fvtled When we talk about lighting, we almost always think of rooms and hallways, and not walking through them in the dark. When we talk of commercial lighting, we instinctively think of showrooms, spotlights and floodlights, and sales personnel highlighting products that they want to draw the attention of prospective customers to. However, we do not tend to think of flexible strips of tiny lights and the promotional benefits they can have.
It is understandable, since flexible LED strip lights are somewhat new in the lighting world, or at least have only recently begun to make any real impact in commercial lighting. The technology has developed to such a degree that the quality of light emitted from these tiny diodes is strong enough to make a real impact, in much the same way as the uplighters and downlighters that are more commonly associated with the task of highlighting a product.
Having said that, it is unlikely that the alternatives are about to be ousted from their positions in the product lighting world. This is because the effect is very different to that provided by the LED option. An uplighter will generally lend a larger stature to a product, using light and shadow to give a product an almost epic dimension. Think of a public building, which is cast in a bright flood lights from below. It seems to be bigger than it looks in daylight.
As regards the downlight, these are generally seen in recessed lights above an item, such as in a showroom where the latest kitchen design is being exhibited. Customers want to see the work top and into the cutlery drawers and cabinets. They want to touch, use and control, not stand back in awe. Arguably then, the downlight is used to make an item useful, approachable and practical, to downplay the product.
The strip light, however, is completely different, serving to underline rather than exaggerate or understate an item or specific aspects of an item. Take for example the motor industry, and the manner in which these lights are being utilised in it. Motor shows are of huge significance, gaining a huge amount of media coverage throughout the world. The latest BMW, Ferrari or Porsche models find themselves in almost every newspaper and motoring related magazine around the world, while TV production companies gather footage for motor programmes.
The need to impress is huge then, and significant funding is invested in motor companies who want to catch the eye and imagination of the media as well as the general public. Increasingly, there has been a move away from the traditional fireworks type explosion of sound and colour, and a more subtle lighting arrangement is being utilised. That is why LED strips have been attached under door frames or even under the chassis themselves, projecting blue or white or red light downwards directly onto the podium, stage or floor below.
The lighting effect is hugely impressive, without providing the exaggerated sense that uplighting can. For all intents and purposes, the light seems to lift the car off the podium, hinting that it is hovering or is suspended above the floor. And since this subtle lighting option can be used in unison with other lighting techniques, it can even seem that there is no podium, background, floor or anything else there. The car is, in effect, suspended in time and space, allowing full attention to be focused on the car.
Of course, it is not just the motor industry that is making use of these flexible LED strip lights. The fact that it provides a more creative lighting system means that bars, restaurants, alternative shops, modern art museums and even homes are all making use of them. The entertainment industry, of course, has used less flexible versions for years, but are now becoming creative with the more flexible option, while the fact that they are waterproof means that outdoor items, like fountains, statues, and even pathways can be highlighted by venues.
But it is not just versatility that places these lights above uplighters. It is their cost efficiency, with a vastly longer life span and a vastly lower rate of energy consumption ensuring that power bills remain very low. In that regard, even halogen floodlights cannot hold a candle to LED lights.
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