light up your spaces

Proper home lighting makes a difference in the atmosphere and functionality of your environment. When placed correctly, electric lighting provides good general lighting, functional lighting and is decorative at the same time.

General lighting is important for general activities in the home, such as the kitchen, office or study. For these areas, pot lights are most effective. The best bulbs for pot lights are halogen bulbs as they provide a full spectrum of light that resembles natural sunlight. In parts of the country where there are long, dark winters, these halogen bulbs work best not only because they provide excellent lighting, but also for people who suffer from light deficiency in the winter months. With good general lighting, it’s important to have dimmer switches installed so you can adjust the lights to your particular needs. With the dimmer switches, you can control the exact amount of light you want: you can turn up the intensity of the lighting when you’re doing focused work, or you can dim the lights to create a more relaxed and calm effect.

As for the efficiency of halogen lights, halogen lights use slightly less energy than incandescent bulbs. The most efficient bulbs on the market are fluorescent bulbs. These use between one-fifth and one-half the energy that a regular incandescent bulb uses. Fluorescent lighting plays a huge role when it comes to general lighting within your home. Although fluorescent lights are very energy efficient, they are limited in style and won’t suit every type of room in your home. Today’s fluorescent lights are made in a variety of decorative colors (over 200 shades) ranging from cool blues to warm yellows and pinks, but their shape and size are often inconvenient for some rooms.

Decorative lighting should enhance the decoration of the room, but it should also be functional. In the Victorian era, there was often a central chandelier in the ceiling that was the focal point of the room. This fixture was heavily decorated with stained glass or alabaster to add to the grandeur of the room. Lamps at this time were also very popular and had heavy glass shades or small chandeliers around them. These lighting pieces were as much a part of the decor as other furnishings in the room.

Task lighting is lighting for a specific purpose. Lighting a central work area in the kitchen, lighting over the bathroom mirror, or lighting to draw attention to a fantastic oil painting or accent wall are task lights. Today, people have become very creative when it comes to task lighting. Today you can add a light inside your shower that is combined with a ceiling fan or warm light. Placing additional lighting inside your closet helps you see your clothes and accessories better first thing in the morning. Having a well-lit pantry makes it easier to read labels and keeps the room better organized. Place a motion light at night outside the house so that if intruders pass by, the bright light will shine directly on them and deter them from entering your home. These are just a few examples of how task lighting can make a difference to your home and your peace of mind.

It’s both fun and easy to combine decorative lighting with task-oriented lighting. In a dining room, for example, where functionality and ambiance meet, a chandelier with a dimmer switch comes in handy. The chandelier itself is a beautiful piece of art, but add the dimmer switch and suddenly you have a very functional lighting tool. You can turn up the intensity of the light when you need to, or you can dim the lights to a soft glow when the occasion arises. You can purchase stand-alone halogen floor lamps that also have dimmer switches. The floor lamp becomes a piece of furniture for the room it is in, the dimmer switch makes the lamp very versatile and adaptable, and last but not least, the halogen bulb used to power the lamp saves energy and is profitable. With a little planning and forethought, you can combine task-oriented lighting with beauty and décor.

Before you start shopping for light fixtures, lamps, and switches, it’s very important to make sure your wiring is secure. Always use a qualified electrician to install electrical fields, wiring, and plugs. Trying to do it yourself can cost you in the long run. When it comes to purchasing your lighting fixtures, quality comes at a price and of course you get what you pay for. However, the market offers a huge selection of lighting fixtures in a wide range of designs and prices. A good quality lamp will last a lifetime and will probably never go out of style. Making wise lighting choices today will bring you pride of ownership but, more importantly, peace of mind for years to come.

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