LED lights aren’t just great for the environment; they’re also a great way to brighten up your home and make it stand out a little; LEDs are available in a range of sizes, shapes and colours, and they’re not too difficult to get your hands on.
If you’re kicking about on a rainy afternoon wondering what you can do to improve your home, take a look at these LED light projects that will make your home the envy of your neighbours – and save you money on your energy bill, too.
The first place to start is with your regular bulbs; this isn’t really going to spruce up your home much, but it’s the sensible thing to do before experimenting with LEDs elsewhere, and it certainly won’t hurt. By switching your normal household light bulbs to LEDs, you can cut down your energy bill by 25%; this doesn’t mean that your standard of lighting suffers, either. LEDs simply waste less energy on heat output than other kinds of bulbs, which means that they can emit the same levels of brightness using much lower amounts of energy.
LEDs are a little more expensive than traditional bulbs, so you might want to take your time and say, do a room a month – the best place to start is the kitchen or living room, where bulbs will be used most frequently. The LED bulbs will last you much longer than non-energy saving bulbs will – perhaps in the region of 10-20 years – as well as cutting down your bills; it’s a safe investment from any angle.
Now that you’ve taken the first step and become somewhat acquainted with LED bulbs, it’s time for your first DIY project. To lighten up your patio, garden or gazebo, try making lanterns with mason jars and LED lights. Chez Beeper Bebe provides tutorial instructions here, but, in a nutshell, it’s pretty easy.
All you have to do is fill each mason jar with a little bit of sand and an LED tealight (you can buy submersible ones if you’re worried about rain), and hang them up wherever you want around the garden. They’ll be hardy against rain and windy weather, and will make your gazebo gathering a night to remember.
For the slightly more experienced DIY-er, building and installing your own LED strips under kitchen cabinets is a worthy challenge. LED lights are at their best in places like this; they’re the go-to low-energy replacement for traditional halogen downlighters, and the light they provide will make your kitchen surfaces look cleaner, brighter, and more spacious.
If you’re up to building your own under-cabinet LED strips, there’s a great tutorial here, otherwise the strips themselves are available to buy from modern hardware stores and places like IKEA – screwing them in will be enough to take up an hour or two of your rainy afternoon. These strip lights can also be used in other places around the house; in bookshelves, the pantry, and wardrobes.
On the topic of IKEA – there’s another DIY job that can be done with a little help from the Swedish furniture-maker. You’ll find a tutorial here for the creation of LED torka displays, which will look great on the walls of any contemporary living room or bedroom, and can also be used to create LED lightboxes to display family photos in – whichever you prefer. Unlike the under-cabinet lighting LED strips, this won’t take any great DIY know-how – it’s a great project for beginners in the field of DIY lighting.
Now, this last idea is just the icing on the cake; take little LED lights in a variety of colours and attach them onto various items at parties – with batteries – to make little LED charms. They can be hooked around the stem of a wineglass or decorating the handle of a goodie-bag, and will add a little fun and laughter to your party.