Tag Archive | downlight

Kitchen Lighting – Is your kitchen bright enough?

Is your kitchen bright enough?

“Many older kitchens aren’t bright enough after the sun goes down. The most pleasant kitchen lighting comes from several sources. Lighting designers classify kitchen lighting as either task lighting, general – or ambient lighting – lighting, or accent lighting. That doesn’t mean you need three different types of fixtures; many light fixtures can handle more than one lighting job at a time.”

The Kitchen Idea Book, Joanne Kellar Bouknight

This is my kitchen. It’s a tiny little kitchen, but I still have a ceiling light over the sink, light and vent from microwave over stove, undercabinet lighting in the corner, so I can measure coffee in the morning, a lighted ceiling fan, light from the window and the sky light and the three pendants over the bar.

My Kitchen

My Kitchen

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Wall Sconces for a Small Bath Room

The Rosetta Wall Sconce from WAC Lighting’s European Collection on either side of a mirrored medicine cabinet. Bella figura, Rosetta offers fine Italian styles that combines a classic profile with multiple murine glass patterns that will enhance any setting with a perfect mix of form and function.

The Rosetta Wall Sconce from WAC Lighting’s European Collection on either side of a mirrored medicine cabinet.
Bella figura, Rosetta offers fine Italian styles that combines a classic profile with multiple murine glass patterns that will enhance any setting with a perfect mix of form and function.

WAC Lighting’s new decorative low profile sconces with glass shades boast a truly exclusive look with exceptional quality. Each sconce canopy is designed with timeless style and plated in Chrome and Brushed Nickel finishes.

Even in the smallest bathroom or powder room, good lighting and good switches and dimmers make all the difference! Once you have light control in your bathroom, you will wonder how you ever lived without it.

Have one switch for ceiling lighting, whether it is recessed lighting or a ceiling fixture. Have the mirror lighting on a separate switch with a dimmer. I use it at the lowest setting to enjoy a relaxing bath or when I get up at night or first get up until I am ready for the morning.

Wall sconces on either side of a mirror or medicine cabinet provide both decorative and task lighting.

“Stick to a style and finish that is compatible with the other elements in the room. Coodinate the style of the sconces near the vanity with that of the cabinet, for example.”

Bathrooms: The Smart Approach to Design by the Editors of Creative Homeowner, Home Decorating

The best light for applying makeup is shed from the sides of a mirror. The best for shaving is from above. In both cases, there are many ways to do this effectively. Plan your bath lighting for how you will be using the bathroom. And don’t forget that the right switches and dimmers make all the difference!

“Wall-mounted light sconces are a good way to provide adequate lighting without overwhelming a small space, so they’re a good choice in a powder room.”

Bathroom Remodeling For Dummies (Paperback)
by Gene Hamilton, Katie Hamilton

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Landscape Lighting for Winter

Isn't this a welcoming site to come home to? Landscape lighting is easy to install and makes your home safer and more welcoming.

Isn’t this a welcoming site to come home to? Landscape lighting is easy to install and makes your home safer and more welcoming.

Landscape lighting isn’t just a Spring project. The longest night of the year is December 21/22. It is dark already when you come home and often still dark when you leave in the morning. Here are some ideas for outdoor lighting for safety and security that are easy to install and don’t use a lot of electricity to operate.

Create a landscape lighting plan. Draw a sketch or map of your yard.

Be sure to position fixtures so lights won’t shine into people’s eyes, into windows or into other people’s yards.

  • Pathways
  • Steps & Stairs
  • Entrances
  • Lawn Ornaments
  • Fountains or Water Feature
  • Natural Features
  • Areas an intruder might hide

Mark on your plan any areas you don’t want to feature.

  • Garbage Cans
  • Heating or Air Conditioning Units
  • Fuel Tank
  • Dog Run
  • Wood Pile

Draw in the areas you want light. Then decide how to light them. There are a lot of options.

  • Path Lighting
  • Step Lighting
  • Accent Lighting: Direct light at an object or area.
  • Downlighting
  • Uplighting
  • Silhouetting: If you wash the area behind something, you make it stand out.
  • Spot Lighting: Direct the light directly at something.
  • Reflecting: If you have a body of water, light something near it. It will be reflected. This is a really beautiful effect.
  • Underwater lights

The higher the fixture is mounted, the wider the area that can be lighted with a single fixture. You can control the light using a shroud or a lens. A shroud cuts off the light so that it doesn’t intrude where it is not wanted. A spread lens spreads the light to a wider area. A linear spread lens elongates the beam.

Many lights can accept light bulbs with varying beam spread. A flood will light a larger area. A spot will narrow the beam and the light will appear brighter.

So, now draw onto your landscape plan the location of the fixtures. Decide where you can locate your transformer. Draw a line from the transformer to each fixture.

This is a landscape plan from Hadco. The dotted line is the cable.

Landscape Lighting Plan from Hadco

Landscape Lighting Plan from Hadco

“Draw a dotted line from the power console to each fixture to denote the cable, remembering to center feed each group of fixtures. Try to avoid running the cable under walks and drives more than once to help eliminate the need for extra work when installing.”  Hadco’s Landscape Installation Guide (PDF will open in new window)

Design your cable layout. Avoid straight runs or the lights closest to the transformer will be brighter than the ones further down the line.  If your runs are going to be very long, use higher gauge cable for the main leg.

Measure your cable. Be sure to get extra so it isn’t tight. It’s not that expensive.

Add up the wattage of the fixtures. Your transformer should handle this much wattage. If you might add more lighting later, get a bigger transformer.

Decide how much you want to spend and the quality of product you can afford.

You don’t have to do everything at once. Purchase the transformer for your ultimate plan, then add the fixtures little by little. Or buy low cost fixtures now and upgrade to higher quality longer lasting fixtures later.

Consider adding:

  • A timer to turn the lights on and off at predetermined hours.
  • A Photocell switch to turn the lights on at dusk and off at dawn
  • Remote Control
  • Motion Detector to turn the lights on when someone approaches, then turn the lights back off.

Installation is easy and fast

Follow any instructions that come with your lighting.

1-      Screw the transformer to the wall near the outlet one foot above the ground.
If you have a photo cell, mount it away from any artificial light sources, such as street lights or light from your windows.

2-      Lay fixtures as close as possible to where they will be installed.

3-      Lay out the cable along your plan. Be sure to keep it loose.

4-      Connect the cable to each fixture and to the main cable using cable connectors.

5-      Connect the low voltage cable to the transformer.
Plug in the transformer.

6-      Test the system. Make sure everything is lighting up before you bury the cable. You might want to wait until the sun goes down to make sure that everything is right.

7-      Cover the cable with mulch or gravel where it runs through beds.
Cut a slit in the grass and push it in where it crosses the lawn.

Simple Kit to Convert Recessed Lighting to LED

Hallway with Eurofase 25081 6" LED Conversion Kit

Hallway with Eurofase 25081 6″ LED Conversion Kit

Convert your existing recessed lighting to super energy efficient LED with a new easy-to-use kit from Eurofase.

The kit includes everything you need to convert a typical 6 inch recessed can that uses a 150W Incandescent R40 to PAR 38 bulb. The LED driver is powered by screwing into the bulb socket. The 14W LED SHARP 120V/277V LED is provided.

The LED Kelvin 3500K emits a warm white light.

The beam angle is adjustable up to 120 degrees to highlight artwork or graze walls.

LED lamps have a much longer life than incandescent lamps. They do not emit UV rays. They put out very little infrared or heat. They are ideal to light artwork or photography that is sensitive to UV or temperature. LEDs are highly energy efficient offering significant savings on electricity bills. Their longer lifespan reduces maintenance time and costs, making them ideal for hard-to-reach places.

Eurofase Recessed Conversion Kits >

Eurofase 25081 6" LED Conversion Kit

Eurofase 25081 6″ LED Conversion Kit 6″ 14 watt LED Conversion Kit converts a typical existing recessed fixture into a new 14 watt LED downlight.