Where to Put LED Lights — 5 Inspiring Ways to Use This Versatile Lighting Design

Whether a professional installation, or a DIY project, LED lights can be a real showstopper if you know where to use them

A bedroom with light illuminating a headboard
(Image credit: u31)

LED light strips have gained popularity in recent years as these offer a cost-efficient, warm, and flexible way to illuminate spaces. These are light in weight and can be installed anywhere — behind decorative pieces, along walls and floors, on the ceiling, or around a doorframe to provide accent lighting. These can be used as recessed wall lights, as they provide a diffused and mellow glow. The fixtures add a sophisticated touch to interiors and can last a long time.

To help you understand just how many different ways these LED lighting ideas can be used at home, we reached out to experts. Take a look at these cool, creative, and bright ideas, and we're sure some or all will spark inspiration.

1. Use it as a mirror light

A bathroom with LED light strips behind the mirror

(Image credit: Daniel Schäfer. Design: Carlo Berlin)

A bathroom mirror is a great place to opt for LED lights. The flexible strips can be mounted directly on the glass or behind the frame, adding a gentle, even glow to the room. You can use diffusers or frosted glass to disperse the light and produce an even radiance.

'For the bathroom of this home, a multifunctional mirror was the perfect choice, to balance function and aesthetics,' says Charlotte Wiessner, founder of Carlo Berlin. 'It combines a direct and an indirect light source, emphasizing the textured wall tiles, while providing ideal conditions for performing everyday tasks. The sliding cabinet door opens up, revealing hidden storage behind the mirror, making it the optimal solution for these spaces.'

2. Create an ambiance in the shower with LED lights

A shower room with LED light strips

(Image credit: Read McKendree. Design: WorkshopAPD)

The shower is a great spot for LED bathroom lighting. The strips can create an illusion of a wider and broader view, so it's the perfect technique to bring some depth and width to a narrow shower. And, at different times of day, you can change the brightness levels of the lights to make the room more easily usable.

'Our team selected this specific light strip because it was malleable enough to wrap perfectly around the rounded corners of the mirror,' says Adam Dello Buono of Workshop/APD. 'It also needed to be bright enough to create the illusion of an infinite shower stall.'

3. Install these as undercabinet lights

A kitchen with LED strips along the cabinets

(Image credit: Studio JLA Architecture & Interiors)

Recessed kitchen LED lighting makes for great accent lighting. Plus these can be functional too. When using them as undercabinet illumination, these not only light up the contents of the counter but from an an aesthetic standpoint, also highlight the countertop and backsplash.

'The LED strip lighting required a top cabinet to be routed to fit the LED strip angle,' says Justin Loe, director of Studio JLA Architecture & Interiors. 'The angle is set approximately 25mm from the wall from the wall lining. This is to accommodate the stone backsplash, which is typically 20mm thick. This allows the stone to be installed and for the LED strip light to be in the correct position after a backsplash installation.'

4. Highlight a headboard with LED strips

A bedroom with light illuminating a headboard

(Image credit: u31)

Give your bedroom a layered effect with LED lights installed behind the headboard. This will create a whimsical effect, and cast a soft, moody glow in the room.

'LED strip lights offer numerous advantages for interior spaces,' says Sarah Brady, founder and principal designer of Salt Design Company. 'Firstly, they are energy-efficient, consuming significantly less electricity compared to traditional lighting options, which can result in long-term cost savings for homeowners. Additionally, LED strip lights are versatile and can be easily installed in various locations, such as under cabinets, along stairs, around architectural features such as headboards, and more, providing both ambient and task lighting.'

5. Illuminate the outdoors with LED strips

a backyard seating area with underlighting

(Image credit: Erik Holt. Design: Cos Design)

Using LED strips is a great designer trick for outdoor lighting, as these not only add aesthetic value to the exteriors but also offer functionality. LEDs added next to seating or by the pool will ensure safety during nighttime. These also are a great way to add a decorative touch to the walkway.

'Also LED strip lights are available in a range of colors and brightness levels, allowing for customization to suit different design preferences and moods,' says Sarah. So for the outdoors, while you could go in for white light, you could also choose color-changing LED strips.

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Design Editor

Aditi Sharma Maheshwari is the Design Editor at Livingetc. She is an architecture and design journalist with over 10 years of experience. She's worked at some of the leading media houses in India such as Elle Decor, Houzz and Architectural Digest (Condé Nast). Till recently, she was a freelance writer for publications such as Architectural Digest US, House Beautiful, Stir World, Beautiful Homes India among others. In her spare time, she volunteers at animal shelters and other rescue organizations.