General, Task and Accent Lighting

General, task and accent are the staple lighting types for lighting design. We talk a lot about them on our blog (like here, here and here), but that’s because they’re very important!

General, task and accent lighting should be used in just about every room and everywhere in your home! Using different layers of these types of light sources will help you create a good balance and can help you set the mood for just about any occasion.

Check out these easy to follow tips for the entryway, stairway, landings, kitchen, living room, office, and bathroom in this awesome infographic. If you follow these simple guidelines you can rest assure that you’ve covered your lighting basics for the specific area!

Lighting Tips for All Rooms
Source: visual.ly

Let a pro lighting expert help you out! If you have questions about what light fixtures to use in a space in your home or office, call or stop by Harold’s Lighting in Seattle today!

Layout Guide for the Living Room

Are you planning on making some changes to the layout of your living room? Choosing the right layout for what you want to achieve can be pretty difficult. Knowing where to start is typically the problem most homeowners encounter.

We’ve got a few tips for you, depending on what your overall goals are. Are you looking to make it more kid friendly or are you trying to emphasize a certain feature or create a focal point? Figuring out what you want to do most in this room is your first step. Once you know what you want the purpose of the living room to be, you can start arranging your furniture and lighting to create the right vibe.

Check out this infographic that we found. It helps break down common living room overall goals, and what you’ll need to do to achieve them. So wether you’re trying to create a room that’s more conducive to entertaining and conversation, or make it more of a chill zone / TV room, this guide has some great tips for you!

Living Room Layout Infographic
source: FreshHome.com

Recessed Downlighting Housing Info

Once you’ve figured out where you want your recessed downlights to be (if you need help with that, check out this post» ), now you’ve got to figure out what you need in order to install these fixtures.

Most recessed lighting fixtures require you to purchase a few different pieces.  Depending on what type of recessed lighting you choose to go with, most come with a few basic components. The most important, being the housing.

RECESSED LIGHT FIXTURE HOUSING

The housing of the light fixture includes the main housing (sometimes called “Can” or “Rough-In”, a mounting frame (attaches everything to the ceiling),  mounting bars, lighting trim (or sometimes called finishing), the trim and a trim ring, optics, and the actual bulb (aka lamp).

This image illustrates these main recessed light fixture components:

diagram of recessed lights
image source: Delfarmans

Harold’s Lighting in Seattle and Bellevue has a ton of recessed lighting options to choose from, both online and in our showrooms. Our expert staff is ready to help you with all of your recessed lighting questions!

Recessed Lighting Tips

Planning the layout of recessed lighting seems to be a frustrating task for many homeowners. Knowing how many lights (cans, pot lights, downlights, etc) to put in and where to put them is important. We’ve broken down a few tips for planning recessed lighting in any space:

Infographic soure: Pegasuslighting.com
Infographic soure: Pegasuslighting.com
    1.  Plan, Plan, Plan!
      Start by taking measurements of the room and sketching the area out on paper. Don’t forget to take measurements of any furniture or countertops/islands and include them in the sketch.
    2. Where do you want the focus to be?
      Is there an area you need or want to spotlight? Is there a certain spot in the room where you know you need a recessed light to be directly over? In the kitchen, you may want to make the area directly above the sink and/or stove a focal point. These areas are where you should start your planning, and space out the rest of the recessed light fixtures around it.
      If there isn’t a particular focal point, like in the case of many family rooms or large “bonus room” areas, place your first light in the center of the room and evenly space out the rest from there.
    3. Keep your ceiling height in mind.
      There’s a rule that many interior designers use when planning overhead recessed lights. They divide the height of the ceiling by two, and use that number as the spacing (number of feet) for your lights. For example, if your ceiling height is 8 feet, you’d space out the recessed cans every 4 feet.  This rule isn’t set in stone though, you should keep in mind the desired brightness of the room you’re trying to achieve as well as the type of bulbs you are planning on using.
    4. Don’t forget about the corners!
      Corners in any room can be a little tricky. Shadows in the corners can create the illusion of the ceiling being lower than it is. Make sure you place recessed lights around 3 feet away from the wall, letting the light reflect off the walls to make the room seem larger.

Installing recessed lighting takes a little planning and thought. Take a minute to consider these steps before you start making holes in your ceiling!

Lighting is Everything in Business

We’ve said it before, proper lighting is essential for every space. Well planned lighting connects people to the experience of the space. Think back to a really memorable experience (concert, romantic dinner, party, etc.), can you remember how you felt? What was the lighting situation? Do you think it had an effect on your mood?

You never really realize how important lighting is until you pay attention.

Next time you go to a store, restaurant, or even doctor’s office, take a minute to assess the lighting situation. How does it make you feel? Do you want to just get the job done and get out of there, or do you feel less rushed and relaxed?

Lighting can have a serious impact on the customer experience in all different types of businesses. For example, many grocery stores are switching up their approach from the typical overhead mass fluorescent style lighting to more “warmer” light bulbs and fixtures. They’re doing this to keep up with the increasingly important “customer experience” trends in the industry. Studies have shown that when customers feel more comfortable and at ease, they’re more likely to purchase items they may have overlooked in the past. Grocery shopping has become less of a task for some mothers and more of an escape from the every day hustle and bustle.

dimwarmlighting

Let’s compare a fast food chain with a fine dining Italian restaurant. Fast food restaurants want to get customers in and out as fast as possible. That’s why you may find these places to be at a little colder temperature and fully lit up with bright lighting. Not only is the bright light source effective for a safer production line, it isn’t as inviting and doesn’t make you want to stay forever. The more people in and out, the more money is made. Most high end restaurants spend a lot of time getting the lighting and temperature just right. This is to invite customers in, and to create a place to make memories and catch up with old friends. When I think back to some memorable dinner parties with friends the lighting is almost always spot on – dim, warm and comfortable!

Lighting Size and Placement Cheat Sheet

Typically, the hardest part of light fixture shopping is figuring out what size fixture you need. First you need to figure out where it’s going to go, then determine the size needed.

We found this awesome infographic that can help you figure out what size light fixture you’ll need in each room as well as where to put it.

Source: Freshome.com
Source: Freshome.com

If you still have questions, don’t hesitate to ask one of our expert lighting specialists at Harold’s Lighting in Seattle and Bellevue, Washington.

Happy Halloween from Harold’s Lighting!

Holiday season has arrived! Our expert lighting team wants to wish you and your loved ones a very happy and safe Halloween!

Lighting tricks can be used to spice up or spook out any Halloween scene. If you’re planning a party or just want to add some depth to your decorations this year, the internet is chalked full of DIY lighting tricks for amping it up!

Check out this amazing witch shadow we found on Pinterest:

outdoor shadow lighting
photo cred -http://diddledumpling.blogspot.com/

Full instructions on how to create something like this can be found here »

Try some of these other fun Halloween decorating lighting tips from a past Harold’s Lighting blog post here »

Get creative and have fun!

HAPPY HALLOWEEN!!!

Lighting Your Home Office

Many people these days are starting to work from home part time, if not full time. We love the idea of being able to roll out of bed and get some work done, all while wearing your pajamas! Many times people have a hard time adjusting to working from home and good time management skills are a must-have. Having a proper home office space can help you stay focused and be as productive as possible while still being pants optional!

Depending on the size of the home office, different types of lighting layers should be used to be able to adjust accordingly to each occasion. We recommend having at least two different types of lighting, the most popular (and important) being ambient and task lighting.

desk lamp

Ambient lighting in a home office is important. If done correctly it can help illuminate the entire room without causing any glares or without pulling your eye to a certain area. Common types of ambient lighting options in a home office would be recessed light cans in the ceiling or a flush mounted fixture. If the room is small enough, a large pendant or drum may give off sufficient ambient light as well.

floorlamp

Task lighting is equally as important as ambient. Proper illumination of the tasks you are planning to perform in this area is key to working productively. If you’re unable to easily see what you’re doing you’ll waste time in the long run. Common types of task lighting in home offices are typically desk lamps, table lamps, and pendants. Desk lamps come in many different styles and can easily be adjusted to provide the proper amount of light needed. A pendant is commonly installed above a desk or reading space to provide a convenient light source where high activity traffic may occur.

Once you’ve got both ambient and task lighting down in your home office you can consider adding in other types if the space allows for it. Keep your proportions in mind and remember where your high traffic activity locations are and focus there. Ask a Harold’s lighting expert if you need help choosing the right fixture for your space today!

Types of Lighting Fixtures 2

We’re continuing our Types of Light Fixtures post from last week with a few more light fixture types. Today we’ll talk about Ceiling light fixtures, and Wall Sconces.

Ceiling Light Fixtures

Ceiling light fixtures also also called ceiling mounts. These are typically flush mounted fixtures used for ambient lighting. Ceiling light fixtures are the most common type of light fixture purchased. There are a ton of styles and sizes to choose from.

flush

Wall Sconces

Wall sconces are mounted directly onto a wall. They can be used to direct light upwards or down, depending on the style and preference. Sconces are most commonly used in hallways, used to frame a mirror, or in a bedroom.

mirrorsconce3

Stay tuned for next week when we talk about Lamps!

Layering Light

The best lit rooms almost always use some type of light layering. Using different types of lighting help achieve a balanced look.  Each lighting type (ambient, task and accent) fills a particular need.

When you plan the layers of lighting in a room, it usually makes sense to plan out ambient light sources first, then task and accent.  That way you work from general room lighting to specific.

Ambient lighting can also be called general lighting. It provides a general illumination for a larger area. A typical source for this lighting type is recessed ceiling cans or flush mount ceiling fixtures. Wall sconces and ceiling mounted fixtures can also be used.

Task lighting targets a particular area of a room. It’s called “task lighting” because it typically sheds light on an area of a room where a task is performed. It is used in areas where reading, cooking, grooming, and other activities that require more light.  Under-cabinet lighting, lamps and floor lamps are great examples of task lighting fixtures.

Accent lighting can also be called highlighting. This lighting type draws attention to an object or architecture. It can be used to create a focal point out of a favorite art piece, plant, or water feature. Track lighting, and sconces are typically used to achieve accent lighting.

If you’d like help achieving a balanced look in your home or office, call us or stop on by our locations. Our expert lighting staff can help you start layering lighting types to make your room more comfortable and usable.