Good lighting is pivotal for making any home or business warm and welcoming, as well as efficient and functional. As residential and commercial electricians in Calgary, we do a lot more than help business and homeowners with wiring and electrical panel upgrades. Lighting design is a major part of our business, and we enjoy using our knowledge to provide as many different options as possible.
Of course, we always recommend LED lighting for all lamps and fixtures. It’s really a no-brainer. Not only do LED bulbs last about 40 times longer than incandescent bulbs, they also use up to 90% less power. LEDs do not get nearly as hot as incandescent bulbs, making them much safer, and are also 100% recyclable, so they can be placed in Calgary blue boxes once they have burnt out.
Layering for Good Lighting Design
There are three different ways of using lighting to set the mood:
Ambient Lighting: Including ceiling fixtures, chandeliers and pot lights, ambient lighting provides the main overhead lighting for a room. It also means natural light, which we like to work with as much as possible.
Task Lighting: This is lighting focused directly on areas where activities are carried out, such as directly over top of a desk, counter lights for the kitchen, and a reading lamp next to a favourite chair. Good task lighting requires paying attention to contrast as well as illumination. Poorly positioned task lighting can actually make it harder to see.
Accent Lighting: Accent lighting is mainly for decorative purposes and adds visual interest to rooms. Common types include lamps, torch lights, wall sconces, and track lighting. Accent lighting is often used to bring attention to artwork or fine pieces of furniture.
Lighting a room well requires layering ambient, task and accent lighting. How we employ each is dependent on how the room will be used.
Tips for Lighting a Living Space
Properly lighting your living space will tie everything together. Done well, good lighting will highlight your choices of furniture and décor, bring out the colour of your walls and make it easy to do everything you want in the room – from reading a book to entertaining to watching a horror movie on your entertainment system.
Ideally, lighting should be designed at the same time as the room. That’s why we love to come in when renovations are being carried out. We can help you choose the most attractive and versatile lighting fixtures, the best placement for outlets and where to put your home entertainment system. We can also check your wiring and electrical panel to see if you should consider an upgrade.
Once again, layering light provides the most options. We recommend dimmers for all types of lights, not only to provide versatility and ambience, but also to help keep your electricity bills low. Overhead recessed lighting can be “zoned” to fill certain areas of the room separately, for example, one zone can light your seating area while another can light your dining table. Recessed lighting combined with a couple hanging chandeliers or pendants can work well in concert with each other.
Table and floor lamps are great for task lighting, and can add visual interest to a room. And we can wire for ambient lighting fixtures for walls, shelves, and cabinets to showcase your art and collections while also bringing warmth to the room.
Tips for Lighting an Office Space
It’s been proven that proper lighting can make an office space more attractive, more productive and employees happier and healthier. Research says employees of companies with high standards of office design are up to 36% more productive. And most workers – 91% – reported that a combination of types of lighting made their workspaces more comfortable.
Take advantage of any natural light you may have access to. It is recommended that at least 3% of office light come from windows. Natural light is also much better for our eyes.
- Use overhead lighting as fill lighting. Although it shouldn’t be the only source of light, it does play an important role by lighting difficult-to-reach areas.
- Desk lamps – or your task lighting – are best when they come with an adjustable arm so you can raise or lower them to directly illuminate the job at hand.
- Finally, finish off with ambient lighting. These can help soften the harsh light that comes from overhead and task lighting, and also add warmth. Some come with coloured filters or the ability to change hues to suit your every need and mood.
Updating Your Outlets Can Further Streamline a Room
There are lots of different types of outlets available now that can camouflage power cords and plug-ins especially well. Updating your outlets can also help you save on your energy bill by making your living and working spaces more functional and efficient. Recessed outlets are great for living spaces, as they are designed to sit further back so that plugs aren’t sticking out awkwardly. They make it easy to push furniture such as desks, couches and shelves directly against the wall. Floor boxes are practically essential for office spaces. They can be placed in convenient locations throughout a room so you can plug in computers and lamps wherever you like. Floor boxes come in a number of different colours to match your décor – brass, nickel-plated, black, even faux wood – and are sleek and unobtrusive. We can also place outlets high up on the wall to hang televisions and monitors easily for both work and recreation.
Contact Us at A-Star Electric of Calgary
We at A-Star Electric are certified journeyman or apprentice electricians who believe what we do can improve other people’s lives. Your home or business’s electrical system is integral to day-to-day life and work, and we believe in making sure your panel and wiring run as efficiently and conveniently as possible, and your lighting is both functional and beautiful. Since we began operations in 2010 we have completed numerous of residential and commercial jobs, and are proud to have earned a solid 5-star rating from the Better Business Bureau of Calgary. Contact us today!