Bulb Bright Ideas

There’s always something new to learn about light bulbs. There’s a whole aisle dedicated to light bulbs at the store, giving you more choices for you home’s lighting than what type of toilet paper to buy! We got to thinking, and have broken down a few things to keep in mind the next time you go shopping for light bulbs.

The three things most people are looking for when they’re buying light bulbs for the light fixtures in their homes are:

  1. Cost – they want a bulb that will give them the most bang for their buck. Some people want the cheapest option now, while others will look for a bulb that may cost more up front but will last a very long time, saving money in the long run.
  2. Brightness – they’re looking for a bulb that will do it’s job. The desired level of brightness may depend on the room or area the light fixture is in, or could depend on the shade that will diffuse the light.
  3. Color – they want a the color of the bulb to match the rest of the mood of a room or the decor.
photo cred: Buzzfeed
photo cred: Buzzfeed

The recent changes in the lighting world have upset a lot of consumers. Many people are angry at the rapidly rising costs of light bulbs. What these consumers aren’t seeing is that the actual long term costs to not only their wallet, but the environment are in their favor. Many newer light bulbs (LEDs, CFLs) can actually save homeowners money.

Pay attention to the performance indicators (lifespan) of the bulbs you’re looking to purchase. This will help you get over the initial sticker shock.

Brightness and color used to go hand in hand with traditional incandescent bulbs. The color changed based on brightness. Now, that simply isn’t the case. New technologies have made LED bulbs and CFL bulbs more residential friendly. They can closely mimic the look of our old time incandescent favorites.

The higher the lumens on a package, the brighter the bulb will be. The lower the kelvin (temperature) rating, the warmer the color will be.

Keep these tips in mind when you walk through the bulb section at the store, and feel free to give us a shout if you have any questions!

Lighting Basics Broken Down!

When you break down the most important rules and basics for lighting design, and stick to them, your home lighting job will become a lot easier. The overwhelming task of making sure your space is appropriate illuminated can be a breeze if you just follow the easy guide laid out below.

Planning out the lighting in your home is crucial to setting the right mood. You want your home to feel warm and inviting – and lighting should be your first step to achieve this goal. Lighting should come first, then color scheme (paint, furniture, floor coverings and artwork), and then textiles and textures. Lighting isn’t a permanent decision, and oftentimes can be changed up to freshen up a space. This can be done seasonally, yearly, or just whenever you feel the need for change!

As always, layered lighting sources can help you switch up and create different moods for a space. Ambient, task and accent lighting should be used together to achieve a good balance for any activity needed to be performed in the room.

Every room or space should be considered separately. Think about what the main function of the space will most likely be and go from there. For example, the lighting needs in a hallway are much different than in the kitchen or bathroom. Keep a mental (or physical) list of individual tasks that will be routinely performed in the space and plan accordingly.

Lighting Basics Infographic
Source: wizmot.wordpress.com

Ask a professional! Lighting design experts are your best resource! Our staff at the Harold’s Lighting store in Seattle loves to help out homeowners and business owners figure out the best lighting options for any space, no matter how challenging it may seem! We have the ability to create custom lighting options for any space and can even match materials or refurbish vintage fixtures to create a one-of-a-kind piece.

Light bulb bases and filament types

There are a TON of different types of bases and filament types for light bulbs. Knowing the difference between the different types and filaments can be a little tricky.

We found this awesome guide for breaking down what the different filament types and bases look like. This guide could be super helpful when you’re out shopping for a new bulb for your light fixture.

light bases and filament guide
source: lightopedia.com

When your bulb goes out, compare the base and/or filament to the chart above for replacement.

If you have a question about a bulb base or filament, ask a lighting expert at Harold’s Lighting in the Seattle neighborhood of Wallingford. We’ve been helping residents of Seattle and people across the nation with their lighting needs for over 60 years!

Stop on by our amazing showroom or call us today!

Do you know your symbols?

How well do you know your electrical symbols? Most homeowners aren’t very familiar with even the most basic electrical symbols that are commonly seen on blueprints and electrical product packaging. That’s okay – We don’t expect you to memorize these things!

We’ve found a few electrical symbol cheat sheets that you may find helpful when planning any lighting or constructional changes in your home! Check them out below:

Electrical Symbol Guide
source: draftingservice.us/school
source: make-my-own-house.com
source: make-my-own-house.com

When planning any improvements on your home, especially anything to do with lighting, you may come across some symbols you’ve never seen before. If you have any questions about these or any other symbols, ask a lighting expert at Harold’s Lighting by stopping by our showroom in Seattle (Wallingford) or call us today!

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!

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.

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