Monday, June 30, 2008
Kitchen Lighting Basics
Homeowners who renovate their kitchens often breeze past one of the most important concerns: the kitchen lighting. It's a common oversight because many homeowners mistakenly believe that they have to forego adequate kitchen lighting in order to use this room in a modern way. With good design, common sense, and some of the latest lighting technology, your kitchen can remain the center of life in your house while providing plenty of light for your work.
There are three major types of kitchen lighting:
Ambient lighting is the general light in the room. Good ambient light allows you to work safely in most areas of the kitchen and provides the overall lighting feel for the space.
Task lighting provides higher and more focused levels of light to a particular work area, keeping in mind the essence of getting the light to where you need it. This is mostly found in closets, pantries, cabinets, or drawers. Task lighting takes advantage of small light sources and makes specific jobs much easier.
Accent lighting is even more focused and highlights objects or areas you want to show off, such as artwork, glassware, or special pottery. Though this kind of kitchen lighting isn't meant to make your workspace a more functional place, it can add an aesthetic touch to the room that will enhance the space and bring your newly remodeled kitchen to life.
Know Your Kitchen Lighting Options
There are many new products and ideas that can help you enhance the charm and form of every aspect of your kitchen; lighting might seem like a "no brainer" but it can be trickier than you think. The problem is that even well-informed homeowners might not know about all their options. In most cases, getting a little help from a professional will give you a far better idea not only of what's available, but of how newer products (and older products, as well) are likely to perform and hold up.
Jon Nunan is a freelance writer who draws on his experience in construction, ranging from landscaping to log home building, for his articles on home improvement.
Thursday, June 26, 2008
Functional… Sculpture, Architecture, Style.
52 in. Star-Tech fan with brushed steel finish and mahogany veneer blades. Unique oversize fan blades for increased air movement. Includes wall remote control with reverse and down light features.
Tuesday, June 24, 2008
Although ceiling fans do use electricity to operate, experts say the amount of money homeowners can save on air conditioning with a fan greatly outweighs the cost of running the fan itself.
“Ceiling fans provide year-round comfort and efficiency,” says Barb Wright, a ceiling fan product manager at Westinghouse Lighting.
Wright says the cost of operating a ceiling fan varies based on how often they’re turned on and how much the electric company charges, but on average, she says a standard ceiling fan costs less to operate than an incandescent light bulb.
Experts say ceiling fans reduce energy in two ways.
First, fans circulate the air in the room, preventing hot air from accumulating at the ceiling.
“A ceiling fan helps equalize the temperature throughout the room, so your air conditioner doesn’t have to work as hard to keep the room cool,” says Scot Wetmore, marketing director at a large ceiling fan retailer.
When people are in the room, Wetmore says ceiling fans have the added benefit of making people feel cooler.
“Ceiling fans cool by evaporation, like a wind chill factor,” he says, adding that fans will make it feel like it’s about 6 degrees cooler in your home than it actually is, allowing you to set your thermostat 6 degrees higher. According to the Progress Energy, an energy company that services North and South Carolina and Florida, homeowners can save 7 to 10 percent of their cooling costs for each degree above 78.
And ceiling fans don’t just save money in the summer, either. Ceiling fans run counterclockwise in the summer, but ceiling fan manufacturers often include reverse switches on the ceiling fans, and by having the fan run clockwise in the winter, homeowners can reduce your heating bills, too.
“Changing the direction of the fan makes the air column go up toward the ceiling, and what it does is it drives air currents up on the ceiling to the wall and down the wall, and that helps redistribute heat from the ceiling. So it helps lower your heating bills by re-circulating the heat,” Wetmore explains.
If a ceiling fan also includes a light fixture, Wright says customers can maximize their energy savings by replacing the incandescent bulbs with compact fluorescent bulbs.
Wright says homeowners should also consider buying Energy Star-rated ceiling fans. “They are about 50 percent more efficient than conventional fan/light units with an estimated energy savings of $15 to $20 per year,” Wright says.
According to the Environmental Protection Agency’s Energy Star Web site, Energy Star-rated ceiling fans move air up to 20 percent more efficiently than conventional models due to advanced blade and motor design, and Energy Star-rated ceiling fans that have light fixtures are about 50 percent more efficient than kits with regular lights, and they produce about 75 percent less heat.
Several ceiling fan manufacturers make ceiling fans that meet the government’s Energy Star requirements, including Hunter, Sea Gull and Monte Carlo.
by Lauren Heist – Residential Lighting Magazine
Monday, June 16, 2008
Friday, June 13, 2008
The Roslyn Collection features a flemished bronze finish adding a casual element that is very polular in todays home decor staging. The creme parchment glass provides a warm glow to any setting whether the lights are on or off.
Monday, June 9, 2008
Wall Sconces aren't just beautiful; they are practical as well. They create more space in your living quarters. Though traditional lamps create the same visual appeal, they can also be burdensome, awkward, and clumsy because they can take up room. Wall sconces, on the other hand, can actually create space in a house for other furnishings or walkways. Also they are very useful when lighting small areas of the house, such as dark hallways or corners that traditional lighting sources can't target.
Friday, June 6, 2008
Compared to the old fluorescent lamps, the new smaller diameter ones have vastly improved:
- Greater Efficiency
- Superior Color Rendering
- Reliability and Versatility
Replacing the fixtures with dedicated fluorescents (fixtures designed only for fluorescent) is a permanent solution but this is not always possible. The other choice is using a screw-in Compact Fluorescent to retrofit the old fixture. These “screw-base" Compact Fluorescents have the ballast attached to the base of the lamp.
Kitchens, shops, laundries, recreation rooms, outdoor living areas, home offices are spaces where fluorescents make sense. These areas can use linear fixtures electronically ballasted. Exterior lights or table lamps often burn for long periods and for these Compact Fluorescents make sensible retrofits. Also, fixtures that are difficult to get at are good candidates for conversion because of fluorescents long life.
How much does it cost to operate that 100 watt light bulb in your exterior entry lantern? Let’s say it’s operated from dusk until dawn which equals about 4400 hours annually. Based on eleven cents per kilowatt hour, you’re paying your local power company $48.40 annually for operation.
A 20 watt fluorescent will produce comparable light levels and cost only $9.68 to operate annually.
Wednesday, June 4, 2008
Emphasize artwork and wall hangings with accent lights. Adding a wall mounted museum light or picture light is an excellent way to accent fine artwork; two sconces positioned on each side of the painting will also add emphasize. This can be done with any wall hanging: mirrors frames are nice to accent.
Living room: down lights can emphasize an area. For social areas such as the living room you can both soften lighting and gently accentuate an area. For example, adding a couple of down lights in the ceiling over a living room sofa, toned down with dimming options, can cast gentle pools of light. This can accentuate the focus to this area while providing spillover light to the walls and washing the whole room with pleasant light.
Accentuate and decorate a kid's room with rope lighting. For kids rooms rope lighting can create wonderful accent to a nicely decorated bedroom. You can buy them in shapes and themes such as: submarines, cars, hearts, stars and more. Not only will this add a nice accent and touch; colorful lights can be used at night for children afraid of sleeping in complete darkness.
Tuesday, June 3, 2008
One should always look for lighting fixtures that maximize the light efficiency of the bulbs. An unwise buy based purely on the exterior beauty might absorb too much of the bulb’s light or emit light to the cavities in the ceiling. Efficiency specification of ceiling lighting fixtures should be considered while making a purchase. Apart from that, one should remember that specific lighting fixtures are meant for specific bulbs and the lighting fixtures should be checked for these criteria during a purchase.
The overall look and style of the space should be taken into account, so that a ceiling lighting fixture complements and accentuates the look. A huge chandelier looks out of place in a small space, just as a small chandelier is easily overlooked in a large space.
Indirect lighting fixtures should be chosen to avoid glare and visual fatigue formed by direct lights, especially in rooms with reflective surfaces and in offices with computers. A ceiling lighting fixture in the kitchen can house an energy-efficient florescent bulb.
Some of the ceiling lighting fixtures include fixtures for chandeliers, recessed lighting fixtures, indirect lighting fixtures, florescent ceiling light fixtures, energy efficient ceiling lighting fixtures, flush mounted, semi-flush mounted and track or monorail lighting. Their style can range from traditional, conventional, trendy and stylish, rustic, Victorian, Tiffany, tropical and many more.
They can present a wide array of finishes. While installing ceiling lighting fixtures it is important to measure the height of the fixtures from the floor. Depending on the height, a suitable lighting fixture should be chosen. Ceiling lightings and fixtures can be used in hallways, patios, foyers, stairways, task areas, and bedrooms.