Make It Right, Keep It Light: A Primer to Effective Home Lighting
How do you keep the lights in your home? Do you prefer a brightly lit interior in the evening? Or are you more apt to keep lights on dimmers, preferring a more den-like, cozy effect?
How you use your lighting indoors affects not only the room’s ambiance and overall feel, but also impacts on your energy efficiency and electricity bills. Many experts recommend using LED lighting in your home. The average life of a top-quality white LED bulb can be anywhere from 35,000-50,000 hours. That’s far higher than the 750 to 2,000 hours for incandescent bulbs, 8,000 to 10,000 hours for a compact fluorescent and 20,000 to 30,000 hours for a linear fluorescent bulb. While many of us might hesitate based on pricing considerations, LED fans will point to the advantages of LEDs: longer-lasting bulbs, money saved and better quality light.
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Can you make your home a well-lit, great space without escalating energy costs? Let’s a take a look how you can make effective home lighting work in your favor.
Many lighting experts suggest switching from regular incandescent bulbs to compact florescent ones to help save energy and money. The American Lighting Association (ALA) suggests using warm, “soft white” residential bulbs; they have great color quality and varying temperature selections to match your room’s need for light.
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Use Name Brands
The ALA also suggests buying name brands to avoid the frustration of low-quality generic brands. Recognizable brands and suppliers such as Kichler lighting can usually be trusted to provide high-quality color and a longer life.
A recent trend in lighting is “layered lighting,” according to Design Basics magazine. The term refers to a number of various-sized lights being used all around a room. From small cabinet-area lights to broader swatches of light over the dining or serving area, layered lighting could be a fantastic addition to your most-used room.
Lighting in the kitchen, for example, might consist of lights on the ceiling, smaller lights above and under the cabinets, lights on the kitchen island or around a table chandelier. Building layers of light with dimmers can add an exquisite touch to everyday dining and dinner parties.
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The Right Color
Some people prefer colored lights to the standard yellow hue of lamp lighting. For some rooms, a splash of color may be the right trick to “warm” or “cool” a room as desired. If you are interested in different colored lighting, see some of these tips from Energy Star on using light bulbs with good color quality:
- For a warmer, yellow light, buy bulbs marked 3500 to 4100 K (Kelvin/bulb temperature)
- For a bluer, cooler light, buy bulbs 5,000 to 6,500 K
- Lower Kelvin numbers indicate more yellow light temperatures; higher Kelvin numbers show more white or blue light
Seek Professional Advice
Lighting specialists can help you choose correct lighting for every room. Instead of trying to figure it out on your own, let a pro show you how the right amount of light can complement your furniture, interior walls and artwork. Low-voltage lights can be used to spotlight treasured home items and make a good addition to a closet’s interior. Find a happy medium that works for your budget and your needs.
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