How to Improve Your Home Lighting
by Damien Andrews
Home lighting has come a long way over the past fifty years. If you were alive during the 40's, 50's, and 60's then you'll recall that home lighting was pretty simple. There was a light switch at the door that controlled an overhead light, usually in the center of the room. You put as many 100-150 watt light bulbs in the light fixture as would fit – and voila – you had a room flooded with hard light. Today it's a whole new ballgame – and a do-it-yourselfer's dream come true.
In this article, the title How to Improve Your Home Lighting requires a bit of explanation. After all, what does it mean to improve the lighting in your home? More light? More light fixtures? Less wattage? Solar light? Indirect lighting? Full spectrum lights? The answer is yes – to all of them, and more. Today, each room, each home environment should be examined and then the best light fixtures and bulb types should be selected and used.
Home lighting is largely a subjective issue. Perhaps you fancy a grand chandelier over the dining room table, and then a stately chandelier in the entry. Perhaps your home lighting plan calls for some track lighting to accent paintings, or important family photographs. Home lighting is frequently used to highlight works of art or architectural accents like spiral stairs, coves and alcoves, and so forth. But not everything about good home lighting is subjective.
Kitchens that are properly lighted will demand a wash of light that hits every counter, gets into every corner, and at least partially lights the pantries when they're opened. The area where milady applies her makeup will also require loads of light. Fortunately, today, there are specific light fixtures available for those who are improving kitchen and bathroom home lighting. Light fixtures of every conceivable shape and design can be purchased – and at incredibly reasonable prices for the savvy Internet shopper.
In the kitchen, consider going with fluorescent lights. There's a trend in home lighting towards large, center-mounted, high wattage fluorescent light fixtures, but consider going low wattage, and putting them on/in the perimeter areas. And instead of install a single control switch, have two switches: one for the cooking and food preparation area, and one for the storage and cleaning areas. One bank of lights will serve well most of the time, but the second bank can be turned on when all the lights are needed. This will save you money, and provide a deluge of light.
Another popular trend in home lighting is the large, round designer bulbs – some clear, some frosted – that are placed around the lady of the home's make-up mirror, usually in very nice light fixtures. Once again, try fluorescent lights – and this time use natural daylight bulbs. Over the years, as I've worked on home lighting improvement projects, I've learned that women leave these lights on about one hour per day. I've also learned they like the light in two ways: for day and for night. Here's what I now regularly do when contracted to perform a home lighting upgrade on a lady's makeup mirror area. I install three single bulb fluorescent light fixtures – two on one single pole switch and one on an independent single pole switch. The pair is located on the sides of the mirror, and the single is above the mirror. This allows milady three light settings: evening, day, and full light – such as for the beach. It's been quite popular.
Try this website for lighting fixtures.
Dining rooms are great places to make home lighting improvements. If you spend a bit of time perusing the Internet, you'll be treated to an endless stream of selections – many of which are sure to please even the most discriminating taste. Don't just think chandeliers, there are just too many amazing alternatives. Sconces are an often overlooked home lighting improvement. Admittedly, they are more difficult to install, but they can really make a room burst with light of the most pleasant nature. And today you can install screw-in type fluorescent lights, should your selected sconces use incandescent bulbs.
Hanging light fixtures is another way to make the décor of the dining room pop while you improve your home lighting. Every imaginable shape, size and material has been crafted into a hanging light. These hanging lights are not just great for dining rooms, either. They have great appeal in dens, game rooms, over wet bars and on the patio. (Here's a home lighting improvement to consider – a ceiling mounted light and ceiling fan on your open, but covered, porch.) Dining room lights should have the ability to be bright, or dim. Since they tend not to be used often, a dimmer switch is a great way to take the atmosphere from functional dining to intimate ambience. Naturally, if your selected hanging light fixture uses incandescent bulbs, consider replacing them with low wattage fluorescent screw-in light bulbs. Save money while you save the planet.
Go to Part II