Tricky Lighting Situations
Need to add light to the middle of your room, but have no floor receptacles? The American Lighting Association (ALA) offers these tips:
- Use a low-profile (almost flat) extension cord or a rubber cover that can be placed over the cord to reduce the danger of tripping.
- Add a floor receptacle near or below where you want to place your table lamp. An experienced electrician can make the upgrade if you have a basement or crawlspace; cutting and repairing the area after installing the plug will be required.
A versatile accessory, the right lighting creates mood and atmosphere.
- by Jason Schneider
Light is one of the most versatile—and inexpensive—accessories in your home. Attention to only a few details, says the American Lighting Association (ALA), can make your home more inviting to family and guests.
Consider these small but effective lighting changes to create mood and atmosphere.
Make an Entrance
When it comes to entertaining, little things can make a big difference. As guests approach your home, what could be more welcoming than the soft, flickering light reminiscent of gas lanterns? On your front porch, use flicker flame bulbs to create a warm environment with an old-town look. It’s inviting, and doesn’t compete with other exterior lights.
Set the Stage
For an easy change indoors, install dimmers for maximum impact. Most general lighting (such as a foyer chandelier) provides more light than needed for daily activities. Create the perfect look by using a dimmer and allowing the overhead light to play a supporting role.
Portable lighting fixtures, such as table lamps, provide contrast and will help set the stage, especially if connected to a tabletop dimmer.
Layers of Light
One room can have many uses, whether it’s a place to watch a movie, play video games or simply spend time with the family. Lighting can create options for using the same space for multiple tasks and activities.
Think in layers of light for rooms with more than use. According to the ALA, a lighting layer is defined as a specific type of fixture unique from others in the same area. A room with a decorative fixture in the center, for example, with wall sconces on one wall and recessed downlights, is considered to have three layers of light. A separate switch would control each of the three to provide the appropriate amount of light for different activities.
Into the Light
Have a room with little natural light? The simplest solution, aside from adding ceiling fixtures, is to add table and floor lamps. Compact fluorescent light (CFL) designated as warm white, soft white or residential will provide the best results.
To determine the amount of light needed, the ALA offers this formula: Multiply the square footage of the room by three if using incandescent lighting, or by one if using all CFLs. For example, a 15’ x 22’ room has 330 square feet, which means 990 watts of incandescent light or 330 watts of fluorescent light.