You probably don't think much about indoor lighting, likethe majority of people. You are content as long as the light turns on everytime you turn the switch. But why accept mediocre lighting when you may haveinterior illumination that facilitates nearly all domestic tasks and increasescomfort and safety? In the long run, you might even end up saving money becauseit won't cost much.
Curious? The lighting in your home can be improved with thehelp of the following home lighting suggestions.
The best type of bulbs is compact fluorescent ones. For themajority of uses, compact fluorescent bulbs are the best choice if you want tomaximize the lighting in your house. These are also known as compactfluorescent lamps (CFLs), and they have several benefits over regularincandescent light bulbs. They use less energy and can last up to 15 timeslonger; a longer lifespan equals more convenience and safety (think fewer tripsup the ladder to change burned-out bulbs).
The use of fluorescent bulbs can be customized. CFLs, asopposed to incandescent bulbs, are available in a variety of "colortemperatures," ranging from warm (like incandescent) to cool (brightbluish-white). According to Patricia Rizzo, design program manager at theLighting Research Center of Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in Troy, New York,daytime exposure to CFL or tube fluorescent bulbs seems to promote a normalcircadian rhythm in older adults (meaning there may be a lower risk of sleepissues) because the light from a bulb with a cool color temperature canresemble daylight. On the other hand, exposure to cool fluorescent light atnight may disrupt sleep, according to Rizzo. When reading in bed or doing othernocturnal activities, she advises staying with warm CFL or incandescentlighting.
CFLs might be more advantageous for shaving and applyingmakeup. The author of numerous publications on lighting design, includingEnergy-Efficient Daylighting and Electric Lighting Techniques, Jane Grosslight,who is located in Tallahassee, Florida, thinks bright-white CFLs are excellentfor men and women who work in offices. Men report that brilliant whiteaccentuates the contrast between their skin and their whiskers in officesettings when fluorescent lighting is used. According to Grosslight, soft-whiteCFLs are ideal for shaving and applying makeup for people who are usually seenin their own homes.
It could be best to have multiple light sources. Peoplefrequently believe that a single overhead light can adequately illuminate anentire space. Lighting experts claim it might, but not very well. For allexcept the tiniest spaces, more than one light source is required, according toGrosslight's cardinal rule. By distributing the light evenly around a space,many light sources reduce glare and shadows. Combining a ceiling fixture with alamp that casts light upward onto the ceiling, such as a CFL-equipped torchierefor a bedroom or living room and affordable linear fluorescents on top ofkitchen cupboards, is a smart move.
It's crucial to have several sources of light in thebathroom. Doreen Le May Madden, the proprietor of Lux Lighting Design inBelmont, Massachusetts, advises that you should aim for light coming from threedirections: above, from each side of the mirror, and the bottom. "Makesure there is enough light for the shadows on your face to be softly filled in.To minimize glare, you should also ensure that the fixture is of the kind thatshields the bulb from your line of sight."
It's crucial to have task lighting. It's often a good ideato have task lights in addition to overhead and "up" lights to directlight to where it's needed, for activities like reading, cooking, and hobbies.Purchase a fixture with a shielded bulb or move the light so the bulb is out ofyour line of sight to reduce glare.
If you enjoy reading in bed but are concerned about wakingup your partner, think about installing a dual light fixture above theheadboard's center. Such a fixture frequently works better than having one lampon either side of the bed because it allows light to be directed only towardyour side of the bed. So that light does not illuminate other areas of thebedroom, make sure the shade is opaque.
Your safety can be improved by backup lights. One flashlightwill help you survive a power outage, but more is preferable. Rizzo advisesusing several LED flashlights. "They last longer than incandescent-bulbflashlights," Additionally, having battery-operated emergency lights is agood idea.
Sometimes, nightlights can be useful. It's best to sleep incomplete darkness, according to experts, as light exposure can reduce yourbody's production of the hormone melatonin, which promotes sleep. A fewstrategically placed warm-colored nightlights are helpful if you need to getout of bed in the middle of the night, but their illumination should be dim.One might be by the door to your bedroom, one by the bathroom, one in thehallway, etc. Your aim should be to avoid turning on a bright light while stillhaving enough vision to avoid potential hazards. You can find it challenging tofall asleep again if you are exposed to bright light at night.
Less is frequently more when it comes to outdoor securitylights. Although an extremely bright exterior light may give you the impressionthat you are safe from attackers, experts warn that it puts your safety atrisk. How? by obstructing your ability to see in the dark. It is preferable touse a low light source, such as a 25 to a 40-watt incandescent bulb, so thatyou can see clearly in the shadows of your yard, where a potential attackermight be hiding. Make sure the bulb is protected so that glare won't be anissue.
While motion-activated lights can aid in burglaryprevention, keep in mind that both criminals and pets, and other animals canactivate them. Illumination should be provided at night for exterior steps andother potential risks.
Light-emitting diode (LED) lighting may replace incandescentand CFL lighting in the not-too-distant future. Even less energy is used by LEDbulbs than by fluorescent ones. However, LEDs are now thought to be tooexpensive for broad domestic use.
What if you tried using CFLs but found their illumination tobe too dim? When purchasing CFLs, the Lighting Research Center advises adheringto the "Rule of Three": to achieve the same brightness as anincandescent, use a CFL that is rated at one-third the watts (not one-fourth,as some have suggested). For instance, a 20-watt compact fluorescent light bulbwould be used to replace a 60-watt incandescent.