going with led lighting

As incandescent bulbs fade away, LED and curly CFL contenders are duking it out. A new rival, called Finally, will also enter the ring with softer light. Yet LEDs are mercury free, unlike CFL and Finally bulbs.

We support LED bulbs due to their longevity, efficiency, overall cost/hour and styles appealing to tiny house dwellers. Let’s compare the bulbs for sale.

All you need to know about bulb cost, longevity, electricity and overall cost per 50k hours. Also catch the spelling error for electricity and you win 10 points. (Angie's List)

All you need to know about bulb cost, longevity, electricity and overall cost per 50k hours. Also catch the spelling error for electricity and you win 10 points. (Angie’s List)

LED in the lead

“A good rule of thumb to understand is that a typical LED light will use about 12 to 18 percent of the electricity as a traditional incandescent or halogen bulb would use for comparable lumens,” explains Michael Beverly, a Los Angeles electrical contractor. Lumens refer to the bulb’s light brightness, by the way.

LED prices, at $36/bulb, seem high though one lasts as long as five CFL and 42 incandescent bulbs. LEDs save money vs. incandescents and, with dropping prices, should beat CFLs soon. Throw in electricity usage and costs, and LEDs already achieve the lowest cost/hour.

The upcoming Finally costs $10/bulb, and you’ll need four to match LED’s longevity. Overall, it lands between LEDs and CFLs on total cost/hour. Finally bulbs resemble old incandescents, delivering warm and dispersed light. Dimmers don’t work yet.

LED for design and decor

Beyond the numbers, LED bulbs fit nicely with different fixtures: recessed high-hats, pendants, lamps, strips, etc. LED light diffuses better than earlier versions and maintains brightness and color through its 50k hour lifespan.

Many tiny house dwellers use them now.

Tiny house owners Christopher and Malissa Tack surrounded all their windows with LED lighting. Their kitchen lights are shown here. (Tiny Tack House)

Tiny house owners Christopher and Malissa Tack surrounded all their windows with LED lighting. Their kitchen lights are shown here. (Tiny Tack House)

In his tiny house, Art Cormier installed LED lighting exclusively. Some LED strips are shown in the great room here. He used laledus.com, a local Louisiana maker. (Tiny SIP House)

In his tiny house, Art Cormier installed LED lighting exclusively. Some LED strips are shown in the great room here. He used laledus.com, a local Louisiana maker. (Tiny SIP House)

At the Tiny Project, Alek Lisefski nestled a large LED fixture near the wood ceiling beam. It’s completely hidden from view, unless you are working in the kitchen. (The Tiny Project)

At the Tiny Project, Alek Lisefski nestled a large LED fixture near the wood ceiling beam. It’s completely hidden from view, unless you are working in the kitchen. (The Tiny Project)

let there be led light

LED lights are artistic forms as well as energy-savers. As you plan or replace lighting in a smaller house, these lights are an excellent choice. Why not add decorative punches as well?

We scoured the interwebs to find very different LED treatments. Here are five we bet you have never seen before, which create mood lighting especially for a great room.

This special LED light is run through a white double braided nylon rope, the type used on boats. (Luke Lamp)

This special LED light is run through a white double braided nylon rope, the type used on boats. (Luke Lamp)

Designer Rebecca Asquith created this lampshade which rolls back into itself and mimics the Nautilus shell. (Design Tree)

Designer Rebecca Asquith created this lampshade which rolls back into itself and mimics the Nautilus shell. (Design Tree)

David Hakaraia honors Maori heritage with this Mahuika wood and porcelain light symbolizing fire. (Hakaraia Designs)

David Hakaraia honors Maori heritage with this Mahuika wood and porcelain light symbolizing fire. (Hakaraia Designs)

From New Zealand, Pil pendants are made from native beech and artisan blown glass. (Design Tree)

From New Zealand, Pil pendants are made from native beech and artisan blown glass. (Design Tree)

With a cone of beechwood and felt strips, this French light gets easily adjusted with felt rings. (Metylos)

With a cone of beechwood and felt strips, this French light gets easily adjusted with felt rings. (Metylos)