LEDpac was invited to help solve the challenge of backlighting a solid onyx countertop for a new home project. The challenge for LEDpac was to develop a way to reliably light the countertop at the Malaga, the new home development project for Steve and Amy Finley in northern San Diego County.
What was the initial customer request?
They needed a solution for a 5 by 10 foot countertop in the kitchen that Mrs. Amy Finley wanted to light up from underneath. The counter material is a 1900-pound Onyx counter which had to be backed with Acrylic to support the weight. The extreme weight of the counter meant that it would be very difficult to service the backlight. So a reliable and long lasting lighting solution needed to be found. LEDpac was invited in to develop a solution.
LEDpac engineered the complete backlight illumination for this design.
To do the job, LEDpac needed to put in 800 SLP siliconized pure white LEDs. These were chosen because of their long 60,000-hour life rating. Every two inches there was an SLP module for a total of 800 SLP modules using a total of 1600 LEDs. LEDpac power supplies and an air circulation system were also part of the solution to assure the long life of the final solution.
The LEDpac team would have preferred to mount the lights in a slide in tray to allow upgrades and service access but in this case these LED s were permanently installed. This was accepted because the quality and 60,000 hours life of the product allowed the permanent installation.
The effect achieved was dramatic and unique. The counter has the appearance of a full moon on the horizon.
Improved Color of LightLEDpac chose a specific LED color blend which has a unique quality of light. The increased color temperature of the light source provides a cooler light which is more flattering to the typical diamond. Warmer light tends to make the typical diamond or other gem stone more yellow and less clear in appearance. The cooler light makes the product more white which is psychologically more "clear." The current trend toward white metals tends to be complimented more by the cooler light sources. Unlike the halogen lamps in the original display, the LEDs emit no UV energy, thus decreasing the fading of products and display backgrounds.
Master Bath and Wine Room
The success on this challenging lighting problem encouraged the customer to look at other areas where lighting challenges existed in the residence.
LEDpac was asked to also install backlighting on the two 8 X 2 foot counters in the master bathroom and then again in the wine room which has a large tasting counter centered in a room with three full walls of wine bottle storage. The wine room had a 4 X 9 foot Onyx counter with a sink. Since this was the same challenge as the kitchen, this counter was also backlit with 600 SLP packages.
With the counter lighting setting a high standard for wine room lighting, the customer wanted accent lighting for the wine racks that covered all three walls of the wine room.
The wine storage racks are built with a rectangular grid rosewood frame. The frame is lit with white LEDpac Microlite so that the wine bottle storage cells are highlighted. This required five rolls of Microlites with 360 LEDs in each of the rolls. These wine racks had a track over the rows of bottles that contain the white Microlite LEDs. With the LEDpac's LED solution the customer gets accent lighting without any UV light on the wine and each bottle is lit from above in a pleasing manner with low energy lighting.
The next lighting challenge is in the master bedroom where there are two large walk-in dressing rooms. Each dressing room is built with 12-foot tall cabinets with mirrored glass doors with a four-inch wood framing around the glass. The challenge was to develop a way to light each of these doors at the bottom from inside. The goal was to see through the glass when lit but for the glass to be mirrored when not lit.
The solution was to use an enclosed lighting system with the LEDs covered in a sealed package. LEDpac installed Treklite with XLP modules at the bottom of the closet with a diffused cap to make the light spread better and not be distracting to view. There is a total of 50 feet linear of cabinets in master dressing room and 25 feet in the other dressing room. The fixtures took 300 patent pending, LEDpac XLPs mounted into the Treklite fixture using protective and diffusing caps. These protective caps enabled the doors to be backlit and allowed the light to be diffused so the person in front of the cabinets does not have the lights glare right in their eyes. The Treklite package is rugged and durable enough to be used in this space where the light is exposed to rough treatment.
To complete the dramatic affect in the dressing rooms, additional indirect lighting was installed in the space above the cabinets. In the Master dressing room there are 2 to 3 feet of space above cabinets. To achieve good lighting for the room without a visible fixture, LEDpac placed Amber SLP lights above the cabinets to create a warm sunset lighting affect about the whole room above the cabinets.
Mrs. Finley had a new custom crystal chandelier fixture design she wanted to create for the home. Amy Finley developed the design concept and LEDpac was tasked with turning the idea into a real fixture.
The custom chandelier was designed and built to light spaces in the kid's bedroom, the kid's bathroom, the spa room, the mater bathroom, and the veranda (an entry way in the master area). In the end this Custom lighting fixture project in the Finley residence was so successful that it will be converted into a customizable standard product for Finley Design, Mrs. Finley's lighting fixture and design business.
The fixture consists of a chrome circular cylinder suspended from the ceiling by a chrome-plated rod. The top and bottom of this cylinder are clear Acrylic to allow both up lighting and down lighting. Each cylinder is custom sized for the installation with the cylinder varying from 8 to 24 inches (11 total fixtures).
LEDpac installed high brightness XLP modules on the topside of the cylinder for indirect up illumination. On the bottom side of each of the discs there is also down illumination using a total of 350 XLPs. This down illumination is the most dramatic part of the fixture and it was only achievable using LEDs.
The Chrome ringed cylinder creates a cylindrical space between two clear discs. This chamber has LEDpac LEDs at the top of the chamber directing light down and the rest of the chamber is filled with small crystal spheres so that the LED light scatters through these crystals. Also hanging down from the bottom clear plate are strings with crystals handing down from the plate The affect of the light through the crystal spheres is to fill the lit space with light rays scattered through out the room in innumerable points of light.
The fixture can be dimmed on both the bottom and top zone separately. This custom fixture is so successful that the owner incorporated the design into their lighting and design business. This fixture is now a product offered by Finley design which will now offer the custom chandelier lights using the LEDpac XLP. To convert this fixture into a standard product LEDpac developed a small controller power pack to put into the light fixture. This will be a custom product to sell through Finley designs. These lights will get 50K hours of product life and have extremely low energy use. These two benefits are additional bonus features of the fixture for prospective customers. The flexibility of the XLP lights allows the fixtures to be designed in any custom shape required for the customer.
The enthusiasm of the customer due to the exceptional results of the projects above led to even more lighting installations.
The fireplace front also has the onyx surface and this was backlit over the whole face. Also outside there are 200 MR-16 format lights for decorative lighting.
The customer realized that these lights were going to consume a large amount of energy. The power consumption is 50 Watts X 200 fixtures for a total of 10,000 watts which was a concern for the owner. The warm white 30 degree spread MR-16 light product of LEDpac was used to bring the current draw down and bring the power requirement down to 3 watts with 50K hours of life, bringing the total load down to 600 watts. The light uses 3 watts while producing incredible light output. This is a 16X reduction in power used for these lights.
What was the end result?
The objective was to achieve dramatic lighting for the home and maintain manageable energy costs and low maintenance cost. The LEDpac products met and exceeded the customer's expectations for the custom backlighting, accent lighting, and custom fixture building. The results were so spectacular that the customer applied LED lighting to additional lighting needs on the project such as under-cabinet lighting, wall washes, and exterior accent lighting. Additionally, the customer wants to use the LEDpac products for a second custom home design. Finley Designs is considering investing in products for inventory. So while the project shows the versatility of LEDpac products, it only shows the beginning of a collaboration that is still ongoing in new building projects.