There’s nothing better than coming home and flipping a switch (or, better yet, easing up a dimmer switch) and seeing your treasured abode illuminated in a way that highlights its best features, yet still allows you to perform the tasks you need with ease.
We love great home lighting at A-Star for many reasons. First, it gives us the opportunity to make the best out of your personal spaces so that you can maximize your enjoyment of every room. Second, when we install your home lighting we can also check and make sure all of your circuits have been set up properly, and that your electrical panel is operating at its highest efficiency. And finally, lighting design is a way we get to be truly creative in our work, where we can work with our clients (you) on a personal level to discover exactly what you are trying to achieve with your way of life in your home.
Here are some of our favourite ways to light your space.
We believe chandeliers are largely underutilized in home lighting design. Gone are the days where they were merely hung over dining room tables and in entrance ways. We love to put them in living areas, bedrooms, and bathrooms. There are so many different kinds available, some to add class and romance, and others to create a sleek, contemporary feel. They should be hung to not generate too much of a shadow and at the appropriate height. Chandeliers weighing more than 50 pounds must be installed with an appropriate support system.
2. Track Lights
Track lights have come a long way since the ‘80s and ‘90s. Now they come in interesting shapes and sizes above and beyond a simple straight line – spirals, curves and zigzags. They can adjust to light dark and hard-to-reach corners, working well as task lighting. They also come with low-voltage options, giving you the option to add a low-voltage transformer to reduce the power needed to run the lights from 120 volts to a mere 12 volts. Track lights work best in kitchens, offices, workshops, hallways, bedrooms, and to accent artwork.
3. Pendant Lights
It’s important to choose the right size of pendant light, and to hang it at the right height. Typically, pendant lights range from 5 to 45 inches wide, and are hung over tables and countertops at heights of from 24 to 30 inches. They shouldn’t be hung so low they block the view of people sitting at the table or countertop and that people run into them. Pendant lights come in a variety of finishes and styles to fit in any décor.
4. Recessed Lighting
Low-key and understated, recessed lights are flush-mounted, so they are great for rooms with low ceilings. They can be used in bathrooms, kitchens, living rooms, or offices, and come in a number of different styles, including baffle trim, reflector trim, open trim, eyeball trim, gimbal trim, pinhole trim, wall-wash trim, and shower trim. They should not be placed too close together – the general rule is pot lights four inches in diameter should be placed at least four feet apart. Recessed lights can be placed directly in front of objects you wish to illuminate, such as artwork and bookshelves, for example, or also be used as task lighting.
5. Wall Sconces
Wall sconces are great for offering the versatility of lamps, but they do not take up any floor or surface space and are conveniently wired directly in to your home’s electrical system. They can be mounted with shades pointed up to provide mood or ambient light, or with the shades pointed down to provide task lighting. We love them for living rooms and bedrooms.
Add Dimmer Switches to Increase the Versatility of Your Lighting
Dimmer switches are great for not only providing additional options for your lighting, but also for helping to reduce your electricity use. At different times you may want different types of lighting – task lighting during the day for work and chores, ambient lighting to fill in the shadows as the sun moves through the sky, and ambient lighting at night to create ambience. You can mix up your types of lighting and their intensity with dimmer switches wired directly to the lighting zones in your home.
Remember, if your dimmer switch or other switchplates get hot or make a humming noise, it’s time to call in a certified electrician to look at your connections.
Always Go With LED
The benefits of LED lighting are myriad, including longer life (approximately 60,000 hours of use), far less energy use than incandescent bulbs, and the ability to operate outdoors in all kinds of weather. For whatever type of lighting fixture you purchase, ensure it holds an LED bulb.
Contact A-Star for Your Home Lighting Needs
A-Star Electric of Calgary knows all the lighting design tips and tricks needed to make your home a special place. We believe in making homes beautiful and functional. Maximize the benefits of your lighting fixture choices with A-Star.