Happy Earth Day!

Image converted using ifftoanyHappy Earth Day from Harold’s Lighting in Seattle and Bellevue, WA.  We hope you take some time this week to celebrate this great planet we live on! Each year many people around the world take time to evaluate their impact on the planet and adjust their daily habits to reduce their “footprint”.

Obviously, we love lighting. Did you know it can account for up to 15% of your annual electricity usage (on your bill)? Reducing your light energy usage is one of the easiest things you can do to reduce your energy usage and reduce your bill. We’ve put together a few tips you can use to reduce your lighting energy usage:

  • Turn off the lights when you are not using a particular room or when you’re away from home.
  • Unless you need it, only use the low-power lighting (task) where you need it, and avoid using all of the other lighting options in a room.
  • Experiment with energy-efficient light bulbs and find one that works with your fixture and your room’s needs.
  • Clean your light bulbs regularly to be sure you’re getting their maximum amount of light output. Dirt and dust can buildup and effect the bulb’s light offput and color.
  • Use natural light sources during the day (windows and mirrors) if possible. Open blinds, shades and drapery.
  • Install dimmers on your fixtures. Reducing the light intensity can reduce your energy usage.

Reducing your energy impact can be as simple as remembering to turn off the lights in your bedroom when you leave the house. Take one or two of these tips and implement them into your lifestyle. See how much you can reduce your lighting energy usage and your yearly energy bill.

Choosing a Ceiling Fan

ceilingfanEnergy and fuel costs are on the rise again making ceiling fans a great option for those who want an easy way to cut down their home’s energy consumption. Ceiling fans not only help circulate cool air in the summertime, they can help move warmer air around in the winter making them a great asset to any room year round.

It is said that ceiling fans can help a room feel as much as 8 degrees cooler when run on a normal setting. This can be a true life saver in the hot summer months. Not only do they cool the room down, they also can help the room feel fresher and more open.  In the Northwest, most homes don’t have air conditioning units, and if they do, they only run for a few months out of the year. Installing a ceiling fan can help you reduce your air conditioning bill easily, and if you don’t have an air conditioning system it can act as one.

ceilingfan3When selecting a ceiling fan you should consider a few things to make sure you get the right one for your room. Fan size is very important.  The larger the room the larger the fan will need to be. If the room is very large, multiple fans may be a good option. Rooms that are up to 75 square feet will do fine with any fan up to 36 inches. Bedrooms and family rooms up to 144 square feet typically use fans ranging from 36 inches to 42 inches, and larger areas can go with fans from 50 to 54 inches.

It’s also important to think about the ceiling height of the room when selecting the right fan. The fan should be at least 7 feet above the floor for safety reasons. Anything below 7 feet could be unsafe, look awkward and not provide the circulation benefits that a properly installed fan would.

ceilingfan2There are also many different types of blades for ceiling fans. For optimal circulation, experts suggest hat the blades are to be installed at a 12 to 15 degree angle. It’s also important that the blades are balanced so that when the fan spins it doesn’t wobble or make noise.

Other things to look at when purchasing a ceiling fan are the motor, lights, warranty, installation requirements and of course style. Our expert lighting specialists can help you find the right ceiling fan for your room and your budget. Stop on by our stores in Bellevue and Seattle today or check out our selection online.

Lighting Mistakes To Avoid

pendant2Many interior designers are called upon to “fix” an area or room in a home, and many times all they really need to do is change up the client’s existing lighting situation. Sometimes knowing what not to do when redoing your lighting can help your home look like an experienced designer was there to help out. Below are some common mistakes you can use when planning out your next lighting adventure:

Putting Reccessed Lighting Everywhere.
Recessed lights can be a great tool to bring light in a more subtle way to a large area. It is very common, however, to go a little overboard and install too many of them. Recessed lights don’t typically cast much light on vertical surfaces (walls), which is how our eyes perceive most light. If we install too many recessed lights we may be wasting wattage that could be used by other sources providing more “visible” light. Using recessed lighting with a blend of other sources is how designers achieve the right look.

pendantForgetting Task Lighting in Kitchens and bathrooms.
Task lighting is very important in the kitchen and bathrooms as many dangerous activities are performed there. Adding under cabinetry lighting to illuminate the counter workspace below is a great option. Adjustable wall mounted fixtures or lamps can also make a huge difference.

Forgetting to use a combination of lighting types.
Many people forget to incorporate a combination of different lighting styles in a room. Ambient, task and accent lighting should be used together to create a balance. Being able to control the different fixtures individually is also important with different switches and dimmers.

Keep these common mistakes in mind when adding or changing the light fixtures in your home.

Interior Design with Lighting

Custom Shades and Fixtures at Harold's LightingLighting is a major component for every properly designed interior. It can change the mood of a space and even make a room look larger. Interior designers use different fixture types with proper placement to achieve the perfect balance.

Lighting can change the color of a room by enhancing existing features or highlighting pieces of furniture. Darker colors can make the room appear smaller while light colors can open up a space. Light can also be reflected off walls or surfaces and change the color of the paint on the walls. Playing around with different light fixtures, shades and bulbs can change up the look and feel of a room quite a bit. Expert lighting specialists and interior designers know which bulbs and shades work with certain paint colors and shades to create a harmonious space.

For most, lighting needs to serve a purpose, or else it’s just wasting electricity. Light is a major tool for increasing the functionality of a room. Task and ambient lighting can help illuminate areas where activities are performed and can help increase the efficiency and productivity of the activity. Placing the light fixtures in the right location without distracting from the other main elements of the room is very important.

If you’re looking to change up the look and feel of a room in your house you could start playing around with your lighting options. Ask an expert lighting specialist at Harold’s Lighting to help you choose the right lamp shade or light fixture for your home.