured LEDs that are available on the market. White LEDs can range from warm white (2700K), which gives off a yellowish, warm and comfortable glow, to cool white (6500K) which offers a crisper, more energizing bluish light which is closer to natural daylight.

Some LEDs have the capability to emit multiple colours, such as an RGB LED strip, and by using a specialised electrical controller, virtually any colour can be created. 

How much light can an LED strip emit?
A variety of factors influence the brightness of an LED strip, and this can then vary widely depending on the design and the quality. A single LED strip can emit as low as 300 lumens, or as much as 2000 lumens per meter, which is approximately equivalent to the amount of light a standard 1.2 meter, 40W fluorescent tube emits. 

An important factor to bear in mind with this comparison is that an LED strip generally emits light in a 120-degree angle, whilst a fluorescent tube emits light in all directions – so the LED strip might appear brighter despite having the same lumen rating. 

Where to use LED strip lighting?

Some of the biggest advantages of LED strip lights are that they are flexible and use low voltage. This means that any length of it can be placed in locations of objects that are not flat or straight, and with sufficiently considered safety precautions, can come into reasonably close contact with materials such as fabric or paper without burning.

Here are some ideas to use LED strip lights in your home:

  • Ceiling coving or cornice
  • Stairs
  • Furniture
  • Mirrors
  • Shelving
  • Sink and bathtub rim
  • Screens
  • Under cabinets, toe-kicks and in drawers

Make Your Small Kitchen Work for You

Like most homeowners, at some point you will have wished for more kitchen space. Those of us with small kitchens know just how difficult it can be to get these spaces to be efficient for our kitchen needs. Whilst it might seem more difficult to design a small kitchen which is functional and aesthetically pleasing, it isn’t impossible. Kitchens Colwyn Bay have experience with designing truly beautiful small kitchens which tick all the boxes. With some careful planning and forethought, you can easily create a space which caters for your needs. 

 

Use Every Inch

When you are working with less square footage, it goes without saying that you absolutely have to make the most of what you have available. Where small kitchens are concerned, and where there are countless pots, pans, dishware and cooking ingredients that need to find a home, it is even more crucial. 

In order to fully ‘use every inch’, make a list of all the empty areas in your kitchen, and we mean every single area. These days, storage options are much more flexible, back walls can easily be used for extra storage space. Once you know where you have some extra space, do a bit of research – find some creative storage solutions, take a look at sites like Instagram for inspiration!

 

Embrace Minimalism

This is probably the most unpopular tip, but it’s very important to mention. The harsh reality with having a small kitchen is that you just won’t be able to store as much as your friends with large kitchens. One of the best things you can do to make your kitchen area as functional as possible is to commit to storing on the essentials. 

Sort your kitchen items into three categories; frequently used, occasionally used and rarely/unused items. Donate or recycle those in the rarely used category, then it’s just about finding homes for the rest. You’ll want to make sure that your frequently used items are easily accessible. 

Kitchens Colwyn Bay

Blend Storage & Aesthetics

Those beautiful pictures of kitchens on Pinterest and Instagram might have you under the misconception that everything should be hidden away when it’s not in use. In reality, this is very rarely the case. Particularly when you are working with limited space, it is important to embrace the idea that displaying your kitchen utensils and appliances can add some personal flair.

Think about utilising space that would otherwise be dis-used; how about hanging some pots above the stove, or fixing a knife block to your splashback? This is a great way to use space that is often overlooked or just forgotten about. Hanging things underneath shelving, or above appliances, or just simply left out on the countertop. It would be wise to add these storage solutions in one at a time, too much at once can look a little chaotic – find which works best for you and the practicalities in your kitchen.

 

Multi-functional

Whenever and wherever possible, include space solutions that can be used for multiple purposes. Pieces that offer you additional storage are a great fit for this; how about adding in a dining bench that allows for storage underneath it. If you have a kitchen table used for dining, don’t be afraid to use it as extra worktop space when things need to be spread out!

Small kitchens are a source of annoyance for many of us, renters and homeowners alike. However, making them work for you isn’t quite the monumental task you first thought. 

Reasons to Make the Switch to LED

Since the boom in popularity for LED light strips, more people than ever have switched to LED bulbs. This includes homeowners, restaurants, retail outlets, offices and factories making the switch in order to reduce costs, improve overall lighting quality or to simply add some ambience. Switching to LEDs can make sure you’ve still got some money in your pocket after the job is done, but saving money isn’t the only reason to change. Here are some of the top reasons to swap to LED. 

 

LEDs require changing less often

LED bulbs can in fact, last up to 50 times longer than equivalent incandescent or halogen bulbs. LED (Light Emitting Diodes) are semiconductors, which means that when electrons pass over them, it creates light. Unlike the typical incandescent bulbs, with LED there is very little wasted heat. LED bulbs produce almost no heat due to the design and inclusion of specially crafted aluminium heat sinks to absorb what little heat has been created, allowing the diodes to be operational for much longer. 

 

Use your existing fittings

This may come as a surprise, but modern-day LED bulbs can be retro-fitted to existing fittings. LED bulbs allow you to simply plug them in and enjoy your new lighting experience straight away. No need to call out an electrician; if you opt for a straight swap there’s no fuss. However, if you want to change to dimmable LED bulbs, you will have to change the pre-existing dimming switch to one that is compatible with the LED system. 

 

Available in a wide range of colours

LEDs are available in a wide range of temperatures, which makes it easy to achieve the perfect mood lighting in every room of your home. At the top end of the scale there are temperatures such as Cool White (4000K), which are most often found in bathrooms, commercial or retail premises. Warm White (3000K) is at the in-between temperature stage and can be found in a wide range of environments in homes and offices. Very Warm White (2700K) is usually used in living rooms and bedrooms, where you might want to achieve a more relaxed atmosphere. Warmer temperatures are ideal for creating a more homely environment, but they can also aid in regulating circadian rhythms – getting our bodies into routines by warming the light environments in the evenings and mornings. 

 

Light up instantly

There’s nothing worse than flipping the light switch and still being in the dark. It’s much better to flip the switch and have the light you need instantly – this is what you get from LEDs. Instant light when you need it most, means that you won’t be wasting time waiting for a bulb to reach full brightness. LED bulbs are a fantastic alternative to incandescent and halogen bulbs in places such as cupboards, cellars, or lofts, where you’ll be nipping in and out of frequently. 

 

Saving you money, and saving the planet

So, let’s get to the giant elephant in the room. LED bulbs save you money – despite the higher initial purchase cost, this will depend on the property, but the bulbs will often pay for themselves in savings in less than a year.

LED bulbs are simply constructed with no hazardous materials or chemicals such as mercury, which is used in more traditional bulbs. Whilst these materials pose no threat to home dwellers, they are often sent to landfills and aren’t disposed of properly which leads to large amounts of waste. 

 

In conclusion, LEDs are incredibly useful, and they are fast becoming the first choice of many residential and commercial property developers. LEDs have lots of flexibility when it comes to design options, LED home lighting ideas are always evolving and changing. With all the advantages that come hand-in-hand with LEDs, why haven’t you flipped the switch yet?

Selling Your Home? Avoid these Kitchen Upgrade Mistakes!

It’s well known that renovating your kitchen can have a positive effect on the value of your home, whether this is completely renovating your kitchen, or simply changing the kitchen doors, there is the potential for good return-on-investment (ROI).

However, many homeowners make mistakes when it comes to kitchen renovation prior to selling their homes. Kitchens bangor can advise homeowners about the necessary work for a solid ROI. Here are some mistakes you should really try to avoid if you are planning on selling your home in the near future. 

 

Personalising to Your Tastes

The plan is to sell the house? So why spend time renovating to your exact tastes? It’s highly unlikely that someone who wants to buy your home will have the same tastes as you. One of the biggest mistakes made by homeowners selling their properties is that they only think of what they want, rather than what will make the kitchen more appealing on the whole.

Aiming for a neutral colour palette as this has widespread appeal and only doing small upgrades such as replacement kitchen doors or worktops, or new lighting can go a long way to improving the look of your kitchen, without you going overboard and designing your dream kitchen in a house you’ll be leaving!

 

Focusing on a Single Lighting Fixture

The most desirable kitchens are those that have adequate lighting – unless you are one of the few homeowners that have been blessed with lots of natural light, you will need to have a variety of lighting options in the kitchen.

It might be tempting to just install a single strip of lighting, and this will make the room look bright – but it will also look quite harsh and will create shadows and darker corners. Installing a variety of lighting will help to give your kitchen more ambience and will make it look more welcoming. Aim to eliminate any dark corners of the room, this can be done easily by installing under cabinet lighting. Lighting is a very cosmetic kitchen upgrade that can work wonders for making your kitchen desirable to potential buyers. 

Kitchens Bangor

Kitchen Island: Do you Need it?

It’s not a surprise that kitchen islands are incredibly popular, they add a real air of class and elegance to a room and are also functional as well. This being said, having a kitchen island for the sake of it is just a bad idea. Floor space needs to be a major consideration here, plonking an island in a small kitchen will cause an inconvenience and could result in putting people off buying your home. If you have a big enough kitchen, an island could work for you – but if it’s going to result in putting off prospective buyers then forget it.

 

Stainless Steel City, NO

Stainless steel has rocketed in kitchen design popularity in recent years, it gives a modern twist whilst being practical and easy to maintain and keep clean. Going overboard with this kind of material can give your home a clinical and unfriendly feeling – definitely not what you want for prospective buyers to experience! 

Follow these useful tips and you should see a reasonable but effective ROI on your kitchen upgrade, kitchen fitters Bangor are always on hand to give experienced advice on everything kitchen related.

Signs You Need to Upgrade Your Kitchen

The kitchen is quite often the hub of the home, with lots of foot traffic each and every day. You cook there, quite possibly eat in there too, and sometimes just socialise with friends and family. It’s because they are used so much, that they require some maintenance and upgrades every so often.

For many people, upgrading their kitchen is a bit of a monumental task, that is going to potentially cost a lot of money. If you think that your kitchen is due an upgrade, get in touch with kitchens Bangor for a competitively priced new kitchen.  Here are some key signs to look out for that will help you decide if it’s time for a new kitchen.

Parts of the Kitchen Are Damaged

This is probably the biggest reason to upgrade your kitchen – along with it perhaps having an outdated look. Even though good-quality kitchen units, doors and appliances are reasonably sturdy, they can fall victim to daily wear and tear. They can be exposed to steam, condensation, sharp objects and heat. Even if you think it is only minor damage, those small chips in your kitchen counters or doors can have a negative impact on how the kitchen looks as a whole.

Sometimes it isn’t necessary to upgrade the whole kitchen, replacing problematic aspects such as a new kitchen door can help to rejuvenate and breathe new life into your kitchen.

Planning on Selling Your Home

Perhaps you want to move house, and you might be thinking – why should I bother upgrading my kitchen when I’m leaving anyway? Well, upgrading your kitchen can add some extra value to your property. If you’re moving into a new home that needs a bit of work doing to it, that extra money could really help.

Even doing simple things like putting in new kitchen doors can help to bring a fresh and renewed look to your kitchen.

Kitchens Bangor

Running Out of Space

Storage issues making you miserable? Running out of space all the time? These are signs you might need an upgrade. Lots of people just don’t have enough storage space in their kitchens for all their appliances, utensils, food or anything else. If your work surfaces are always covered in appliances with barely any room to chop an onion, it could be time for a redesign.

Doing a good old fashioned spring clean can go some ways to help this, but a lot of the time, you can actually create more space in your kitchen with the help of an upgrade. Kitchen designers will be able to advise on how best to maximise your storage space, with lots of clever space saving techniques.

The Functionality Isn’t Working Anymore

Quite a few home-owners have been known to sacrifice an efficient and functional kitchen design in favour of something trendy. This will be great for the first few weeks, but it does get old quick. Modern kitchens can be designed to be efficient when they are designed with daily practicalities in mind.

The triangle layout is recommended if you are planning on an upgrade. This is an imaginary triangle which includes the sink, fridge and cooker at each point. This layout is great in terms of efficiency, as it means that the three most used and important sections of the kitchen are close by and can be reached easily when it comes to cooking and working.

If any of the above signs relate to your kitchen, it’s perhaps time for a kitchen refresh to bring it back to the glory days. Kitchens North Wales are always on hand to advise on your new kitchen design.

Concrete Worktops – The Unique Addition to your Home

Run-of-the-mill materials aren’t exciting designers anymore. Polished concrete worktops are on the rise; with the need for individually crafted pieces steadily increasing. The natural qualities it possesses allow for each piece to be completely individual; the subtle differences are a distinct feature.

The time of granite and quartz has come to a somewhat grinding halt; too shiny, too formal and too common. Polished concrete worktops offer an irreplaceable flair. The ability to look natural, whilst maintaining the character and encapsulating a visual texture not available from other materials.

With the other solid surfaces used in worktops, you’re stuck with that slab of material. However, with polished concrete there are endless possibilities with the decorative elements, the sky is the limit. Polished concrete worktops; they are organic, filled with human nature and ambition. Whilst other worktop surfaces promise perfection; the faults and highlights of the concrete set it apart. The individual elements create something unique.

Polished Concrete Worktop

Concrete has elevated from a mere commodity and has evolved into a distinct art form. Polished concrete provides a beautiful and contemporary substitute for architectural products and surfaces.

From the moment of design conception, each piece is lovingly created and handcrafted to the absolute highest standards. The main aim is to provide a durable, functional concrete worktop that is capable of outliving its owners.

Concrete countertops can be straight, curved, notched, and multi-level. The restrictions once applied to worktops, has no place here. The versatility offered with concrete worktops is unparalleled; designers and consumers alike all rave about concrete’s talent to become any shape and practically any colour required. The classic shiny worktop look has begun to drop off in the past few years; concrete offers a beautiful matt finish which has become increasingly popular.

Concrete Worktop

Although concrete worktops can take more maintenance than other options on the market, the end result is worth the effort. Applying a sealer regularly will aid in preserving the worktop. Even after years of heavy use, the concrete will maintain its radiant glow. However, some of the natural wear and tear can increase the colour pigmentation of the concrete, allowing a different element from the material to highlight itself.

Durable and still functional, with a hint of elegance.

The Perfect Kitchen Door

Fitted kitchens in Bangor are the perfect place to install quality home improvement innovations and modern kitchen designs. However, finding the perfect door for your brand new kitchen is not always an easy task. So here we have compiled a short list of quality kitchen door styles below to get your design cogs moving!

Lacquer

Lacquer remains one of the top choices when it comes to luxury kitchens, despite there being an advance in cheaper materials which imitate it. Its high quality and luxurious professional finish is what justifies the cost of this material. Lacquer doors have numerous coats applied to them, yet all vary from one another depending on whether they have been treated on one or both sides. However, it is not a material which is easily restored due to the multitude of colour choices available and the intense shine it provides. Incidentally, this type of door is available in matt, metallic, sating and other finishes and is scratch-resistant which provides an additional quality feature.

Laminates

Specialists know how to tell a lacquered door from a laminate one, but do you? Laminate doors’ side edges are banded with more or less discretion, however new laser band machines that manufacturers are beginning to use, make it harder to spot the difference. This is especially difficult to try and differentiate between a lacquered gloss and a high gloss laminate, where the latter has been manufactured using this new equipment. What is certain however is these materials, which are available in a variety of finishes, are resistant to abrasion and knocks, plus they are proving to be less prone to scratches than lacquer.

Polymers

Due to the manufacturing process, the edges of polymer doors are coated in such a way that they closely resemble lacquered doors. However, some say that polymers suffer from too much heat and age which makes them the less popular door type to opt for when designing your kitchen.

Acrylics

Acrylic doors are better known by some as super high gloss laminates and have the appearance of glass. The benefit to acrylic doors as opposed to lacquered for example, is they are very easy to maintain which makes for an ideal door choice for your kitchen. The downfall to this type of door however, is the range of colours available is limited. These doors are manufactured by adding a layer of acrylic film to layers of acrylonitrile butadiene styrene (ABS); a polymer thermoplastic with a good impact resistance, which is relatively rigid, lightweight and can also be moulded. They are then assembled by thermo bonding onto an MDF panel.

If you have any questions regarding the types of doors available at reliable kitchen designers in your area, then do not hesitate to get in touch with their dedicated team who are more than happy to assist with any of your queries.