Lighting Tips

While every home is unique, you can make your home stand out with the lighting fixtures that you choose. With the variety of lighting products on the market, you can individualize your home to suit your tastes, but where do you start? A little bit of information can go a long way when deciding how to light your home. Plus, you can find a professional electrician to help you with your lighting needs.

Effective lighting is achieved in layers with each room having:
a) a general light source backed up with…
b) accent lights
c) and task lighting

The main light source is usually a pendant or ceiling-mounted light fixture. Accent lighting can include wall lights, down lights, up lighters, or even a table lamp. Task lighting is an important part of the lighting scheme, giving illumination directly to work areas. Task lighting can be any form of lamp for reading areas, an overhead or under-the-cabinet light for the kitchen, or any focused light directs bright, clear light to a specific area. Task lighting is also energy efficient in that one can often turn off the general light source and use just the task lighting. Recessed lighting is another great option that provides a cool, crisp look to a room.

Bulb Types:
Keeping in mind the functions of your light fixtures, choosing the bulb you want may work best through trial and error. But a basic understanding of the different types of bulbs on the market can make the job easier. The most common type of light bulb is the incandescent or tungsten bulb . It is the cheapest bulb on the market, but it’s the least efficient. It is best utilized in areas where the light will only be on for short periods of time, such as in bathrooms, closets and the laundry room. Incandescent bulbs give off a soft warm/yellow light.Contact an electrician to help install your new lighting fixtures and bulbs.

The tungsten halogen bulb is a whiter, purer light than incandescent and is ideal for up lighters or down lighting. Though they require special fittings, they are good for highlighting architectural features, artwork or in task lighting. Halogen lights emit a crisp, warm, appealing white light that allows you to see colors truer than any other man-made light source.

Fluorescent lights – both standard and compact fluorescent lights (CFLs) – are recommended for their energy-efficiency and long life. They are good for work areas and in places that need light for long periods of time, such as living rooms, kitchens or hallways. Fluorescent bulbs labeled warm, white or daytime give off light similar in color to incandescent bulbs; the cool white bulbs give off a more bluish-white light. Fluorescent lights do take longer to turn on, so they would not be a good choice for areas that need immediate light, such as in entryways or as security lights. They can be used with dimmers, but you must purchase a specialized dimmer for these bulbs.

Xenon is a newer form of incandescent, but it has a brighter and longer life. These bulbs are typically used for task lighting, including cove or cabinet strip lighting and desk lamps.

Other Points to Consider:

  • Buy the highest wattage recommended for a fixture, then control it with a dimmer.
  • Accent lighting should be three times brighter than surrounding light for the most dramatic effect.
  • Task lighting should be at least 60 watts, or at least brighter than any other light in the room.
  • Install down lighters where fixtures are unlikely to move, and balance them with wall lights.
  • Consider how the fitting will distribute the light, and check for glare (both direct and indirect).
  • Wattage is a measurement of the amount of energy used; lumens measure the amount of light emitted.
  • When purchasing CFLs, buy wattage that is one-third that of an incandescent bulb. (A 60-watt incandescent equals a 15-watt CFL)

Use CFLs with fixtures that allow airflow

Please Contact ADAMS ELECTRICAL SERVICES to have your Light Fixtures installed.

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