Managing Your Home Lighting
We often don’t notice whether or not we have the right lighting setup until the sun goes down. Then we wake up and forget all over again! But your home’s lighting couldn’t be more important. Through safety, comfort, convenience, and ambiance, lighting can make all the difference throughout your home.
There are many options and combinations of lighting to make your house feel like home. Keep reading to learn about the types of lighting and how you can implement them around your home.
Types of Light Bulbs
Before we get to the lighting strategy, we should talk about light bulbs themselves. There are several kinds of light bulbs that can be used in different areas of lighting, and they each have their pros and cons.
LED, or light-emitting diode, bulbs are the most energy-efficient model on the market. You should aim to use these bulbs as much as you can in lamps, overhead lights, and specialty lighting applications.
LEDs waste almost no energy as heat, compared to other bulbs that waste almost all energy emitting heat. This helps conserve energy and makes the bulb last much longer. While LEDs have a higher upfront cost compared to other common bulbs, they are much cheaper over their lifetime.
Smart light bulbs, an increasingly popular choice, are often LED.
Fluorescents are light, bright, and white. You often use these as overhead lights where optimal vision is key. They also generally come in long tubes, rather than a palm-sized bulb.
Fluorescent bulbs (and their counterpart, CFLs) use mercury and need to be disposed of carefully. The City of Denver created this resource of places where you can drop off your recyclable fluorescent bulbs.
Compact fluorescent bulbs are actually still tube-shaped, but that tube is twisted into a spiral shape and is similar in size to standard bulbs. CFL bulbs don’t use much energy, but they take a while to warm up and reach full power.
Incandescent bulbs are among the most popular for their low cost, safety, and adequate lighting ability. They are easily replaceable, but be prepared to replace them often as they last far less time than LEDs and even CFLs.
Incandescent bulbs create heat in order to create light, which makes them warm to the touch and not energy-efficient. According to the Department of Energy, incandescents can cost almost 5 times the amount of energy used to power an LED bulb. Plus, their life span is up to 25 times shorter than an LED.
Types of Lighting
All lighting is not created equally. Despite which bulbs you choose, the way you implement them will be a significant factor in how light is used in your home.
Accent lighting is best for creating unique effects, highlighting special areas, or making a room more dynamic. This type of lighting is often used to highlight artwork, on a bookshelf, behind a television, under cabinets, or even on the floor.
You can use accent lighting when you want a certain area of the house to “pop” more, or you want to change the ambiance of the room.
Task lighting is used for close applications, where you need a light directly on whatever it is you’re doing. This lighting would be your desk lamp, a low-hanging kitchen light, or reading light.
Task lighting is important for close-up activities, and you can strategically place task lights around your home for when you need them.
Ambient lighting is what you would use to light entire spaces or rooms. These are bright lamps, overhead bulbs, chandeliers, all the way up to those bright fluorescent lights used in department stores and office buildings.
You should ideally have an ambient lighting option in every room or occupied space in your home. You may not always need it, or want it, but you will when you need to use the entire space to entertain, clean, or perform certain activities. Ambient lighting is often balanced with task and accent lighting to create a scene that feels comfortable to you.
Outdoor lighting is different from indoor lighting in that there are little to no reflective surfaces. Those surfaces on the inside of your home are crucial for allowing light to move and cover different spaces. Outside, you may have the walls of your home, but the open environment makes it difficult to comprehensively light your space.
Luckily, there are ways to create a comfortable outdoor space through your lighting choices. You also want to consider lighting areas where it may be dangerous to be at night in order to prevent injury.
What you use for outdoor lighting will mostly depend on your setup and capabilities. If you have a deck where you like to entertain, you may want some overhead lighting to make sure the area is covered. You may also want to place a light around corners and near the pool if you have one. Ambient lighting is also a great way to highlight outdoor elements like a walkway or grill area.
If the bulb and lighting choices weren’t enough, you also have several options for light switches to make your lighting setup more convenient and energy-efficient.
Typical switches or tap switches are the most common kind you’ll see in modern homes. These operate at a “full” or “off” power and are suitable for pretty much any light in your home. Switches can either be hooked up directly to the lights or to certain outlets in your home. This gives you control not only over lighting but anything you plug into those outlets.
Modern switches come in many different designs that can fit wherever you’d like them.
Dimmer switches give you more control over your lighting levels. You can still have full power, or you can lower the lights to set the mood or give your eyes a break. Dimmer switches can also help you save on energy costs since you don’t always need your lights at full power.
Just like smart bulbs are becoming more popular, smart switches are as well. These devices can be hooked up to a smart home system and controlled through your smartphone or internet device.
Smart switches give you another level of control and convenience, as you can set up different scenes, routines, and options using your smart devices.
While setting up a light switch may seem simple, you should always have a trusted electrician make sure the wiring and connections are sound. If you believe you need (or want) a new switch for any part of your home, contact AAA Service Plumbing, Heating & Electric today!
Your Home Lighting Resource
At AAA Service Plumbing, Heating & Electric, we have an expert team of electricians ready to help you with all your home lighting and electrical needs. The many options for lighting can make it overwhelming to choose the right setup for your home. Our team is here to help you find the right lights and light switches to make your house properly lit.
When it comes to electrical work, you should never risk your safety and functionality. Contact us today at (303) 622-3449 for the reliable service you deserve.