See more tips
(Continued from page 1)
4. Wait a day or so before making a final decision. You want to get a feel for how well that LED bulb works when you are not looking directly at the bulb. The best quality LED bulbs provide clear, clean, beautiful light. However, even the best bulbs of any type are harsh when you are staring directly at them. Instead, step back and look at how they illuminate the space.
5. A strange but true benefit of LED lighting is that it doesn’t attract bugs like traditional bulbs. Put them in your outdoor fixtures outside the restaurant and leave them on all night. No more swarms of flying insects to greet your guests—a much more appetizing solution.
6. Dim your LED bulbs. Of course, anytime you dim you save energy. You can put in higher output LED bulbs and dim them appropriately, giving you the option for more or less light, depending on the mood. Some dimmers already in use in restaurants are compatible with LED bulbs. The issue is older dimming solutions are geared for more power coming through and when LED bulbs pull 80 percent less power, the system may not engage smoothly, or not work. If your existing dimmer doesn’t work, dimmers optimized for LED bulbs can be purchased at home improvement and lighting stores, as well as electrical distributors, at reasonable prices. Check the manufacturer’s website to find out what dimmers they recommend for their LED bulbs.
7. LED A-lamp bulbs can be a great solution for recessed lighting, a common choice for dining rooms and hallways. A21 bulbs (the size of a 75-watt or 100-watt incandescent) are a bit longer and thinner and are usually the best choice. Downlights, though, can have different depths so you may find that using an inexpensive socket extender (readily available at home improvement stores) makes the bulb sit at the right depth in the bulb for a pleasing aesthetic and good illumination. The other consideration is the reflector. Try a matte white or brushed metallic (haze) reflector to optimize the aesthetic of the omni-directional A-lamp bulb. I recommend 75We and 100We bulbs for this application.
Deb Lovig is a channel marketing manager at Switch Lighting. Switch produces a full family of liquid-cooled bulbs, from 40 to 100W. Lovig has been an LED evangelist since 2004.