Right Lighting Fixtures & Home Lighting Design

By: Jim Johnson

Lighting your home properly is a very important consideration. It can have a lot to do with your overall mood and how easily you can accomplish your tasks at home. So let's discuss the different kinds of lighting that are available, and how you can best use them.

The first step in understanding lighting, is to understand that there are two basic types that are in use in most homes today. The first is incandescent lighting, which is produced by running current through a small wire called a filament. The light that is produced is very bright and warm, and is suitable for almost any task.

The second kind of indoor lighting is called fluorescent lighting, and is produced when electricity passes through a glass tube that has been coated inside and filled with gas. This kind of light is very soft and gentle, but it's big advantage is that it can produce up to five times as much light from the same amount of electrical current as an incandescent light.

Generally speaking, there are three levels of lighting used in the home depending on what task is being performed. For general relaxing and low-level lighting, 40 - 80 watt incandescent bulbs will work fine. For most general tasks, 100 - 150 watts will suffice. But for very specialized type of work, 180 - 300 watts may be needed.

For reading at home, it's good to have a floor lamp that is placed behind you and slightly to the left or right. If you're only going to be reading for a short while, 150 watts should be fine, but for prolonged reading 250 watts will do better to prevent eye strain and fatigue.

To light a desk or worktable, you'll most likely need plenty of illumination for the work at hand. Most often, it's best to actually have a small lamp on the desk itself to provide the best quality light. For these kind of tasks, usually a minimum of 200 watts of incandescent light, and 40 watts of fluorescent light will be needed.

In the bathroom, it's good to have lighting that helps eliminate shadows under your eyes, nose, and chin. That's often best accomplished with fixtures on each side of the bathroom mirror. Sometimes a fixture that has a series of smaller 25 watt bulbs can be used to good effect. You may also want to consider using some fluorescent lights here that employ soft white tubes for lighting that is most flattering.

In the kitchen, you need concentrated light on the countertops and workstations for best results. Fluorescent strip lighting often works very well under kitchen cabinets to light up your countertops. This kind of lighting tends to be even, with very few shadows, and free of the heat that often accompanies incandescent light.

By planning out your home lighting fixtures in advance and positioning them correctly in each room you can be sure to get the best lighting possible under a wide range of circumstances.

Home Lighting
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