Lighting & Fundamentals

Let’s start with the basics shall we? This list will compile almost everything you need to know about lighting so you can come in and make an informed decision about the light and style you want.

Light Bulbs & LED

Types Of Bulbs

LED
Today, the LED bulb is the most efficient, longest lasting, and often the most suitable for home lighting. The new models look very similar to traditional bulbs. The slightly higher upfront cost of these bulbs is mitigated by their very long life. This is the bulb we will almost always recommend
CFL (Compact Flurorescent)
The CFL is more effcient still than the halogen incandescent, but its use is expected to decline due to the growing popularity of LEDs.
Halogen Incandescent
Very similar to the traditional household incandescent bulb, except that it is somewhat more efficient.
Incandescent
The traditional light bulb
What Should I Look For In A Light Bulb?

Check light bulb packaging for the following:

– Lumens: How bright is the bulb?
– Color: Is the light from the bulb a warm 2700K or a cool 4000K?
– CRI: Does the bulb render colors beautifully? 80+ is good, 90+ is great!
– Dimmable: Can I use teh bulb with a dimmer switch? What type of dimmer is compatible?

Watts, Lumens & LED

Lumens & Watts
Watts only measure the amount of power a bulb draws. Bulbs with the same wattage may put out very different amounts of light. Lumens tell you how much light a bulb emits.
What Color Bulb Is The Best?
Check the “Lighting Facts” label on the bulb carton. The label is required for all bulbs sold at retail for residential use and provides operating information, as well as color information about the light from the bulb. Color information is shown as “light appearance.” A bulb that provides “warm” light with a rating of 2700 to 3000K (K stands for Kelvins) will closely match the color of a standard incandescent bulb. Bulbs with higher Kelvin ratings, such as 4000 or 5000K, will appear blue-white or “cool.” See the bulb lit before buying if you can.
LED & Dimmers
Dimmers come in several types. If you have a dimmable LED bulb in a fixture with a dimmer switch and it isn’t working, you may have a dimmer taht is not compatible with that particular LED bulb. If you know the type of dimmer that you have (manufacturer and model) check the dimmer manufacturer’s website for a list of compatible LED bulb types.
Light Bulb Efficiency

Efficiency (or efficacy) is the light output of the bulb (lumens) divided by its power input (watts), i.e. lumens per watt. The standard household bulb of a few years ago rated for 60 watts generated 800 lumens and had an efficacy of about 13 lumens/watt. Today, and LED bulb rated for 800 lumens would draw about 8 watts, for an efficacy of 100 lumens/watt, making it significantly more efficient! 10x-50x more efficient.

LED Lifespan

The short answer is 10 – 20 years for home applications where the LED bulb is normally burned for the typical 1 – 3 hours/day. The rated life of an LED bulb is based upon burning hours, and typically life ratings for LED household bulbs are 10,000 hours or more, with some rating as long as 40,000 – 50,000 hours starting in 2017. However, LED bulbs are not likely to fail by simply burning out. It is more likely that they will just gradually get dimmer over time. To claim a rated life of 15,000 hours, for example, Energy Star-qualified bulbs must pass sample tests that require they produce no less than 93.1 percent of their initial light output after they have been burning for 3,000 hours.

Fixture Types

Traditional Chandeliers • Classic Elegance

Chandeliers are decorative fixtures, hung from the ceiling. They are usually designed to be a focal point of a room. Traditional chandeliers are typically ornate.

Modern Chandeliers • Creativity & Form
Modern chandeliers can also be a focal point, by using bold, graphic designs. With the advent of LEDs, chandeliers are being designed in new, unique, styles, allowing them to take on a more modern flare than ever before.
Pendants • Style under any condition and any setting
Equipped with shades or globes to avoid glare, they are suspended from the ceiling over kitchen counters, breakfast areas, game tables or other work areas.  When used over bedside tables, they provide good task lighting and also free up the space occupied by table lamps.
The use of a dimmer provides you with the flexibility to vary the light to suit the occasion.
Hall and Foyer • Welcome people into your home
Hall/foyer fixtures can create a beautiful focal point at the entrance to your home. They can provide the ambient lighting that you need to greet guests and to assure safe passage into other areas of your home.

The ceiling height of the space will determine the type of fixture that you should use. In taller ceilings and over stairways, large chandeliers and chain-hung foyer fixtures are most appropriate. Use surface-mounted and close-to-ceiling fixtures in foyers with lower ceilings and in hallways.

Ceiling Mounts • Smaller rooms, same impact
Ceiling-mounted fixtures are excellent as a source of ambient lighting and are especially practical in areas with much activity, such as living spaces, foyers, hallways, bedrooms, kitchens, baths, laundry rooms, playrooms and dens.
Wall Mount • Versatility in any room
Wall-mounted fixtures can provide a unique sense of elegance and sophistication to any home. They can also furnish ambient, task and accent lighting. Many are designed to match and supplement chandeliers and other fixtures in sets or families.

They are excellent sources of light in foyers, hallways, bedrooms, living rooms, home offices and home theaters. Outdoor wall-mounted fixtures can ad welcoming light and style to any home. Wall brackets also are often used for task lighting at the sides of bathroom mirrors.

Bath & Vanity • Set the mood or task.
Bath and vanity fixtures supply task lighting, while supplementing the general lighting provided by ceiling fixtures. They are available in a wide range of styles, colors and shapes and are being used much more frequently today than the older bath/vanity lighting strips.
 
Newer versions of bath and vanity fixtures are available with either glass or fabric shades, which provide glare control as well as excellent task lighting for grooming, applying makeup or shaving.
Portable • Floor lamps & task lamps.

Portable lighting can deliver ambient, task and accent lighting while giving you the flexibility to move the light wherever you want. Table lamps, floor lamps and torchieres (floor lamps with an uplight component) are available in a variety of styles to complement your interior design. Small specialty lamps, such as clip-on-lights, adjustable task lights and desk and accent lamps, fill a variety of task, ambient and accent lighting needs.

Track Lighting • Direct, indirect and versatile.

Track lighting has undergone many changes in recent years. The trend in track lighting has been toward smaller fixtures, which are much less noticeable in the space. Track lighting is excellent for its flexibility and can provide ambient, task or accent lighting.

You can move, swivel, rotate and aim the individual fixtures in any direction along the track, giving you the versatility to change the lighting scheme when the need arises. With special attachments, you also can hang chandeliers and pendants from the track.
Recessed Lighting • Small lighting that performs big tasks

Recessed lighting can provide general, task and ambient lighting in a very subtle manner.

Installed in the ceiling with only the trim showing, recessed fixtures can be used anywhere in the home, including outdoors, under eaves and on porches. They are ideal for any type of ceiling, including tall ceilings, shorter ceilings and sloped ceilings.
Undercabinet - See more in your cabinets or counters

Undercabinet fixtures offer both task and accent lighting. Mounted under kitchen wall cabinets, they provide excellent task lighting at the countertop. Used in display cabinets, they provide accent lighting for three-dimensional art and sculpture. In workshops or laundry rooms, they are an ideal source of task and ambient lighting.