Is the thought of selecting lighting overwhelming and unappealing? We have a few tips that could make the process a little bit easier.
When looking for lighting you need to decide what type of lighting will best serve the space. Is the lighting for ambience (mood lighting), task (such as reading or computer work), direct lighting for highlighting an art piece, or general lighting?
The next step before purchasing lighting is understanding the terminology when it comes to A19, CFL, fluorescent, incandescent and LED. Understanding these terms will help in the decision process in cost, convenience and color of light. The lighting company Sylvania has a great website to review some of these tips. www.sylvania.com
To begin the lighting palette it is good to start with ambient lighting. This is your general lighting. It is the overall light that illuminates the space. This is composed of recessed, table and floor lamps. The type of bulb that is selected determines the mood of the space.
Incandescent lighting-best described as the standard-A19 lamps, creates a warm glow in a space. LEDs (light emitting diode) and CFL’s (compact fluroescents) are great alternatives for the A19. They can be used in a variety of fixtures such as chandeliers, ceiling fans, recessed lights and bathroom vanities. They work will with dimmer switches and 3-ways lamps which are a great way to cut back on energy usage and cost. CFL’s also create a warm, white light for any space. I have used CFLs at home in table lamps and outdoor lighting and they have lasted for a year. Below are some additional benefits to CFLs.
- Provide the same amount of light as an ordinary bulb, but uses about 75 percent less energy
- Generate approximately 75 percent less heat, cutting home cooling costs
- Last up to 10 times longer than a standard incandescent bulb
- Saves about $30 in energy costs over each bulb’s lifetime.
- (Source: ENERGY STAR®)
According to the website www.greenfeet.com, one 20 Watt CFL (replaces a 75 Watt incandescent bulb) will save you $66 dollars over the life of the bulb (based on $.12 KWH). Replace one 100 Watt incandescent bulb with a 25 Watt CFL and save a whopping $74 dollars over the life of the bulb (hey – that’s 21 extra Mocha Latte’s).
LEDs can also be a cost effective and earth friendly alternative as well. LEDs run on an electronic chip. They are energy efficient because they consume less power by reducing the load on the electrical system. They are a low voltage light however they are rated for 100,000 hours. Incandescent lights are rated for only 3,000 hrs. LEDs are also attractive because they produce little, if any heat and can be left on for hours.
Fluorescent lights illuminate larger areas because they can achieve a higher illumination level than incandescent. Fluorescents also last 6 times longer than incandescent (A19) lamps. Fluorescent lighting does not give off heat which could help with heat savings. The only downside to fluorscent lighting is that they do flicker at times and create a low humming noise.
There are alot of options to consider when looking at lamps and what effect they have on a space. However, the more you become familiar with lamps and the type of light they emit , the more likely you are to find the pieces that will give you the desired effect you want and need.
Task lighting is as it states, it is used for a specific purpose to get a job done. A desk lamp is a perfect example of task lighting.
Direct lighting is what is selected to highlight artwork or items in the home creating a centralized focus on the pieces.
Houseworks has a large selection of unique lighting that meets todays aesthetic and energy efficient needs. Our sales people will be glad to answer any questions you may have and help you in making the decisions you need for your space.