Color Changing Lights: LEDs as potent solutions for the present day

For an average homeowner, soaring electricity bills can pose a real difficulty; something impossible to ignore. With 25% of any home energy budget taken up by electric lighting, searching for alternatives is nothing out of the ordinary. Thankfully, CFLs (compact Fluorescent Lights) and LEDs (Light Emitting Diodes) are becoming common by virtue of their energy efficient properties. In fact, LEDs which were once available in miniature avatars for the most part are now trending big with diffuser lenses. From large wall washers to small and flexible strips, color changing lighting applications have acquired a new meaning with LEDs. Aside their strong illuminating capacity, LED lights, particularly those having the capability of switching to varied hues enhances the overall look of where it has been placed.

The Craze over LEDs

For starters, LEDs are highly energy efficient lights that were initially devised as single bulbs meant for uses in pen lights, electronics, indoor and outdoor lighting strings put up during festivals and so on. Gradually, manufacturers realized the need for broadening LED application after they started accumulating these small bulbs and utilizing them in the form of headlamps, flashbulbs, tube and reflector lights. Unlike their incandescent counterparts, LEDs are known for their directional properties. Since these lights use diffuser lenses or reflectors, the lighting is more dispersed.

Color changing LEDs- The real sensation

In the last few years, color changing LEDs have practically redefined modern lighting. As much as the innovation they bring about in altering a room’s atmosphere, lighting technology’s future is said to rest with these instrumental lights. Most people rest in the false belief that color changing LEDs are best suited to clubs, pubs, bars or any other recreational places. Reality is your home or specifically, the room can look drastically different once these lights are switched on. The ones meant for home purposes are a tad different from those used in public setups, which means you find them relaxing as they do not tend to blink every now and then and also, the color transition is softer and gradual.

Working principle of color changing LEDs

The working of any color changing LED rests on three LED lights that are set at certain ways. LED color changing lights consist of red, blue and green LEDs, controlled using a microcontroller. It is the latter that can switch on or off either of these lights. This means when you turn on the red LED, the output is red from the color changing LED. It’s much the same for blue and green too. Now if two colors, for example, red and blue are turned on, the shade you get is magenta (slightly in the purple category). Combine blue and green and find cyan while red and green paired together produces yellow.

Color changing LEDs have six colors, but this interchange can only occur using the three primary ones. In case the brightness of any one hue is lowered or brightened, the outcome stands a little different. So, when you mix the red with the blue LED, with the latter at about 50% of its normal dazzle, a color lying midway of red and magenta is the end result. It’s amazing to notice the gradual transition in color when the blue is taken from 0 to 100% brightness, keeping the red LED intact. Eventually, red becomes magenta.

This is one process that works for the other LED elements too in the color changing LED light. So, you can combine red, blue and green in varying intensities to generate the required color.

Another wonderful thing to ponder about is that any standard LED when turned on and off at rapid intervals (say about 100-120 times), the human eye perceives as it’s kept on.

Reasons to switch over to color changing LEDs

Whether home or business, multi color LEDs are practical and convenient to use. You will find not one, but plenty of reasons to switch over to these extraordinary illuminating options.

Firstly, versatility is what scores above everything else. For instance, you wish to make a stunning billboard or create some really fetching booths to be used at exhibitions and tradeshows. Think of LED wall washers with a variety of lighting shades and you are bound to make a great impact. They are compact, powerful and can be transported to almost any place. Bend them to a ninety degree angle and you can obtain any shape or simply focus on any element that you wish to showcase. Adjust the light or use in combination with others for maximized effect.

Second, color changing LEDs are quite flexible. If you think of resorting to strips only, attach several together and fix them along the areas you wish to create an impact. Alternatively, you can also detach them and line them at intervals in a certain pattern, as per your need. These lights fit any space without much hassle and also offer the necessary dose of color and light.

The strips are basically used with a self adhesive instead of being fastened to a place permanently. Depending on your need, you can use them for a certain purpose while implementing the same for some other purpose. With wall washers, using them with or without DMX controllers means that the color effects and lighting needs must be set beforehand.

Thirdly, variation in color pattern is a sharp departure from the static lights. Though certain stationary light displays look amazing, but when you have moving lights or those that work in a rhythmic manner, one is bound to take notice. From sequencing to flashing and fading, there are endless ways of how these lights appear. However, you must always be wary of your requirements and also the purpose for which you have got them. No matter how many color options you have, ensure that the pattern goes with the mood and feel of the place.

Most importantly, LEDs and their low-energy, low upkeep and low cost features are well known. You will get the maximum output from your color changing LEDs and that too providing great efficiency. The amazing thing is that all these can be had at low voltage without giving away almost any heat. Besides, these lights are extremely affordable and require minimal maintenance, which is a potent reason why people are switching over to them across various sectors all over the globe.

Color changing LED strips vs. LED wall washers

Although strips of LED lights are in vogue, for high end color changing, DMX color controls work best. Basically, the DMX color technology can be used to monitor light colors as well as their timing and setting. Most buildings, billboards find LED wall washers an attractive proposition largely because of the ‘high-powered lighting’ sans heat or energy consumption.

Unlike strips, full color RGB wall washers have DMX controllers to produce customized designs via computer software. Far from complex wire installations, these lighting solutions ease in the process of fixing large lights. It is as simple as getting power where the lights are kept and keeping several ‘daisy chains’ together called DMX universe. But you can also use wall washers without DMX controllers. This holds true when architects resort to these4 options or you have no such need for lighting variations.

Uses of multi colored LED wall washers for many

Since LEDs are the future and the multi colored ones are offering a real competition to their traditional forms, it requires no saying that almost every industry as much as the home front is all praise about them. The DMX controllers in LED wall washers have become quite the talking point.

For owners of modern booths, DMX controls produce high end light shows coupled with music. The booths resemble the look of a disco floor and you find people taking more interest in such an ambience, thanks to the colorful lights of wall washers.

For business owners, particularly of restaurants, DMX lighting can change the very mood. If you are one of them, try keeping a wall washer light at a themed room, the entrance or simply the VIP lounge. Take a pick from the colors, set your dimming right and see how the place changes hues from an orange to purple. All you have to do is plug the switch without having to keep a tab on it periodically. The reason why wall washers are preferred in such zones is chiefly because they produce a ‘splash effect’ and that breaks the color code like any art work or décor does. If you have a certain sculpture or painting to emphasize on, trust these new age color lights, the smaller wall washers to be precise in helping you attract visitors.

There are plenty of options when it comes to these splendid color lights. Find for yourself wall washers in a plethora of shapes, beam angles, projection distance and of course, the price. For those who believe that DMX controls can burn a hole in their pockets, there are low cost and user friendly options too, alongside accessories as transmitters and DMX decoders.

Upgrading pool lights to LED color changing lights

Often, there are heated debates whether one should stick to pool lights or choose the array of color changing LEDs. There’s no doubt that LEDs in pool lights creates a magical effect but now that the color changing concept is trending big, switching over to them for shedding light on the pool water can be considered. In fact, a number of pool owners have replaced age old lighting with the new technology by simply upgrading their existing pool light to LED color changing light. This is how you can achieve too:

First, after turning off the main power for avoiding any possible electric shock, the pool light fixture must be removed from the wall. Most are usually attached with a screw at the top and that is exactly what needs to be removed.

Second, when pulling the fixture from its niche, check to see that you have adequate cord to lay the light on the pool deck again when you are done with the process. After taking the light out of the deck, dry it using a clean towel.

Third, disassemble the light. Older models usually have brass retainer clips and screws around the exterior of the light while the new models are fixed with unitension wire clamp having one bolt and nut.

Fourth, scrutinize the lens carefully and gasket of the housing of the pool light. Now, you can remove the old gasket attached to the lens. If there’s any residue on the surface of the old gasket, take a damp rag and make it squeaky clean.

Fifth, remove the old bulb using a towel. Here too, clean the gasket residue and make the light fixture totally dry. Avoid hard scarpers for the surface may be hampered that way.

Sixth, now fix the new bulb without tightening much as it may lead to breakage. Do not forget to wrap the gasket around the lens’ edge. You can secure the light housing on the top of ‘Face Assembly Ring’. Keep in mind that alternately tightening the screws can only help the gasket to be sealed properly.

Seventh, put the assembled light in the water. Remember to replace the fixture by recoiling and storing eth excess cable that was present at the time of pulling out the light. Now fix the pool light with a single screw.

Finally, restore power and test the new light. There should be a sequencing of 7 colors as you turn the light on.

The Bottom-line

Colored LED lights are the newest flavor at present. With some innovative technological developments that the lighting industry has witnessed of late, there’s no doubt that these lights will dominate for a long time. In fact, the color changing ones might see more drastic improvement. At a time when the competition is getting fierce by the day, the color changing LEDs are a respite from the age old static lights. This is not to say that the latter has been pushed to oblivion but gradually people have realized the need for installing modern lights, which were once restricted to entertainment zones only.