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!

Our Online Lighting Options

We’ve hit the busiest time of the year. Stress levels run a little high in December, and the last thing we want to do is run another errand. That’s why many of us turn to one of the best inventions of our time – online shopping!

Shopping online, especially this time of year, can help simplify your life. Why not shop for your lighting fixtures, bulbs and parts online?

Harold’s Lighting is a traditional lighting store in Seattle, but we’re not scared of changing with the times. Use our online store to shop for light fixtures (all types), a variety of light bulbs (including those hard-to-find bulbs), and lighting controls and parts. Check out our lighting fixtures on sale, our current lighting specials, and our clearance section for the best deals.

Our online lighting store is easy to use. You can search by light fixture type, brand, height, width and even by price. The checkout process is quick and before you know it, your new lighting product will be on its way to you!

We’d love to see your face in our store, but if you’d rather stay in your PJs today, check out our online lighting store here!

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

Light fixtures come in many different shapes, sizes, colors and fittings.  There are a lot of options to choose from, and that can be a little confusing to the average home owner. Understanding what each type of fixture is may help you decide what your room needs and what will work for your space.

Today we’ll talk about 3 common light fixtures – Recessed Lights, Track Lighting and Pendants

Recessed Lights
 
Recessed lights are installed above the ceiling. They have an opening that is flush with the ceiling. Installing recessed lights requires at least 6 inches of clearance above the ceiling (where the cans are set in). This type of lighting is great for ambient, task or accent lighting.Screen Shot 2015-04-03 at 2.06.07 PM

Track Lighting

This type of lighting can be mounted or suspended from the ceiling and is typically used as accent lighting. The lights are attached to a “track” and typically be positioned in many different angles and directions. This adjustable lighting fixture is a great option for rooms with artwork.

track

Pendants

Pendants are suspended from the ceiling. Most pendants direct light downwards. This type of lighting is typically used over kitchen tables or over a kitchen bar.

pendant

Stay tuned for more light fixture styles in our upcoming posts!

Task Lighting Basics

photo cred – Kichler.com

After Ambient Lighting, Task Lighting (also known as direct lighting) would be the next layer to think about when choosing lighting options for your space.

Task lighting is designed to help you preform certain activities (hence the name “task”). It brightens up a certain area. Task lighting is great for areas of your home where activities are done that require more light (examples – reading, cooking, grooming or studying).

This type of lighting is designed to help provide clarity and aid in task performance. The direct light it sheds on an area helps a person see more clearly what they are doing and can help increase productivity. Proper task lighting also doesn’t cast a glare or distracting shadows.

Track lighting, undercabinet lighting, recessed bulbs, and pendant lighting are common light sources for task lighting. Offices and living rooms can use lamps or floor lamps and vanity lights to achieve a good balance of ambient and task lighting.

Our lighting stores in Seattle and Bellevue, WA have large showrooms with a ton of task lighting options. We have lamps, floor lamps, vanity lights, pendants, chandeliers, undercabinet lights, and much more! Stop by or call us today and let us help you light your home right!

Ambient Lighting

Photo Courtesy of : http://www.kichler.com/consumer/help_page
Photo Courtesy of : Kichler.com

Ambient lighting, also known as general lighting, is the most basic type of lighting. It is typically a designers first step to establish a good base of ambient lighting before they continue with designing or decorating the rest of a room or space.

Ambient lighting provides general illumination to a room. It fills the room with a glow, a comforting level of brightness without pulling your eye to a certain area or space. Ambient lighting doesn’t cause a glare and basically creates a “glow” in the space.

Many different lighting fixture types can be used to produce ambient light. The most common types are ceiling fixtures, recessed lighting, wall fixtures, and track lighting. Chandeliers and floor and table lamps are also sometimes used to establish the baseline ambient light level.

Ambient light helps create a comfortable and inviting feeling in almost any space.  After you have your ambient light figured out, you can start layering other lighting types for different effects.

Harold’s Lighting in Bellevue and Seattle has great range of fixtures that can help you create your lighting baseline in your home.

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 Lighting Tips for Each Room

lightSpecial attention should be given to each room in your home when it comes to lighting. Using a mix of light sources, creating a layering effect, and using appropriate task lighting in certain areas can help you achieve the right balance.


Living Room

The living room is a place where we spend a lot of time and want to relax. Many interior designers suggest lighting three of the four corners of the room, and one of these three should focus on a special object (could be a plant, art or a nice chair). You can use table lamps and floor lamps to help direct the light upwards or downwards creating depth.

Kitchen

Again, we spend a ton of time in this area of the home. Task lighting is especially important in the kitchen as many dangerous tasks are performed here. Bright localized lights layered with over head sources are a good way to shed layers of light where you need it most.

Dining Room

The table should be the focus of this room and a light should be used to draw people in. Placing a light directly above the table will help bring the focus to the center and using a dimmer can help create a mood.

Bathroom

Like the kitchen, task lighting is important here as many intricate grooming tasks are performed. Using lights around and above the mirror will help cast a shadowless glow, and a main light source should also be used above the shower or tub.

Bedroom

Obviously, your bedroom is a place where you want to relax. You should try and choose lighting options that can help create that comfortable atmosphere that you’re shooting for. Reading lamps or sconces can be placed beside the bed for extra light, and a chandelier or recessed cans can be used above the bed, bringing the focus in.

So wether you’re building a new home, remodeling, or just looking to update your home room by room, keep your lighting options in mind. Our showrooms in Bellevue and Seattle will have plenty of options to choose from and we can even make custom shades and fixtures in shop.  Let us know if you have any special requests or if you need help with any lighting design questions.

Tips For Lighting Artwork

track-1A good piece of art can bring life and interest to a room. Shedding light on this piece of art can get a little tricky. The temperature of the bulb or the proximity of the fixture can damage the artwork or alter the look of the colors. Whether you want to use in-frame lighting, track lighting on the ceiling, or wall sconces to accent the area around the art, keep some of the following tips in mind.

Oil paintings can be especially difficult to light up because of the way the oil reflects direct lighting. Spectral highlights are created when intense light is directed towards the painting. Using a fully broad based light fixture is best for illuminating oil paintings.

IN FRAME LIGHTING

If your painting is larger in scale, in-frame lighting may be a good option. There are many different options for in-frame lighting, some just light up the top of the frame, or the sides, and others light up all the way around it. This type of artwork lighting is a good option for encased paintings that have a glass barrier. It minimizes the glare caused by lights shining on the glass.

TRACK LIGHTING

Track lighting is the most common type of lighting used in galleries across the nation for illuminating artwork. Track lighting is nice because it typically is adjustable and you can switch the angle the light is pointed to create different moods. Track lighting fixtures are great for photos and other pieces of art. The adjustable units allow you to illuminate one or more pieces of art at a time.

Overhead Light Fixtures

Overhead Light Fixtures are lights that are very common and are directly above the painting or photo on the ceiling. These fixtures can be recessed or a mounted fixture suspended or flush mounted to the ceiling. This type of artwork lighting is best used on frames that don’t have a glass covering because they can cause a glare. Some of these types of fixtures are adjustable and the bulbs can be tilted to angle correctly towards the art.

sconce1If you need help finding the right light fixture for your next art piece in your home, give Harold’s Lighting a call today or stop on by our stores in Bellevue and Seattle. We have tons of artwork light fixtures to choose from and can help you find the right fixture for your home or gallery.