Monthly Archives: August 2010

wall lighting

If you are looking for contemporary outdoor wall lights and you want to buy quality products at the best prices I hope I’ll be able to help you. In this article I have made some recommendations on things you should consider before you buy and provided some tips on types of supplier to buy from.

You almost certainly will not want to buy new outside lighting every year, and so you need to make sure your choices are the right ones; so here are four important areas to consider:

- The Style – Is Contemporary Outdoor Wall Lighting a Good Choice? – Practical Things to Consider When Buying Your Wall Lights – Making the Best Choice of Supplier – Good Products and Good Deals

The Style – Why Contemporary Outdoor Wall Lights?

If your house is modern and you like modern things, a contemporary style is a good choice. You will also probably have a contemporary garden (or want to create one) and will want to choose external lighting that complements modern architectural features (e.g. rock landscaping, sculpture, statues and water effects). If you haven’t designed and created your garden yet, make sure that you aim for a single overall design and effect. Don’t end up with an uncoordinated mix.

The really good news is that when you want to buy your lights there are some fantastic contemporary outside wall lights to choose from, many of them designed and manufactured in the US. Also, many of them don’t cost lots of money.

Practical Things to Consider When Buying Your Outdoor Wall Lights

Use this useful check-list before you buy your contemporary outside lighting.

- Over-all Effect

This will be the main factor governing your choice. You probably know what atmosphere and ambience you want to create in your garden, so you need to make sure that the functional features of the lights you choose don’t interfere with the objectives you are trying to achieve (e.g. brightness, type and direction of light).

- Fitting & Positioning

I know it sounds obvious, but make sure you choose mounting positions where it won’t be difficult for you or your electrician to fit your wall lighting. Also, make sure that you have lighting controls installed that will enable you to operate your lights conveniently (i.e. from inside the house, perhaps with a control that enables you to use a lighting timer).

Ensure that your chosen wall lights will illuminate the garden features (e.g. flower beds, ponds, paths) that are important for creating the best overall night-time effect. But bear in mind that it’s as important to consider areas outside your garden; we all need to make sure that our outside lighting doesn’t create light pollution (hence the “dark sky” regulatory requirements).

Finally, make sure that you choose a position which is safe from access by young children and safe for passing adults (I’ve suffered lots of head cuts and bruises from badly positioned wall lights!).

- Durability & Efficiency

You will want your lights to last a long time so make sure that they are made to last. Many cheaper outside lamps will corrode quickly, especially if you live near water (especially sea water). Finishes like Titanium are superb for contemporary lamps. Titanium-finished outside wall lights look good, don’t corrode and keep themselves clean.

And finally a very important thing to consider is energy usage. If you are concerned about this, ensure that the lights you purchase have or offer low-energy options.

Making the Best Choice of Supplier – Good Products and Good Deals

You won’t be purchasing outside lights very often, but every day thousands of individuals decide to buy external wall lights, and together they have a tremendous amount of accumulated experience. Plug into this experience by using the internet to check out on-line customer reviews. These reviews highlight problems with particular types and brands of lighting, and provide lots of help for new purchasers.

Also, why not buy your lighting on-line? If you have a fair size garden it’s not a good idea to buy just one light, in which case you will need to look for good deals to keep your budget under control. Look for on-line suppliers that maintain good stocks of their best sellers and pass the benefits of their volume purchases onto their customers. However, if you choose to buy online make sure you choose a supplier who offers free delivery and a good”return”s service. You may not like your outside wall lighting when it arrives, so you want to make sure it’s easy to send it back.

By Sebastian Churchill

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recessed ceiling lighting

Equipment

Six recessed can lights, two 3/4-inch birch plywood sheets, each 4′x8′, paint (you can use Ace Sensations Ceiling White), skim coat, two ladders, tape measure, utility knife, reciprocal saw, blue chalk, chalk line, stud finder, pencil, sander, level, circular saw, table saw, wood glue, hammer and nails.

Steps

You must first select a location where you want to put the recessed boxes right on the ceiling. You can then use a chalk or marker to mark a line on the ceiling. The measurement you can use is about 118 inches, coming 36-1/2″ from the wall that is lying parallel from the line you draw.

You should then make sure that you make an inspection hole by using a hammer. This inspection hole is used to monitor the electrical wires in the ceiling. When doing this, you will then measure the section on the ceiling, and then use the hammer to cut out a section within the measured part. After that, use the reciprocal saw to cut out the opening, and use the rafters as a guide. You should have another person in the attic to watch you as you cut; you want to avoid the possibility of cutting the electric cables and pipes by mistake. The rafters that you cut and remove can be saved for future use in other places in the house.

Place a frame at the ends of the two rafters. The centre plate is the one that will hold the load. The drywall should then be removed in order for you to complete the rough opening. This process should then also be done on the second beam.

A hammer can then be used, in some cases, to get rid of the cross beams, if this seems necessary to you. A double header can be placed right at the ends of the drywall so as to take care of the load that was supported by the beams that have been removed. An experienced electrician should then be brought in to install the cables for the new areas of the box.

Take the birch plywood and make measurements on it so as to fit for the boxes; the sizes of the plywood can then be cut with the use of a table saw. Make measurements and mark the sports where the lights will be installed in the new boxes. Use a cutting device to cut out the holes for the lights, a maximum of three holes in each box will do. Place the can lights right above the boxes. The boxes will be fitted inside the rafters of the ceiling.

You will then use nails and glue in the assembling of the ceiling boxes. Place the new boxes within the opening of the rough wall. The inside edges on the boxes should then be smoothed with sandpaper, making a circular pattern so as to get rid of any nicks in the wood. The finishing touches can then be brought out by painting both the ceiling and the boxes.

Well, that’s it; when the paint has dried completely, you can then fit the lights inside the recessed light boxes, and switch them on – you’re done.

By Chitawee Wongtapha

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recessed lighting

Whether you’re building a new home or renovating an old home, recessed lighting can be a key element in both the function and style of the space. It can highlight a single piece of art, a specific sitting area, or can be installed to light up a room the way chandelier lighting can’t. However, recessed lights may not be right for every space. In this article, we’ll share some basic tips on what to look for when considering this type of lighting.

There are three main types of lighting that come into play when you design any room or living area. Ambient lighting provides general illumination, task lighting serves a specific purpose, and accent lighting highlights chosen spaces. One of the most attractive things about recessed lights is that they can be used to address all of these lighting needs.

This option is also very energy efficient because most are low-voltage lighting, and in turn will use less electricity. Though recessed fixtures are most easily installed between ceiling joists, some are designed specifically for retrofit applications and can slip into an existing ceiling space through holes made to accommodate wiring. However, concrete ceilings, ceilings with ornate plaster or delicate molding details are not good candidates for this type of lighting. In these spaces, choose a crystal chandelier, mini chandeliers, hanging lamps, wall sconces or table lamps instead.

To get the maximum benefits of recessed lighting, space the light according to the needs of the space. For instance, if you are lighting a task area, such as a kitchen, then direct a group of closely placed lights toward the counter or kitchen light. If you want less illumination by a kitchen table or breakfast nook, then space the lights further apart and direct them toward the wall. You can also install dimmer lights to control the illumination. If you need a recessed light to accent a specific area or object such as a painting, then use a low wattage bulb and aim the light accordingly.

Unlike many other types of residential lighting, recessed ones can be used to create drama in your home. When lighting a three-dimensional object, such as a fireplace, sculpture or flower arrangement, it is more effective to light it from two or three different angles. Instead of boring cabinet lighting in your kitchen, install recessed light fixtures in the bottom of your cabinets. The light will wash your counter top with focused light. Be choosy when selecting the trim for your recessed lights. The trim makes a design statement and can help focus the light, as well as influence the quality and glare.

Recessed lighting is perfect for maximizing space and creating drama in your home. Besides being beautiful and functional, it can save you a lot of money in electrical costs. Before you install recessed lights yourself, speak to an experienced electrical salesperson or consider hiring an electrician so that the job is done right. That way you can relax and bask in the glow of perfectly placed recessed lights.

By Mike Selvon

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wall lighting

The use of outdoor wall sconces to provide light for brightening the dark hours has been a popular choice in outdoor lighting for many years. In fact, the sconce is the most popular choice in outdoor wall lighting and can be found in many different styles and colors to enhance every style of home.

Friends and family who arrive at the home after dark will notice the porch light or other outdoor light first. This initial impression should be one that reflects the home’s interior and exterior personality. Choosing the right wall sconce to use on an outdoor wall will help make this first impression a lasting one; it shows that even the minor details are carefully considered.

Manufacturers have created sconce designs in practically every type of material available. There are glass sconces that shine pure and bright like a lighthouse leading the wary traveler home and there are cast iron sconces reminiscent of days gone by. Wall sconces can be found in many shapes and styles from the whimsical firefly to the Victorian lamp with a natural flame for ambient light.

New construction or existing homes can benefit from the beauty and added touch of decor outdoor wall sconces can create. They can be installed in pairs flanking the doorway to highlight the entrance or alone to provide just enough light to see by.

The simple task of changing out old outdoor wall lighting with fresh new wall sconces is a small but effective way to freshen up the exterior of the home. Installing wall sconces is not a difficult task, particularly if there was already a light installed previously. However, if there is any doubt about the ability to install the lighting then an electrical contractor should be called.

Adding wall sconces for outdoor wall lighting is an easy way to light the way to the door and into the house. It is also an added security measure that homeowners would typically not be left without. Being able to see out into the dark gives an added sense of safety and creates a homely atmosphere at the same time.

By Sharon V Chapman

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recessed ceiling lighting

Equipment

Six recessed can lights, two 3/4-inch birch plywood sheets, each 4′x8′, paint (you can use Ace Sensations Ceiling White), skim coat, two ladders, tape measure, utility knife, reciprocal saw, blue chalk, chalk line, stud finder, pencil, sander, level, circular saw, table saw, wood glue, hammer and nails.

Steps

You must first select a location where you want to put the recessed boxes right on the ceiling. You can then use a chalk or marker to mark a line on the ceiling. The measurement you can use is about 118 inches, coming 36-1/2″ from the wall that is lying parallel from the line you draw.

You should then make sure that you make an inspection hole by using a hammer. This inspection hole is used to monitor the electrical wires in the ceiling. When doing this, you will then measure the section on the ceiling, and then use the hammer to cut out a section within the measured part. After that, use the reciprocal saw to cut out the opening, and use the rafters as a guide. You should have another person in the attic to watch you as you cut; you want to avoid the possibility of cutting the electric cables and pipes by mistake. The rafters that you cut and remove can be saved for future use in other places in the house.

Place a frame at the ends of the two rafters. The centre plate is the one that will hold the load. The drywall should then be removed in order for you to complete the rough opening. This process should then also be done on the second beam.

A hammer can then be used, in some cases, to get rid of the cross beams, if this seems necessary to you. A double header can be placed right at the ends of the drywall so as to take care of the load that was supported by the beams that have been removed. An experienced electrician should then be brought in to install the cables for the new areas of the box.

Take the birch plywood and make measurements on it so as to fit for the boxes; the sizes of the plywood can then be cut with the use of a table saw. Make measurements and mark the sports where the lights will be installed in the new boxes. Use a cutting device to cut out the holes for the lights, a maximum of three holes in each box will do. Place the can lights right above the boxes. The boxes will be fitted inside the rafters of the ceiling.

You will then use nails and glue in the assembling of the ceiling boxes. Place the new boxes within the opening of the rough wall. The inside edges on the boxes should then be smoothed with sandpaper, making a circular pattern so as to get rid of any nicks in the wood. The finishing touches can then be brought out by painting both the ceiling and the boxes.

Well, that’s it; when the paint has dried completely, you can then fit the lights inside the recessed light boxes, and switch them on – you’re done.

By Chitawee Wongtapha

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recessed lighting

One of the most important principles to understand when designing a recessed lighting layout is beam angle. In recessed cans, the light is produced in the shape of a cone. You picture the light starting as a point at the light fixture and forming a circle on the floor. The beam angle is the angle of this light out of the bulb. For example a 60-degree beam angle will produce a circle of light about 9 feet across on the floor if the fixture is 8 feet off the floor. See a
Diagram.

That is just one part of the formula. That circle of light we now have on the floor is not all the same intensity. About five and a half feet of that circle is good intense light while the remainder is spill over and diminishes as it gets further from the center. This is very important to understand. With this information, you can overlap the spill over light so that you end up with a nice even light pattern over the entire area you are trying to illuminate. Something to remember when you are planning this out is something called the work plane. This is an area about 30″ above the floor. It is an area where most tasks take place.

The work plane is important because as the distance between the light fixture and the surface to be lit decreases, so does that circle we spoke about. In a living room or den, designing the lighting plan so that we have even light on the floor is fine. In a kitchen though, this work plane becomes far more critical. This is why in a kitchen, keeping recessed lights about 4 feet apart, creates a pattern that is even on the work plane with the intense portion of the circle.

There are some other things besides the bulb and the can that shape the light pattern. The finish trim on recessed lights can vary the pattern of light. A wall washer creates a half cone that can be directed at a wall or fireplace. A pin spot trim can direct the light in a very narrow beam to light a small object.

This should give you a basic idea of what is involved when you undertake a recessed lighting layout. If you would like to learn more or have questions, please visit us at the links below.

(c) Copyright 2005 Paul Forte. All rights reserved.

By Paul Forte

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