By Clarissa Allison | January 20th, 2017
Here at Louie Lighting, we’re always thinking of better ways to light your home or business to get the most benefit out of both naturally occurring daylight and the fixtures indoors. We know that quality of light affects our eyesight, circadian rhythms and ability to concentrate and complete tasks. Read on for tips on how to enhance the lighting in your space to make it the absolute best and brightest.
Keep It Light
Many people don’t realize how a fixture’s lampshade contributes to light distribution. To brighten a room and properly diffuse light, choose pure white or cream colored lampshades made from organic fabrics such as linen or cotton, silk or shantung. These types of materials will filter the light beautifully while neutralizing harsh light bulb glare.
Table lamps are pretty straight forward. We place them where we need to, whether it’s for the decorative accent or to help us with task lighting for activities like reading. One rule of thumb to follow is to ensure that you are unable to see the socket from a standing or seated position. If you do, the lamp may be too tall – likewise the table it is sitting on. Changing the lamp shade in this instance is an easy solution.
If you own an antique table lamp you may notice that it isn’t producing sufficient light. Try replacing the lampshade harp (the metal accessory which connects the lampshade to the lamp). Consider upgrading to a taller harp if the shade sits too low for the ideal amount of light to shine through.
Elevate the amount of natural light in your home as well as giving the illusion of more space, with wall or floor mirrors, and even mirrored furniture. Not only do mirrors add instant elegance to your design scheme, they expertly reflect natural light and bounce it back into the room to wonderful effect.
Save Big on Energy
By now, most people should be making the switch from incandescent bulbs to their energy saving LED counterparts. These bulbs also have a much longer lifespan (15-25 years of continuous use, typically). Below, we’ve added a brief guideline on how to select a retrofit LED bulb that is comparable to the output of incandescent bulbs.
The key to finding the right retrofit bulb is to match the “lumens,” or light output, of the old bulb with the new LED. You can use the table below to convert the incandescent watts (that are printed on the bulb) to approximate lumens. Once you know the lumens, look for LED bulbs that come close to matching your current light bulb’s wattage.
- 20W incandescent = 200 lumens
- 40W = 450 lumens
- 60 watts = 800 lumens
- 75 watts = 900 lumens
- 100 watts = 1200 lumens
- 120 watts = 1500 lumens
The soft, warm white light from incandescent bulbs typically used for indoor decorative lighting (like table lamps) is due to color temperature. Use the table below to select which is best for you.
- Warm White = 2700K (this corresponds to the typical incandescent light bulb)
- Neutral White = 3000K (slightly less warm, more typical of a halogen bulb)
- Cool White = 3500K – 4100K
- Very Cool White = 5000K – 6000K (approaching the color of daylight)
Installing light fixtures on a dimmer switch is another excellent way to extend the life of your bulbs and save energy costs. A dimmer light switch provides adjustable voltage to your light fixture. It controls the brightness of a lighting fixture, allowing you to adjust the light level. Safe and efficient, they are even more effective when combined with a Home-Kit compatible smart lighting control system like the Caseta by Lutron. A lighting control system allows you to put your lights on a timer, set lighting scenes for specific areas and increase the feeling of security in and outside of the home. In addition, dimmers are the perfect solution for those who suffer from eye strain as well as midnight snackers who don’t want to awaken the entire house! Be certain when purchasing a dimmer, that the light bulbs being used for the switch are also dimmable.
Uplighting is a popular lighting design trick used for wedding receptions and outdoor landscape lighting, but did you know it can also be applied to your indoor lighting plan? Uplighting is an easy way to add warmth to a room that may otherwise feel sterile, and is the perfect way to highlight objects of interest in the space such as plants, artwork or even interesting architecture.
Uplights are often free standing floor lamps or spot lights, but they can also take the form of in-floor directional recessed lights. Recessed lighting, often used outdoors as well, is perfect for those who enjoy a clean and uncluttered minimalist look, and offer a low profile option for lighting. Spot lights and floor lamps designed for uplighting come in many designs that blend well with contemporary surroundings and can even act as a piece of additional artwork themselves. Several designs feature wood details or a vintage look. Recessed lights are produced in different trim colors to complement or blend in completely with your flooring.
Thanks for reading this week’s blog. Contact us toll free with any questions on selecting the right fixture for your indoor or outdoor lighting plan at 1877-385-2104 Mon-Fri 8-5pm Arizona Time.