Lighting Advice Tips

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What are the best light fixtures for picture lighting?

Picture This: Picture Lighting

Lighting Advice: So, you want to display those Picasso reproductions or the watercolors you did in your class at the community center? Or you have a sculptor in the family who displays miniature Rodin-esque shapes on corner shelves and in cabinets? While recessed or track Juno lighting will illumine your illustrations, you'll need picture lighting fixtures.

House of Troy manufactures picture lights, including halogen lighting lamps, that showcase and complement a masterpiece. As for those corner shelves, invest in lighted ones such as InstaShelves. Kichler under-cabinet lighting will spread light upward through the glass. Place miniature halogen lights in curio cabinets that contain original artwork. With the right home lighting, everyone will see that you're not only an artist or an art collector, you're a lighting artist with a flair for display.

   
What's the best lighting for my daughter's bedroom?

Right Track for Kids Lighting

Kids love trains and tracks, so why not invest in track home lighting for playrooms and bedrooms? You can adjust, swivel, and rotate Juno lighting to give your children the right light for homework and play. A dimmer switch gives you more control over the right lighting to preserve their eyes. Make sure to include table lamps and other lighting at floor level--this helps your kids see the messes they make, and you might even find their school clothes in the morning! An undercabinet light may work well for dressers.

Older kids may want to move track lighting toward that killer stereo system or beanbag chair area where they hang out with their friends. If your children have a computer in the room (which you're monitoring, right?), track lighting works well to save your kids' eyes from the glare of the computer screen. In the meantime, track lighting will be perfect when your little engineer crawls around playing with hobby model trains.

   
What's the best lighting for working on the computer?

Light it Up

Wow, redecorating is fun. Those hunter green walls look fabulous with your new asian rugs and the dimmer switch on your newly installed track lighting is killer. The light is pouring in from those bay windows and you can't think of anything that could make this room anymore complete. Think you're done? Think again.

Some of the best lighting advice that you can get is to add extra lighting to rooms that are dark-colored. Dark colors absorb light and will make a room appear darker. Sure, the room looks fabulously lit in the day light but what happens when the sun sets? Unless you want to feel like you're dwelling in a cave invest in some extra table lamps. Put extra lighting all around the room so that it can be well distributed.

   
What options other than chandeliers do I have for hall lighting?

Hall Lighting

Lighting Advice: Chandeliers and halls are made for each other. Whether it's Swarovski chandeliers or Kichler Castilla Collection Double Tier Chandelier (the more modern nickel Light Island chandelier adds an interesting contrast in older homes), you can't go wrong with a chandelier. But there are as many options for lighting hallways as you do hallways.

* Because hallways are high-traffic but need low light at night, invest in a dimmer switch for each hallway lighting fixture, or choose an auto-dimmer switch that operates multiple lights. Kichler egg wall sconces paired with a Kichler white ceiling light fixture create a funky modern effect, while antique wall lamps with uplights give you the illusion that you're in a five-star hotel. Recessed Juno lighting distributed at even points along the hallway provides consistency. You can even intersperse with one or two small chandeliers for variety.

   
I have outdated home lighting, how do I revamp it?

This Old Home Lighting

Lighting Advice: You haven't replaced the dark wood light fixtures and bare glaring bulbs that came with your dream home when you purchased the house five years ago. The lighting looks tired (in real estate-speak that's called functional obsolescence) and you're weary of looking at it. You feel like yanking the wiring out of your walls and starting fresh. But before you demolish your home, check out our less-destructive home lighting makeover ideas.

  • Old rectangular fluorescent lighting fixtures are out. However, you may not be able to rewire the room easily. Add Kichler task lighting beneath wall cabinets and appliances in places such as kitchens, bathrooms and laundry rooms.
  • While Old World Style is tremendously popular, old and failing light bulbs are not. Keep the antique wall sconces, but invest in some recessed Juno lighting.
  • Halogen bulbs last longer than incandescent light, so you may have to replace some light fixtures that aren't designed for halogen.
  • If you have fluorescent home lighting fixtures, opt for the newer CFL flood-light type bulb or full-spectrum lights, which save energy. Full-spectrum lights give your home a facelift, since objects appear as they do in normal daylight.

Antique-looking homes are wonderful, but outdated lighting isn't. Save your nostalgia for antique and consignment shops.

   
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Guru Spotlight
Jennifer Mathes, Ph.D.