What are Lumens?

Most people outside of the lighting industry have a hard time picking out a light bulb at the store. There are many different factors (see previous post here) and so much more information on the side of each bulb’s box now that it may be hard to know what is actually relevant information.  Today we’ll explain what lumens mean, as they can be very helpful to consumers trying to find the right bulb for their light fixture in their home or office.

Lumens measure the amount of brightness a bulb will give off. The higher the total lumens, the brighter the light given off will be.  Many people describe 1 lumen to be equal to the amount of light one candle emits if you’re standing 1 foot away from it. So if the box says 900 lumens, that would be equal to 900 candles of light.

Lumens make it easy when looking at different types of lights. A CFL and a LED light both give off a totally different type of light color, but you can use the lumens listed on the box to know exactly how bright those lights will be.  After you’ve determined the type of bulb you want, finding the brightness can be easier.

Lumens are a much more accurate way of measuring brightness than watts.  Wattage measures the the electrical power the bulb uses, so it actually measures energy, not brightness.  With today’s sophisticated technology, higher wattage doesn’t necessarily mean a brighter bulb. Now days, experts use lumens to determine the brightness.

If you’re looking for a bright bulb to illuminate a large area, find a bulb with the most lumens. The lumen count will be on the light bulb package. It can be found in an area that looks a little like food’s nutritional value, and it is typically towards the top.  If you have more questions about lumens or how bright of a light bulb you’ll need in your light fixture give us a call today and one of our expert lighting specialists can help you out!

Bulb Education

Every light fixture needs a bulb, but as a customer, knowing which type of bulb to choose can be challenging. There’s CFL, LED, and incandescents, and most homeowner’s don’t know the difference between them all.

Luckily for consumers, every Lighting Facts label is required (by the FTC) to list the brightness, estimated yearly energy cost, life, light appearance and energy. This information is very valuable for customers to have when looking for the right bulb for their fixture. Each category contains information about how much light is given off, what color light, and energy usage.  A great article about these great changes and labeling facts can be found here.

Illuminations - Pacific Coast Lighting

So if you’re wondering which type of bulb is right for your home, take a look at the article, give us a call, or stop by our showrooms for more info.  Also, keep an eye out for our upcoming blog posts about each bulb type and what they’re best used for.

Tiffany Sale!

This is day 3 of our annual Tiffany art glass Sale.  We have an original Louis Comfort Tiffany Pendant fixture on display for the week along with savings of 30% to 50% off.

Stop on by our Seattle or Bellevue showrooms today to check out our extensive selection of Tiffany lamps, pendants, chandeliers, floor lamps and sconces.

Tiffany sale 2013Tiffany sale 2013-2

Flush or Semi-Flush Mount Ceiling Light?

flushmountSemi-flush and flush ceiling light fixtures are staples in lighting design.  They add depth, interest, and provide adequate overall ambient light to a room. Semi-flush lights are suspended from the ceiling, with a small gap between the fixture and the ceiling while flush mounts are secured tightly to the ceiling. Choosing which one will suit your room best depends on many factors, but here are some things you should keep in mind when weighing your options:

What is your style? Is the rest of your room traditional, modern, classic or contemporary? Both types of light fixtures come in many styles and finishes to help match up with the rest of the room’s decor.

flush2Correct sizing. Sizing your light fixtures is very important. Whether you need a few smaller ceiling lights in a row, or a larger one in the middle of a room, keeping the size of the fixture in proportion to the rest of the features of the room is important. Plan out your fixtures according to the dimensions of the room, and keep in mind the electrical code restrictions for the space when choosing which lights to use.

How high? One of the main contributors on whether or not to use a semi-flush mount is ceiling height.  If the room is too small, a dangling light may get in the way or even make the room look smaller than it is. Typically, semi-flush fixtures hang around four to eight inches below the ceiling, so if your ceiling is seven feet, a flush mount may be a better choice. If you ceiling is a vaulted style or cathedral, both flush and semi-flush fixtures may not be appropriate and you may need to invest in a hanging pendant or chandelier.

flushBulb selection. Most flush and semi-flush light fixtures come with instructions for the best bulbs to use with them. Depending on your lighting situation for your room, it may be best to go with a fixture that will provide the most ambient light. If possible, installing a dimmer with these fixtures may be a good idea to help create depth and change the mood in the room for occasions and evening use.

Flush mount fixtures and semi-flush mount fixtures are two of the most common light fixtures installed in any room in houses today. Talk with an expert lighting specialist if you have questions about which light fixtures will work best for your home.

Wall Sconce – What is it?

sconce1A wall sconce is a light fixture that is attached in a way that only uses a wall for support.  There are no wires dangling to a socket and they are not suspended from anything. They can be very lovely to look at and also provide a great source of light. Wall sconces are typically used in bedrooms, hallways, bathrooms, living room and patios, but they can be placed in practically any room. Sconces come in many shapes, sizes and varieties and can go with any style of decor.

Some wall sconces look like a small lampshade, have arms coming out of the wall, while others are more flush against the wall. Some sconces point light upwards to the ceiling while others cast downward light.  Choosing the right wall sconce for your space depends on what purpose it is to be used for and what style you are trying to achieve.

wall sconceWall sconces typically are used in hallways because they take up very little space and can be wired to a switch.  Multiple sconces can be placed a few feet apart shedding light on a pathway. Sconces can also be used to frame in a mirror, by placing one on each side, as oftentimes seen in a bathroom around the vanity area.  They also are used a lot in bedrooms, by placing one on each side of the bed as a reading light source.

wall sconce upwardThere are many different styles of sconces from modern and contemporary to very traditional.  They can be made out of thousands of different materials and can even be made custom to match your existing decor. Ask an expert lighting technician what type would suit your room best, and if your room has the correct wiring for the fixture.

Wall sconces can be a great choice for many different spaces.  Come in to our Seattle or Bellevue showroom today to check out our extensive selection of wall sconces for any room!