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!

Choosing the right color LED

Incandescents are known for giving off a pleasant, warm (yellowish) light. LEDs, however, come in a variety of different colors. Getting to know your different LED lighting options for your home or office is important for setting the right mood.

LEDs come in a wide range of color options. From purple to red, and a whole range of whites and yellows, it’s important to find the right colored bulb for your light fixture depending on your space’s needs.

The most popular LED colors are “soft white” and “warm white”. These both produce a more yellowish hue than other popular LED options (“bright white”), and are the most similar to the classic incandescent bulb’s effect.

“Bright White” gives off more of a whiter hue, which can be compared to natural daylight and is typically used in larger retail stores and modern offices.

While shopping for the right LED color for you, pay attention to the Kelvins on the box. Kelvins are the unit of measurement for color in light bulbs. Typically, the lower the number, the more yellow the color will be.

light-bulbs-1822058_1280

Types of Lampshades

Lampshades come in a variety of shapes and sizes. We found this cool infographic that breaks down the most popular shapes and also shows you how they’re measured:

lampshadetypes
Source: Buzzfeed.com

If you need help selecting the right shade for your light fixture, come in or call us today. We have a huge selection of lamp shades in stock, and can even custom make any lamp shade with a fabric of your choice or in an odd size or shape!

What is a lumen?

Most people think that a watt is what measures the brightness of a bulb. This actually isn’t the case. Watts measure how much energy the bulb consumes. A lumen is what is actually used to measure the brightness of a bulb.

The more lumens a bulb has, the brighter it will be. Typically this coincides with the amount of energy (watts). See the chart below:

what-is-a-lumen

Now that there are so many different types of bulbs to choose from (incandescent, LED, CFL, etc), using watts as a measurement of brightness isn’t always a smart method. Bulbs these days consume energy (watts) in different ways, so using lumens to determine the brightness is a sure way to make sure you’re getting the level of light intensity that you need.

Harold’s Lighting stays on top of all of the new lighting regulations and can help you figure out which type of light bulbs your fixture needs!

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!!!

Video Archives – Watch: Selecting Lamp Shades

Are you having trouble selecting the right lamp shade for your lamp base? You’d be surprised to know that this issue is one of the most common things we help people with everyday!

Our experts at our stores in Bellevue and Seattle have helped thousands of people find the perfect shade for their light fixture.

Check out the video we made a few years ago about selecting the right lamp shade:

Our Most Common Light Bulb Question – Answered!

Going to the store to buy a light bulbs doesn’t seem as easy as it used to! Now days, there are tons of options to choose from and it can get a little confusing for the average person. Today we’ve answered the question we get most about light bulbs:

Which bulb should I buy?

The answer to this question depends on a few things. Read on to learn a little about each bulb type. Once you have all of the info you’ll have a better idea of the bulb type you need!

Incandescent
This bulb type is the most commonly used bulb in the US. It is the least expensive and gives off a warm and inviting light. The downside of using this bulb type is that they’re not very energy efficient. They typically only last between 700 and 1000 hours.

Halogen
This type of bulb is similar to incandescents. They give off a light color/tone that is similar to natural daylight, and is often described as “white light”. Most colors viewed underneath a halogen bulb show up sharp. These bulbs are more expensive than incandescents, last a little longer, but burn at a higher temperature. It’s important to follow the handling instructions that come with these bulbs as touching them with bare hands can damage the structure of the bulb.

Fluorescent
Oftentimes used in office buildings and other commercial buildings, this bulb is known for the flat, cold light it gives off. The color emitted is often blue feeling and not flattering to skin types or colors. Fluorescent bulbs cannot be used with a dimmer, and oftentimes flicker or make noise. These bulbs can be made to cover large spaces which makes them great for commercial use.

CFLs
Compact fluorescent bulbs last around 10 times longer than the traditional incandescent bulb, and they consume about 1/4 of the energy. These bulbs are much quieter and warmer than traditional fluorescent bulbs and can be used in place of an incandescent. The downside of using this bulb type is the cost and the fact that they contain trace amounts of mercury.

LED
Light emitting Diode bulbs are the most energy efficient and can last a very long time. They come in a vast selection of sizes and colors and are made to fit just about every light fixture that a traditional incandescent once occupied. The downside of these bulbs is that they’re expensive, and (at this time) only provide directional light, which makes them a poor chose for ambient lighting in a larger space.

Now that you have the basics, it may be easier to make your decision. First, decide how much you’re willing to spend, then move on to your color and longevity options. Call or stop by a Harold’s Lighting store if you have any other lighting related questions!

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!