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Archive for the 'Lighting' Category

Choosing the Perfect Lighting for your Home

December 24, 2013

Lighted Cabinet 1

Lighting in your home is one of those items that you don’t always notice when it has a good presence and feeling when you’re in the space. Although, when the lighting is poor and you are trying to perform a task, or you feel the opposite of how you would like to feel in the space, you notice it immediately. Lighting is for ambiance, aesthetics, tasks, and seeing better in your home.  Think about your home and if it has all the lighting qualities you would like.  If your answer is no, here are some tips on how to choose the perfect lighting for you and your family.

Determine what your lighting goals are: Direct or task lighting is focused in the space you are trying to work. Ambient or indirect lighting is used for ambiance and for overall lighting of a space. Once chosen you can begin to choose lighting options.  Each room in your home should have a mood you want to set, as well as a function you want your lighting to serve.

Provide lighting for safety and security on the exterior of your home: Walkways, sidewalks, perimeter of your house, and the front entry should be lit with ambient lighting.  Too dim of lighting on the exterior is a welcome sign for intruders. While too bright of exterior lighting is costly and disturbing to neighbors. Consider installing flood lights at the exterior corners of your home that are motion activated to further discourage intruders. Follow the aesthetics and security lighting of your neighborhood for further guidelines as to what to implement at your own home.

Light and Stairs

Use exterior wall sconces for décor: Outdoor lighting doesn’t have to only be no-frills.  Wall sconces can provide washes of light against the exterior walls of your home to create ambiance in the evening hours.  Directional sconces pointing upwards or downwards can focus on architectural elements on your home, and draw attention to exterior niches and plantings around your home.

Inside your home use multiple light sources for one space: For rooms like the kitchen, bedrooms, and living spaces, multiple light sources will help you achieve a variety of functions and activities in that space. In the kitchen, under counter lights can provide great task lighting. While in a living room, opt for a floor lamp next to a couch or favorite reading chair. In bathrooms the lighting at the mirror should be free from shadows and glaring light.

For high ceilings and modern décor use recessed lighting: “Can” light fixtures, so called because of the metal recessed “can” that is inserted into the ceiling and the light fixture fits inside. These fixtures are subtle and can be directional, and can be connected to dimmer switches to give a range of light from subtly dim to full brightness to illuminate an entire room.

In nurseries and kid’s rooms, remember night lighting: Think about the lighting for when children sleep when planning lighting requirements.  Night lights can help small children from being scared, but can also help parents navigate through dark rooms.  For nurseries consider a dim wall sconce, or table lamp that can be used for changing diapers, or rocking infants to sleep.

 In formal living and dining areas, research chandeliers wisely: In spaces that a formal chandelier is considered, choose one that will not date your space. Often time’s chandeliers are bought without thinking of the space and the décor that surrounds it.  Chandeliers come in extremely simple designs that include faux candles, small bulbs, or a few lights to the ornate and expensive crystal varieties. Whichever is your décor choice, measure out the space, and ceiling height before ordering to ensure enough head room will be available below the hanging chandelier.

Don’t be afraid when choosing lighting for your home, it can help your ambiance and mood in the space. Just like the color of your rooms, lighting should enhance your space and make it feel warm and inviting!

Making Your Life A Little Easier

April 11, 2011

Have you ever left your home or office and forgot to shut off a light and lower the thermostat?  What about making a trip or two around to make sure that everything's off before you leave?  Now imagine just pressing one button near the door and having all the lights and unwanted loads shut off, and lowering the thermostat - how convenient!

Everyone these days is thinking about ways to save money.  Now, with an affordable system from Lutron, you can control the majority of energy usage in your home or office and not use any more than you absolutely need.  The system will assuredly pay for itself, and you'll love the added convenience and control too.

RadioRA 2 Keypad

Custom design at entry-level prices.  The Lutron RadioRA 2 system is very scalable (click here for a great system diagram).  This means that you can have a basic or "starter" system installed for a low cost.  When you are ready to add devices, this can be done very easily.  The system will work great to control only a few lights, or it provides complete control for larger installations.

How does it work?  The RadioRA 2 switch devices and keypads replace your existing light switches.  (They are also available in many different colors to match any decor.)  They communicate wirelessly with each other through the main "brain" of the system, which is a small box with an antenna that is mounted in an inconspicuous location.  There are also wireless keypads that do not have to be mounted on a wall - these are either powered by standard AAA batteries or with an included plug-in power adapter.  These tabletop keypads provide convenient, portable control of your system with backlit buttons and personalized engraving.  (Engraving and backlights are available on all keypads.)  You can even have a car visor transmitter, so you'll never have to come home to a dark house ever again.

Automatically turn lights on and off.  Completely wireless occupancy and vacancy sensors can be added to this system.  In the past, wiring would have to be installed from either the light fixture or the switch to the desired location of a motion sensor.  With this revolutionary technology, all you need is a couple of screws to secure the sensor to the wall or ceiling - no wires needed!  Plus the battery lasts for years, so there is minimal maintenance required.  You can even program the built-in timeclock to automatically turn off lights when they're not needed, such as exterior lights at sunrise.

seeTemp ControlsThermostat control now available.  At the time of writing this (May 2011), just in the past month Lutron has added thermostat controllability to this great system.  You can place a wireless temperature sensor in a practical location to sense temperature, and control you HVAC system wirelessly with an attractive control interface (available in all the same colors).  Please click here for the thermostat brochure.

If you have any questions whatsoever, or would like a free system design and estimate, please contact us.