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Outdoor Tips

hinkley-exterior3Outdoor lighting enhances the beauty of your property, makes your home safer and more secure, and increases the number of pleasurable hours you spend outdoors. And it is an investment that pays off handsomely in the value it adds to your home. For added security, illuminate any side of the house that would otherwise be in shadow. To conserve energy, install a motion or heat-sensitive control that will switch on the light only if someone approaches that side of the house. An automatic timer can control a portion of your outdoor lights to turn off at a certain hour, while basic security lights can be left on through the night. Another proven safety measure is to use timers on interior lights to make your home look occupied when you’re away.

Dark-Sky Friendly Lighting Tip – In order to prevent unwanted glare from your outdoor lighting, use bulbs with reasonable illumination levels. You may also use full cut-off fixtures to direct the light down towards the ground, where it is needed, rather than being cast to the side or up towards the sky, where it is wasted.

entrance-hinkleyA 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 other overhang, you can use recessed, chain-hung or close-to-ceiling fixtures. A separate rear or side entrance can be lighted with a single wall lantern installed on the keyhole side of the door.

outdoor2For the safety and security of family members using the garage at night, you can install a wall fixture above or to either side of the garage doors. Motion detectors light up obscure spots when someone passes by. In addition, photocells are available that will turn fixtures on at dusk and off at dawn, reducing energy consumption and providing security when you’re away from home.

outdoor3For added security, illuminate any side of the house that would otherwise be in shadow. Spotlights installed on your eaves will accomplish this, or, for a more dramatic look, consider ground lights pointed up to graze your walls. To conserve energy, install a sensor that will switch on the light only at night or upon motion. If using uplighting, aim the fixtures so that the light is captured by your eaves to lessen light pollution.

outdoor4Steps, 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 or post lanterns or attach lights to the side of the house. Low-level path lights, which spread circular patterns of light, will brighten your walkway while highlighting nearby flower beds, shrubs and ground cover. Low-level path lights can also be used to define the boundaries of long driveways. Bollards, which stand 30 to 36 inches off the ground, also work well. Use shielded fixtures to avoid glare.

outdoor5Decks, porches, and patios can be converted into romantic evening retreats by concealing low-voltage mini-lights under steps, railing or benches. Another idea is to install a spotlight in the branches of a nearby tree.

Troy_Aqua-ExteriorPools and fountains illuminated with underwater lighting provide beauty and safety for evening entertaining or swimming. Low-voltage and LED lighting are popular sources for ambient pool lighting, or install fiber-optic lighting to create a starry background in your pool’s floor and around its edges. Floating and solar-powered lights are also available. Be sure to check with your local building authorities for safety regulations before installing new lighting systems in existing pools.

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Living Room Tips

living-hinkleyTo meet the varied needs of a living room or family room – entertaining, watching television, reading, playing games, accenting artwork – three to four layers of lighting should be used. These might include recessed lighting around the perimeter of the room, a chandelier or central decorative fixture for general lighting, wall sconces for mood and portable lamps for reading and other tasks. Use dimmers whenever possible for maximum control of all fixtures.

livingroom1Reading requires task lighting that comes from behind the reader’s shoulder. This can be accomplished by placing a floor lamp either at the right or left of the reading chair. The bottom of the shade should be located at eye level to avoid glare. Table lamps, floor lamps and torchieres (floor lamps with an uplight component) are available in a variety of styles to complement your interior design.

feiss-livingroom2Chandeliers add style and a decorative focal point to almost any room in the house. Recent lighting design trends have focused on the value of chandeliers in many spaces throughout the house. They have traditionally been used in the dining room, but are now commonly used in living rooms and dens. The addition of a dimmer lets you alter the intensity of the light to suit the mood or activity.

livingroom3Fireplaces made of stone or brick can be emphasized with properly placed recessed downlights installed in the ceiling over the mantle to create an intriguing grazing effect across the surface. Wall sconces can be installed directly on the fireplace and are an attractive addition that draws attention to the fireplace area, while providing general lighting for the living room.

livingroom4Accent lighting adds drama to a room by creating visual interest. As part of an interior design scheme, it is used to focus interest on houseplants, paintings, sculpture and other prized possessions. To be effective, accent lighting requires at least three times as much light on the focal point as the general lighting surrounding it. Accent lighting is usually provided by track, recessed or wall-mounted fixtures, such as in this setting to the left.

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Dining Room Tips

dining-lgDining room lighting should be both beautiful and functional. This requires a mix of general, task, and accent lighting that can set the mood for a number of functions, including a formal dinner, a family get-together, and other activities such as homework, hobbies, or family bookkeeping. Dimming controls will enable you to vary the light for each occasion.

Chandeliers can add sparkle and style to your dining room while giving you the general lighting you need for dining and entertaining. Chandeliers can have either direct or indirect light. From traditional to contemporary, the choices of finish, light source and style make it easy to find the perfect fixture for your decor. The addition of a dimmer control lets you alter the intensity of light to suit the mood and activity.

dining1A china cabinet, breakfast, hutch, or wall niche can be become a showplace for your prized collectibles by installing lighting that is correctly placed within the unit.

dining5A buffet or sideboard can be flanked with wall sconces on either side. Choose fixtures that complement the style of your chandelier. Displayed objects can be accented with recessed downlights installed in the ceiling above.

dining3A chandelier is the focal point of the dining room. Suspended over the dining table, it serves as a decorative style element that enhances the beauty of your fine furnishing. When the light is dimmed, a soft, glowing atmosphere similar to candlelight is created.

dining4Recessed or track lighting provides general lighting, while enabling you to highlight prized possessions throughout the room. A ring of four recessed downlights around the dining table supplements the light from the chandelier, while providing accent lighting for your tableware. The pure white light of low-voltage fixtures with tungsten-halogen bulbs will make your crystal and silverware sparkle.

A family portrait can be dramatically lighted with recessed adjustable accent fixtures. Ask our lighting experts to help you choose fixtures that are best suited for this purpose.

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Bedroom Tips

bedroom-lgWhen lighting a bedroom, you will want to create an overall atmosphere of quiet relaxation, while providing some bright spots for reading and other activities. A combination of general and task lighting that takes into account the age and lifestyle of the occupant(s) is needed. Remember, dimming controls give you the flexibility to vary the light to suit different moods and activities.

Wall-Mounted Fixtures can furnish general, task, and accent lighting. Today’s choices of wall-mounted fixtures is vast. You can select a decorative theme that can be carried throughout the home or a look designed to blend into your bedroom decor.

Semi Flush or Ceiling Fixtures provide general lighting. They are practical in areas such as foyers, hallways, bedrooms, kitchens, baths, laundry rooms, playrooms, and dens. They are available with incandescent, fluorescent, halogen, xenon, and energy-efficient compact fluorescent bulbs.

bedroom1Another idea is to hang pendants next to the bed, or install recessed downlights in the ceiling over the bed. A way of directing light over the top of the bed is to properly place two recessed lights independently switched to control each light individually.

bedroom2General, ambient lighting can be provided by ceiling fixtures, chandeliers, fan lights, recessed downlights or wall sconces, giving you the illumination you need to dress and see into drawers and closets.

bedroom3Children’s rooms will benefit from the use of properly placed track lights, which can be swiveled, rotated, and aimed in a direction to shed light on play areas, hobbies, or homework. As the child grows older, the fixtures can be moved and redirected toward a stereo cabinet or sitting area.

bedroom4For closets, recessed or close-to-the-ceiling fixtures give you good general lighting without taking up much space. Closets are a good place to save energy by using compact fluorescent bulbs.

bedroom5Next to the bed, portable lamps provide plenty of light for reading, or you can install swing-arm wall lamps to free up the space on your end tables. Another idea is to hang pendants next to the bed or install recessed downlights in the ceiling over the bed.

bedroom6At the dressing table, a table along with a lighted magnifying mirror will provide ideal lighting for grooming and applying makeup.

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Bathroom Tips

bathroom-lgIn the bathroom, you need plenty of even, shadow-free lighting for shaving, grooming, and applying makeup. In small bathrooms, mirror lights will illuminate the entire room, but in larger bathrooms, an additional ceiling fixture is needed for general lighting.

Wall-Mounted Fixtures can furnish general, task, and accent lighting. Many are designed to match and supplement dining room chandeliers, or to provide hallway, bedroom, or living room lighting. Wall brackets are often used for task lighting at the bathroom mirror. They are available with a choice of incandescent, tungsten-halogen, and energy-efficient compact fluorescent bulbs.

bathroom2Tub and shower enclosures can be adequately lighted by placing an enclosed damp-location recessed downlight in the ceiling. These downlights are also recommended over whirlpool baths or in saunas. Today, recessed lights are not only functional, but decorative as well.

bathroom3Fixtures equipped with standard incandescent, xenon, or halogen bulbs behind glass globes provide the most flattering light. If you opt for more energy-efficient fluorescents, choose warm white tones. They come closet to the color of incandescents.

bathroom1For small mirrors, decorative wall brackets on each side will illuminate both sides of your face evenly. You can also mount a wall bracket accross the top of the mirror. A combination of the two will give you the most desirable light possible.

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