Archive for April, 2006
Thursday, April 6th, 2006
I’m looking at this Lite Source wall sconce on your website, model # LS-1101-BLK. I need more information. What are all its dimensions–of the hood itself, not just of the extension?? What kind of bulb? Does it take halogen? Can it be used with a dimmer?
A 100W halogen bulb is included. This wall sconce has a dimmer switch, which is located at about 1″ up from the bottom of the right hand corner of the backplate. The maximum reach is 16″ (adjustable). The arm extends 21.5″, which includes the head of the lamp. The backplate dimensions are 4.5″ in length by 3″ in width by 1″ in depth. The dimensions of the hood are 6″ in length by 3.5″ in width by 2″ in height. The cord cover length is 24″, and the cord itself is 98″. This Pharma wall sconce plugs into a wall outlet.
Wednesday, April 5th, 2006
Unless you’re well versed in home decorating techniques and terminology, sorting out the variety of home lighting functions and effects can be a daunting task. What’s ambient lighting? What’s the difference between incandescent and fluorescent bulbs? How do I choose the right lighting for my kitchen? A hallway? The dining room? Do I need task lighting or utility lighting for my home office?
The best way to make sense of all the options and choose what’s best for each room in your home is to plan your lighting scheme around the activity or activities that will take place in the room. In general, you need more light for performing involved tasks such as reading or cooking, and less for relaxing and entertaining. Next, you need to answer three questions:
- How bright should the light be?
- Should it be direct or indirect light?
- What type of light source is best – halogen, fluorescent, or incandescent?
Home offices, studies, and reading areas need moderate brightness. Be sure not to make the common mistake of over-lighting a reading area. Choose bulbs around 75 to 100 watts for optimal reading and working light – any more creates too much glare and shadow and causes a strain on your eyes.
Dining and living areas take moderate brightness as well, but because these rooms are used mainly for entertaining and conversation, just how bright you make them depends on your family’s tastes. A general rule of thumb for dining areas is 200 to 300 watts from a single fixture (usually a chandelier), whereas a living room often needs several fixtures anywhere from 75 to 150 watts to ensure good light coverage. To make sure the brightness of your lighting is perfect for every occasion, try putting dining and living area lights on a dimmer switch so you can easily control the rooms? ambience.
Your kitchen should be the brightest room in your home, while hallways and entryways need the least amount of light. You’ll need lots of bright light to perform food preparation tasks, so consider options such as track lighting in addition to overhead pendant lights to highlight a cutting area, as well as recessed undercabinet and stove spotlights to brighten sinks and counters. On the other hand, hallways and entryways require subtle lighting – just 40 to 60 watts is fine – since they’re used only as passageways to other rooms.Direct and indirect lighting
Direct lighting comes from a single, “exposed” source, such as a pendant light or desk lamp, and provides lots of brightness, which is ideal for tasks such as reading and playing games.
Indirect, or ambient, lighting is more subdued. The source is often hidden – recessed lighting is an example – and the resulting light is more diffused and gentle. Indirect lighting is used primarily to flood large living areas with soft light. It’s often used in combination with task and accent lights to illuminate an area to create ambience and intimacy or to soften harsh shadows created by powerful direct lighting.
An example of where this combination of direct and indirect lighting is essential is in the home office or study area. A desk lamp is a good choice for a direct lighting option because it brightly illuminates a reading area. But the direct light causes glare on white reading surfaces, which often leads to eye strain. To counteract this effect, you can add indirect overhead lighting such as track lights to soften glare and remove shadows.
Types of light sources
There are three types of light sources to choose from when planning your lighting scheme:
Incandescent bulbs are most commonly used in residential applications. This type of bulb produces warm, natural-looking light that resembles daylight.
Fluorescent light, which is most often used in commercial settings, is more economical than incandescent because it produces less heat and less energy (about 7 watts compared to 60 watts). Fluorescent bulbs also tend to last longer, because they don’t contain filaments. On average, one fluorescent bulb can last up to six years longer than an incandescent bulb. However, it’s important to remember that fluorescent light makes skin tones look less natural, and many fluorescent bulb types can’t be dimmed.
Halogen light is another energy-saving option. Halogen bulbs are filled with halogen gas, which causes the particles of tungsten to be redeposited onto the tungsten filament. The result is longer-lasting, whiter, and brighter light than incandescent or fluorescent bulbs can render. Though they last longer and have low energy output, halogen bulbs are typically more expensive and bulkier than their counterparts. Also, keep in mind that their nonstandard contact elements require your fixtures and housing to be halogen-compatible, so you could be looking at a significant initial cost outlay.
In general, incandescent light works best in living and dining areas, while fluorescent or halogen light brightens task-oriented areas well.
Remember, when deciding how to light your home, start with an evaluation of room usage, traffic patterns, and the individual tastes of your family members. You’ll end up with a lighting design that will transform your home into a warm, intimate environment you love spending time in.
About the Author
Vanessa Kirkland is freelance writer and home improvement enthusiast whose articles offer tips, strategies, and advice about home lighting design techniques, including designing with fixtures such as outdoor lighting, track lighting, and lamps.
Monday, April 3rd, 2006
Can I purchase a ceiling light fitting from the USA and install it in the UK? Is it easy to fit a USA light ceiling fixture in the UK or are the USA fittings/wiring etc non-matching and non-compliant with UK regulations?
Answer: In general, the ceiling lighting fixtures like pendant lights and chandeliers from the US should not have a problem working in the UK in terms of the eletrical and temperature ratings. However, lighting fixtures in the US usually have safety approvals from UL or ETL, which might not mean anything in the UK. We don’t not know in the case if there is any incident that involves the insurance companies, if they will reject a claim because the fixture is from the US and do not have UK safety approvals. Unfortunately, we currently do not ship to the UK due to logistic reasons. Hope this helps.
Monday, April 3rd, 2006
Are the shades of your Tiffany Lamps made of plastic or real stained glass?
Answer: The shades of our Tiffany Lamps are made of real stained glass. They are NOT plastic. We get quite a bit of questions from customers asking why do the Tiffany lamp shades feel like plastic. With a good number of Tiffany lamp shades, when you tap on them using your knuckle or finger tip, it does not feel like glass. That is more evident when the shade is made of smaller glass panels / pieces. Apparently, when small panels of stained glass are soldered together, the vibration that it gives off when we tap on them feels more like plastic than glass; the vibration is dampened by soldering small panels of glasses together. To verify that the shade is indeed made of glass, you can use a fork to tap on the Tiffany shade lightly. You can feel the glass tone better. If you accidentally drop the shade, it WILL break.
Tiffany stained glass is thicker. When you tap on them, you are actually feeling the stain coating. They are rolled out from a big sheet of glass initially, stained into different color and then cut into little pieces before being soldered together. Unlike plastic, they have variation and rippling surface. Rest assured that the shades of our Tiffany Lamps are made of real stained glass.
Monday, April 3rd, 2006
I purchased two NTH-694 line voltage track lights. They are placed at about 12′ ~ 15′ away from a picture. The light that those track lights give off is too wide. Instead of focusing on the picture, the light shines on the entire wall. What can I do to make it so that just the picture is illuminated?
Answer: The light bulb that comes with the NTH-649 track light is the GU10 MR16 bulb 50-degree wide flood. You can purchase a GU10 MR16 bulb that has a much smaller light spread. You should be able to find a 15-degree Spot without much difficulty. Same principle applies to the bi-pin MR16 Halogen bulbs.
Saturday, April 1st, 2006
I’m having a little trouble assembling?the Meyda Tiffany Amber Mica Table Lamp (MD-77774)?- the mica shade does not come down low enough over the bulbs, which are a little exposed. I’m assuming that the shade should come down low enough to cover the bulbs.? Are there any instructions that specifically show the right way for the post to be inserted to correct for this?
Answer: To get the shade lower, at the top of the stem above the light cluster there is a nut. Turn the nut, where the shade rests, clockwise the shade will go lower. Or you could use smaller bulbs, like appliance bulbs. Between one or both of those options, you should be able to get the?table?lamp?to look right. This method may apply to certain other table lamps and floor lamps.
Saturday, April 1st, 2006
Would you let me know whether the track lighting accessories NT-335 and NT-333 will work with Hampton Bay from Home Depot. According to your site, they are compatible with Halo. Isn’t Halo supposed to be compatible with Hampton Bay tracks?
Answer: The answer is Maybe. Those track lighting components “might” work with Hampton Bay Track Lighting systems from Home Depot; however, WE CANNOT GUARANTEE THAT. We know certain Halo-Compatible track lighting parts work with Hampton Bay and certain parts do not. For customers who already have the Hampton Bay track, we recommend them to get the accessories from Home Depot. For customers who are deciding on a new track lighting system, we recommend them to get the Halo-Compatible track lights, since that is the most popular standard and there isn’t really any cost difference between the two different systems.
Saturday, April 1st, 2006
Want a simple, elegant way to spruce up your home?s exterior?and potentially put more money in your pocket? Try installing outdoor lighting. It?s a surprisingly overlooked home improvement that can significantly add to the value of your house. But it?s not just a wise investment. A well-designed outdoor and landscape lighting scheme is everything from a smart safety measure to an eye-catching seasonal decoration, and even the enhancement of landscape ambience.
Try these three outdoor lighting ideas for your next home improvement project, and create an elegant, safe outdoor atmosphere you?ll enjoy for years to come.
Illuminate for safetyFor your first lighting project, tackle the most important issue for you and your family: safety. Be sure you have fixtures and bright bulbs for every well-traveled area around your home. For example, the following areas should be well illuminated, not only for the safety of visitors to your home, but also to discourage intruders:
- Front and back entry doors. Be sure all entry doors are adequately lit so that you can easily identify nighttime visitors. You also want to ensure that visibility around your entry doors is good so that no one slips or takes a misstep.
- Patios, terraces, decks, and pagodas. If you have a long patio, such as a wraparound style, a single overhead bulb isn?t enough?you?ll need to install overhead lighting for all the dark areas of your patio. The idea is to have enough light to see comfortably in the dark, not to overdo it with 100-watt bulbs installed every 6 inches. The same rules apply to lighting decks and other landscape structures: You want enough light to comfortably entertain guests and to see in dark areas, but not so much that your home looks like a football stadium on game night.
- Walkways and driveways. If you live in a sunny climate, solar lights are a low-cost, energy-efficient choice to keep front walkways, driveways, and garden paths safely lit. They?re not only a beautiful visual accent, but they?re incredibly easy to install. Because they charge during the day for use every night, no power pack or wiring is required for installation?just stick them in the ground and you?re done. Many solar lights come in a variety of styles and finishes to match your home?s architecture.
- Garage doors. A wide downlight is a good choice for illuminating garage doors. You?ll want enough light to be sure you don?t run over the family pet when pulling in the car on a dark night.
Highlight your landscape
To really set your home apart, install landscape lighting to highlight trees, statuary, or garden perimeters. You can also light ponds and swimming pools or add a soft glow to dark areas in your backyard. The are several types of landscape lighting:
- Accent lights, including down lights, up lights, outdoor spot lights, and grade-level lights. All these styles are good for lighting bushes and shrubbery, especially grade-level lights.
- Area lights, including general and decorative outdoor lighting fixtures such as lamp posts.
- Pond and fountain lights. When installing fixtures in fish ponds, fountains, or pools, use only brass, stainless steel, or composite materials. Copper should never be used underwater. (It?s harmful to fish.)
- Hanging lights, including pendant fixtures, are an eye-catching way to highlight your flower beds.
- Flood lights. These fixtures are used for lighting large, dark backyard areas, and are often used as motion detectors to add another element of safety.
Again, solar lights are a smart choice for landscape lighting, because they?re so efficient and easy to install. If solar lights are not an option (because the installation required a wired fixture, for example) be sure the lighting system is low voltage to ensure maximum safety. The key to well-designed landscape lighting is hiding the light source if at all possible. Also, don?t overdo it here. You want to infuse your garden and yard with a warm glow, not harsh, bright lights.
Entertain outdoors in style
Outdoor lighting can create a soft, elegant atmosphere for intimate evenings in balmy weather, or for party nights with dozens of friends. If you?ve taken on the landscape lighting project, you?re already a significant way toward presenting an inviting atmosphere at your next get-together. But whether you?ve got a comprehensive landscape lighting system or a single bulb lighting your back door, here are some easy and inexpensive ways to make an outdoor event special:
- String lights. Wrap simple string lights around tree branches and through shrubs and bushes to give your yard a special twinkle. You can use old holiday lights, elegant strings of paper lanterns, or fun plastic novelty sting lights, depending on your party?s theme. For example, a string of hot-pepper lights is a fun accent for your next Mexican fiesta.
- Torches. These inexpensive accessories are a great way to light up a large backyard area or create ambience around a pool.
- Candles. Don?t overlook the most inexpensive choice of all?candles give an elegant glow to patios, picnic tables, and more. Be sure you place all outdoor candles in tall, protective hurricane-style holders to keep them lit and to avoid a fire hazard.
About the Author
Vanessa Kirkland is freelance writer and home improvement enthusiast whose articles offer tips, strategies, and advice about home lighting techniques, including table lamps, floor lamps, and wall sconces.