It’s a cold, cold, cold Christmas!

LED Christmas Lighting

The push to LED technology has invaded our neighborhood’s traditional holiday displays this year resulting in some very cold, cold displays. And I am not talking about weather temperature, but rather lighting color temperature. LED’s are infamous for that ultra white, verging on  blue light temperature that leaves most of us with that Arctic freeze feeling in lieu of the warm hearth and home feeling of traditional incandescents.   As the cost of the LED lighting plummets, retailers are reporting sales north of 40% for these technological marvels; charting a trend that is clearly only going one way.

But where does that leave us traditionalists, those who appreciate the golden glow and irregular twinkle of incandescent filament lamp? Out of luck I am afraid. Developed by Edison and used brilliantly (sorry) for over 138 years, the era of the incandescent lamp is coming to an end thanks to the 2007 federal EISA legislation, that effectively bans the lamp. Although Congress gave us a Christmas present this month with a ten month reprieve on the phase out of the 100 watt incandescent lamp.  I am afraid this is only a temporary pass. 

As an architect and lighting designer I have not used incandescent or halogen lamps for over five years in commercial spaces opting instead for fluorescents and color corrected ceramic metal halides lamps due to their energy and labor savings. I am even starting to use LED lighting for specialty retailers as the quality and cost of these lamps have improved. However, in my own home, or if I were a residential designer, I am a fan of the incandescent lamp and the brighter more energy efficient halogen lamp.

Bottom Line:  There is an appropriate application for every type of lamp that has been developed and designers as well as home owners should have the right to use the types of lamps they want and in the applications they choose. The federal government should stay out of our light sockets.

See a similar article “Why that Holiday Glow may Look Chillier This Year!”  from the Wall Street Journal.  Photograph courtesy of lady_t_220

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