What are LED decking lights?
Originally, these were small round lights, fitting into wooden decking, by drilling through a small hole, and pushed in, to give a small light in the surface of the decking. Although they are not impressive during the day, at night they give a delightful effect. They can be stood on, last a very long time, and use very little electricity. They are operated from (usually) a 12V supply, plugged into the mains.
They are now available in sizes ranging typically from 15mm to 90mm, square as well as round, in white, blue, red, green and colour changing. They are now considerably brighter than originally. While they are still used for decking and other garden installations, they can also be used to stunning effect in a variety of locations inside the home.
Some ideas for indoor locations for LED lights
LED lights can be inserted into any ceiling. Drill a hole in the plasterboard (taking care to avoid joists) and just push the light through, the same as if you were pushing it into decking. You can fit any number of LED lights in this way. Each will look like a flush fitting spot of light in the ceiling. The effect is the same as fibre optic lights give, but at a fraction of the cost. Each light will have its cable coming from it, and these are all plugged into one or more junction boxes, in the loft above. The junction box(es) then plug into a power supply, which must be plugged into mains socket. If the socket is installed in the loft, it can be switched remotely, using a wall switch or pull cord switch in bathrooms. (Remember to follow local electricity regulations). It is often convenient to leave them on permanently as they use little electricity.
Bathroom ceilings are particularly suitable for LED lights, often used alongside the lighting already there, such as halogen downlighters. If the LED lights are left on all night, there is usually sufficient lighting to not need any other lighting if you get up during the night. This avoids you being blinded by bright light, which is only needed for such things as shaving, make-up, etc. Furthermore, if the main lighting is fitted to pull cord dimmer switch, stunning effects can be created by dimming the main lighting with the LED lighting on. A few candles as well give a really relaxing ambience, for a soak in the bath. I prefer blue LED lights in bathrooms, but other colours, or colour changing ones can be used.
Kitchens are also suitable locations for such lights. They can be mounted in the ceiling as above, under wall cupboards or in plinths.
Other locations included stairs, to illuminate the steps, skirting boards, plate racks, glass fronted cabinets, fire surrounds, etc. You can probably think of more, to suit your particular house. If it is difficult to drill through, very slim surface mounting fittings are also available. Colour changing kits are often preferred in these environments. They have a control box, which can be set to give fast or slow colour changes, be frozen on one colour, or be sound activated.
They are also ideal for low level all night or emergency lighting (they can work of a 12V battery instead of the power supply). I have been asked in the past to design lighting for elderly peoples’ bedrooms, where they can see if they have to get up in the night, without fumbling for a light switch. PIR detectors, to switch on the room lights are unsuitable, because any movement of the person in bed would switch them on. Low level LED lighting is ideal. It can be left on all the time, with very little electricity consumption, and minimum background light to disturb sleep. Such a system would also be suitable for children’s rooms. A dusk to dawn photocell could be incorporated as well.