December 4, 2009, Newsletter Issue #179: This Old Home Lighting

Tip of the Week

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Antique-looking homes are wonderful, but outdated lighting isn't. Save your nostalgia for antique and consignment shops.

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Patricia Walters-Fischer