Tips for Accent Lighting with LEDs

A beautiful home, like a great work of art, is more than just the sum of its parts. It is the careful attention to detail, the balance of grandeur and subtlety, which evokes a sense of awe or inspiration from onlookers.

LED accent lighting is one of those elements of home décor with the ability to elevate the everyday into something truly memorable. While it may not be the first thing you notice when you walk in, a few carefully selected ambient lights can have a significant impact on the overall feel of a room, accentuating certain design or architectural features by adding depth and shadow.

The use of LED light strips means you can make a big difference in any room without breaking the budget or adding on a significant time commitment. Of course, simply adding LED accent lighting at random throughout your home is not guaranteed to make it appear amazing. In fact, if not properly planned, the effects could be distracting and unsightly.

If you’d like to add LED accent lighting to your home, but you’re not sure how to get started, you’re in luck! To help simplify the process, we’ve put together a few tips and tricks for purchasing and installing this type of lighting. Read on to learn more!

Keep it Simple, Less is More

Adding LED accent lighting to a home is a bit like adding seasoning to a fine meal. A little bit of spice may bring the whole dish together, but too much can become overwhelming. The same rules apply to accent lighting—a little goes a long way, but when it’s everywhere, it can cause the best features of a room to blend in, or become washed out. Instead, accent lighting should be used to showcase and guide attention to those few select objects and areas that truly deserve the attention.

Having a well-lit home should, of course, be part of your goal, but remember that the point of accent lighting is just that—these types of applications are not meant to serve as the main source of light. That’s why, the expert Design Team here at Inspired LED most often recommends using Normal Bright (≈65 lm per foot) or Super Bright (≈135 lm per foot) flexible LED strips for accent lighting.

 Choose Placement Wisely

Choosing where to place LED accent lighting can be a difficult task. A good rule of thumb is to start by identifying the main focal point for a room. Don’t bother highlighting your old, nicked up IKEA furniture, unless that’s where you want the attention of your guests to go. Focus on those elements which make your home unique, such as custom artwork, built-ins, or displays.

Once you’ve decided on the main attraction, unless you’re working in a particularly small space, you may want to find a smaller complementary element to light nearby. Select something simple and straight-line like a toe-kick or ceiling cove to avoid clashing with the more detailed accent pieces. This will help to maintain the balance of light in the room.

Of course, part of the challenge of installing LED accent lighting comes in finding a layout with convenient access to power and control, which still manages to hide away the diodes and cables. Take advantage of natural nooks and corners wherever possible, and use strategically placed cable clamps as needed to give your system the cleanest look possible. Or, if you’re having trouble determining the best technique for installation, contact our Design Team for a free layout and quote!

Balance Existing Lighting

LED accent lights are best used in conjunction with existing fixtures to create a more balance effect, or to help set the mood within a room. When considering where to install accent lighting throughout your home, it’s important to take note of existing light sources. There’s little point in lighting an area that’s already lit! Instead, you’ll want to find ways to use LEDs to maintain the contrast of light and shadow in each room.

For higher activity areas such as the living room or kitchen, you’ll want to keep things nice and bright, using LEDs to get rid of any dim corners. For other spaces, such as the dining room or study, shadows can actually do a lot to set the mood, so LED accent lighting should be used more sparingly.

Lastly, never forget the importance of natural light. While fixtures and LED accent lights can do a great deal to brighten up your space, there is no substitute for good old-fashioned sunlight, so take advantage of windows wherever possible!

Consider Dimmers

If you’re having trouble deciding on exactly how much light you’ll want or need in a particular area, there’s good news: you don’t have to choose! By incorporating a basic dimmer switch into your LED accent lighting system, you’ll be able to adjust the brightness and set the mood on demand at the simple press of a button.

A variety of dimmer styles, including inline push-buttons, remote controls, and wall switches are available for purchase depending upon your power source. Each kind provides a convenient source of control which will allow you to brighten things up in the morning when you wake, and lower them down to a softer, cozier level at night while you prepare for bed.

For more information and inspiration on how to upgrade your home with LED accent lighting, visit our website, or click here to view our gallery.

Looking for assistance with a custom LED lighting project? Take advantage of our free Design Services by submitting a photo and some measurements, and we’ll send back a complimentary layout and quote. Contact us for more information by emailing or calling 480-941-4286.