Types of Lighting & General Lighting Info

Billiard Room: Lighting Home billiard table lamps are specifically designed to spread illumination evenly across the table and eliminate distracting shadows. This includes the areas of the pool table bed directly under the cushions and the areas near the pockets. Your dealer can usually recommend the optimal wattage, and suggest the correct height over your table. Installation Height The general rule of thumb for how low the billiard table lighting should hang is to have it level with the bridge of your nose. Since billiard lamps come in a big variety of style and finishes, they can also play an integral role in your home billiard room decorating scheme.

Home Bar: You may want a different style of lighting over a home bar or beverage area. Some home bar owners keep a muted lighting style directly over the sitting area, but shine bright spotlighting or track lighting on the wall behind where the bartender would stand. Remainder of the Room Besides the home billiard table light, and the bar lights, you will want the remainder of the room to have a reasonable, but not an overpowering degree of lighting. For this, many home billiard room owners opt for pot lights, which are normally recessed directly in to the ceiling. One more thing to keep in mind when choosing a home billiard room lighting scheme, is that it can set the whole mood of the room, and can be an integral factor in determining the degree of enjoyment that is had.

 

Entry Hall: Lighting Foyers and entries set the stage for the interior of the home.-Dana Bigman, Casablanca Fan Co. Most of entry ways foyers will always need overall lighting whether it is day or night. Generally a source of illumination near the entry way ensures safety and a visual navigation aid when entering your home. Having lighting fixtures or lamps in your foyer space also help set the tone for your home. So use entry way lighting fixtures so that they can be versatile, functional, and aesthetically complementary to your home.

 

How Do I Determine The Proper Size Chandelier For a Foyer (Entry)? Some things to consider before installing the right size chandelier for your foyer: For halls that are 75 square feet or more, plan on a fixture at least 12 inches in diameter or a chandelier at least 18 inches in diameter. The bottom of the fixture should be 7 feet from the finish floor, if you have a typical 9-10 foot ceiling height. Another method is a general calculation adopted from Hinkley Lighting Inc. When sizing a chandelier or pendant for your foyer, add the length and width dimensions of the foyer area together and convert the total into inches.

 

Example: The area is 18 feet by 14 feet. Added together this equals 32 feet. Then convert your sum to inches: the chandelier’s diameter should be approx. 32 inches in width. Also something to keep in mind before purchasing is the weight of your chandelier. A standard ceiling outlet box will only hold a maximum of 50lbs, thus additional hardware and components might be needed. Its also a good idea to check for installation instructions and specifications of the chandelier because no one foyer is the same in every home.

 

What Other Types of Fixtures Can Be Used In Large Entries? Foyer spaces will come in all sizes and this might create some challenges. A chandelier might not be enough illumination for extremely large entry ways. Thus, additional fixtures should be used to help illuminate your foyer space. For example if your foyer tends to be two stories in height (15-20 ft) it’s a good idea to have additional fixtures besides your chandelier. Lighting fixtures like wall sconces, pendants, and portable lamps might be nice additions for your foyer illumination needs. If your foyer has windows use them to your advantage in your lighting design. Windows above the front door is a good place for to hang your light fixture in public view. This is also a good way to show off your fixture from the inside-out. Another thing to consider are architectural features like stairs, balconies, or specialty windows. This should not discourage you from installing or using light fixtures, but choosing fixtures might be challenging. A good way to have the best of two worlds is to choose fixtures that serve their purpose, but that are less conspicuous for these conditions. You don’t want to have the light fixture distract from the architectural feature, you want it to compliment it and serve its purpose. In some cases foyers might have the opposite problem; a plain space. This is when your fixtures should be focal pieces. Choosing a chandelier or fixture should make a statement to this empty space when entering your home.

 

Living Room:  When you examine which room gets the most traffic in the house, you’ll find an “x” on the living room. Like the kitchen, it’s a meeting and reading area with sofas,coffee tables and magazines. Lighting Techniques In some cases, the designer of a room has decided that natural light is the most important element in the room. So they build skylights or large windows to take advantage of the natural lighting. Others may not have the advantage of building a house from scratch, large-scale renovation or prefer the crafty use of artificial light. So we recommend lighting techniques for just such a situation:

Dimmable Lighting: You can control the amount of light in your living room and also the mood of a room. You might also prefer to use a decreased amount of light if there are fewer people in the room. Some pendants and ceiling fans have a dimming capability. Check within the product description for dimming features. Recessed Lighting: Recessed lights act like spotlights on the objects below. They don’t overpower a room with light. You can select areas to highlight and leave others shades darker. Task lighting: Floor lamps and table lamps will compliment the social spaces/sets you’ve created in the room.

 

 Task Light: Task lighting is great for aging eyes. Wall Grazing: You can highlight certain wall sections with sconces, pendants and floor lamps. Light is a great way to create a scene and temperature mood for the room. Color: If you wanted a contemporary modern aesthetic, you’d use white light and cool furniture colors. If you wanted a comfy, family room, use warm colors in lighting and furniture.

 

Texture: Create interesting textures by shining a light on an object ie. light on a household plant like orchids.

Sconce Lighting: Sconces are great wall grazing methods that create varieties of light and dark. They also become a permanent decorative accessory in a room. Unlike a kitchen or a dining room, a living room doesn’t need a dominating ceiling fixture. More often than not, using a strong overhead can wash out and dull out the the entire living room. Another misconception about interior lighting design is that it’s all about artificial lighting. If your living room faces the light during the day, take advantage of it. You’re not only reducing your electricity consumption, but you’re also getting a strong splash of vitamin D from exposure to sunlight. You’re body produces this necessary vitamin which helps in regular bone growth.

Effective Office Lighting: A well designed space typically involves several elements: illuminating the vertical surfaces and architectural features, establishing a readily understood hierarchy of luminous elements, and clarifying the viewing and circulation patterns. All contribute to a visually comfortable and satisfying work environment, especially where human interaction is most common and critical. Ambiance is influenced by all of the design elements of the lighting system. This includes the type of luminaires (direct or indirect, ordinary or special, etc.), the color of the light, how effectively the lighting system integrates with the architecture, and how much accent and supplemental illumination is used. And, of course, the result depends on how well the lighting is designed into the space. Energy is the most important life cycle cost; energy-saving technologies generally pay for themselves within a very short period of time. Using electronic ballasts, compact PL sources in place of incandescent, optically efficient fixtures, and well designed controls all contribute to an economical lighting system. And, while any one technology may add only a small increment to performance, the combination often results in the use of fewer lamps or luminaires overall, which significantly reduces costs.

 

Direct/Indirect Lighting: Direct/Indirect lighting combines both downward and upward light distribution. As with indirect lighting, the lighted ceiling brightens the space. The direct down-ward light punches up the work plane and creates visual interest. Studies have shown that people prefer this combination – with its brightness, comfort, and some highlights – to either purely direct or indirect lighting. Fixture and installation costs are similar to those of totally indirect systems. Varying the proportions of direct and indirect light changes the effect. An 80/20 distribution feels like direct lighting with a gently brightened ceiling; a 20/80 distribution (properly called indirect/direct) feels like indirect lighting with some highlights.

Lighting and Your Home: To select lighting for your home, you must first consider the room you’re trying to illuminate. In a living or family room for example, you’ll want to include general lighting for entertaining and watching television, task lighting for reading, and accent lighting to highlight artwork, plants, and other items of interest. In the kitchen, you’ll require task lighting for cooking and other chores, and also general lighting for gathering with family and friends. In the bedroom, you’ll want to create an overall atmosphere of quiet relaxation, while providing some task lighting for reading and other activities. Similarly, in the bathroom, you’ll require task and general lighting Hall And Foyer: Hall and foyer fixtures can create a welcoming atmosphere, while providing you with the general lighting you need to greet guests and assure safe passage into other areas of your home. Use flush and semi-flush fixtures, large chandeliers or pendants and sconces in hallways, stairways, and foyers.

 

How To Size a Foyer Light: To determine the overall height of a hall or foyer fixture, always keep in mind the bottom of the fixture should be at least 7 feet from the floor. This will determine whether you use a flush, semi-flush, or if you have a tall ceiling, a multi-tiered chandelier. When sizing a chandelier or pendant for your foyer, add the length and width dimensions of the foyer area together and convert the total into inches. Example: The area is 18 feet by 14 feet. Added together this equals 32 feet. Then convert your sum to inches: the chandelier’s diameter should be approximately 32″in width. In a two-story foyer, if there is a window above the front door, center the chandelier so it can be seen from outside. If the foyer is extra-large, you may also want to install sconces in the foyer. Sconces should be installed 60″ from the floor and 6 – 8 feet apart. Since a standard ceiling outlet box will only hold a maximum of 50lbs, some large chandeliers and foyer pendants require a support brace. 

 

Chandeliers: Chandeliers add sparkle and style to your dining room or foyer and provide general lighting needed for dining and entertaining. While chandeliers are traditionally hung in a dining room or foyer, a new trend is to hang chandeliers in other rooms such as the bedroom, living room and larger bathrooms.Mini-chandeliers are particularly great for adding drama when used in unexpected places like a powder room, hallway, or walk-in closet.

Sizing A Chandelier: To size a chandelier for your dining room or bedroom, you’ll need to measure the length and width of the room and add those figures together. The sum, converted to inches, will equal the diameter of the correct size chandelier  Mini- or mid-pendants can provide task lighting when clustered over a kitchen island or a pool table. Think about using a pendant over end or night tables. They free up space usually occupied by table lamps. Outdoor pendants on a covered porch create a welcoming glow and provide security and safety outside your home.

Flush Mounts: Ceiling fixtures, or flush mounts, can provide decorative general lighting. They are practical in busy areas such as hallways, bedrooms, kitchens, baths, laundry rooms, playrooms, dens, or areas where the ceiling is too low to accommodate a chain-hung fixture.

Sconces: Wall-mounted fixtures, or sconces, can easily provide general, task, or accent lighting. Many sconces are designed to match and complement chandelier or foyer families. Sconces can be used in all areas of the home and are often used as accent lighting above the mantle and fireplace, above the buffet in the dining room, or lining the stairway or hallway. Bath Fixtures: Bath fixtures supply task lighting in addition to supplementing the general lighting provided by ceiling fixtures. In the bathroom, you need plenty of even, shadow-free lighting for shaving, grooming, and applying makeup. In small powder rooms, single-light sconces will illuminate the entire room, but in larger bathrooms, an additional pendant, mini-chandelier, or flush-mounted fixture is needed for general lighting.

Outdoor Lanterns: Outdoor lighting enhances the beauty of your property, makes your home safer, more secure, and increases the number of pleasurable hours you spend outdoors. A well-lit front entrance enables you to greet guests and identify visitors. Wall lanterns on each side of the door will give your home a warm, welcoming look, while assuring the safety of those who enter. Under a porch or overhang, use a pendant or outdoor flush-mount fixture. A separate rear or side entrance can be lit with a single wall lantern installed on the keyhole side of the door. For the safety and security of family members using the garage at night, you can install a wall fixture on the face of the garage.For a dramatic effect, use lower-wattage lamps. If additional light is required to light the surrounding area, consider using low-voltage landscape lighting. Steps, paths, and driveways should be illuminated to make sure family members and guests are able to move about easily and safely after dark.

You can install path lights, post lanterns, or attach lights to the side of the house. Low-level path lights which spread circular patterns of light will illuminate your walkway while highlighting nearby flower beds, shrubs, and ground cover. Decks, porches, and patios can be converted into evening retreats by concealing low-voltage lights under steps, railings, or benches. Another technique is to install a spotlight flooding down from the branches of a nearby tree creating a moonlight effect.

 

How To Size a Lantern: One of the biggest challenges of outdoor lighting is selecting the right-sized outdoor lantern.; The height of a lantern should be based on the height of the door. If a lantern is only used on one side, it should be approximately one-third the height of the door. When two lanterns are used on either side of the door, they should each be approximately one-fourth the height of the door. In either case, if you choose a fixture with a long tail or top scroll, be cautious of the overall bulk of the fixture as the height should approximate one-half the visual height of the door. The lanterns should be mounted so the filament of the bulb is approximately 66 above the threshold of the door. Depending on the outlet box location, different mounting arms (on the top or bottom) can be selected to place the filament correctly. Don’t under size your lanterns.

As a rule of thumb, lanterns will appear about half the size from 50 feet away. Visualize the front of your home as guests and neighbors would view it from the street, and when in doubt, always go larger.

About the Author

anthony@skylarstudios.com

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