Your outdoor space should be lit by a bright light. A bright white light mimics daytime lighting, perfect for dark nights or for security purposes.
1. Incandescent light bulbs 2. Compact fluorescent lamps (CFLs) 3. Light-emitting diodes (LEDs)
However, Cook suggests a layered lighting approach in this space too. For those times when a soak in the bath will help you unwind, warm lighting would be ideal, so use layered lighting in this space too.
“First, you want to ask yourself, ‘What is the purpose of this room?’” says Jackie Graniczny, designer for Chicago-area homebuilder Sublime Homes. “You’ll also want to determine how big the room will be and if the lighting will be for utility or for more decorative purposes.”
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Owner’s Suite and Other Bedrooms Because the bedroom is utilized at different times of the day, Cook suggests layering the lighting in this space. That is, you’ll want different lighting in the morning than the lighting you use when it’s time to call it a night.
Study, Outdoor Spaces You’ll want to accomplish a lot in a study or office, so cool light will serve you best. Again, cool light is stimulating, so it will help keep you on track as you finish up important work, pay bills or even read a book. Using lamps with warm lighting will help you relax when you just need a quite space before bedtime.
1. Incandescent Light Bulbs We mentioned that older, less-efficient incandescent light bulbs are no longer in production. You’ll still see that familiar bulb shape at stores, though, and these light bulbs must be around 25 percent more efficient than traditional light bulbs.
Newer incandescent bulbs are available at 43 watts, 72 watts, 150 watts, as a three-way incandescent light bulb or as an incandescent halogen light bulb (they come in 43- and 72-watts too), which uses halogen gas for better efficiency.While these bulbs tend to be cheaper than other available bulbs, they are less efficient than the type of bulbs mentioned below.2. CFLs (Compact Fluorescent Lights) You’d probably recognize them as the squiggly bulbs. Known as CFLs, these squiggly-shaped bulbs work by driving electricity through an argon-and-mercury-vapor-filled tube. The process uses around 70 percent less energy than incandescent bulbs. According to Energy Star, “Only use bulbs labeled as three-way on three-way sockets.”Though an efficient light bulb, some drawbacks of CFLs are that these bulbs use mercury, making them difficult to dispose of (be careful when cleaning up a broken CFL bulb and don’t throw them in the trash when they are spent!), and they take just a smidge longer than other bulbs to reach full brightness.3. LEDs (light-emitting diodes) Many homebuilders recommend using LED light bulbs, which produce light when electricity runs through a microchip, which illuminates tiny light sources. LED bulbs are about 90 percent more efficient than incandescent bulbs.“LED bulbs generate less heat and use (less) energy than incandescent bulbs,” says Mark Funk, vice president of Phoenix-area Bellago Homes. “We use LED bulbs in most lighting applications in our new homes now.”While Funk says LEDs are by far the most efficient bulb he has come across, Bellago Homes does sometimes use incandescent or halogen bulbs in kitchen or dining areas because some fixtures and most pendants do not currently work well with LEDs.He adds that there has been a lot of progress, as the cost of LEDs has gone down over time and there are now more shapes and types available.While LED bulbs are often more expensive than incandescent bulbs, LEDs are more efficient and last longer. That means you’ll have to change LED bulbs fewer times than incandescent or CFL bulbs — LED bulbs are supposed to have a lifespan of a decade or longer.
Turns out those traditional light bulbs that we are used to actually aren’t all that efficient. While not banned outright, 40-watt and 60-watt incandescent light bulbs have been phased out for more efficient light bulbs. The United States mandated that inefficient incandescent bulbs were be phased out by 2014.
So, what lighting works best in each room? Below are suggestions from Graniczny and Cook, but first let’s talk about cool, warm and bright lighting and how that will figure into your lighting design plan. (Quick note: cool and warm are terms to describe color temperature and are measured in Kelvins; color temperature does mean the actual temperature of a light.)
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It’s a small, yet important feature that you may have forgotten in the planning of your new home: the lighting. And more specifically, light bulbs. Sure, you’ve chosen decorative pendant lamps for over your kitchen island, but what light bulbs will be used in them? Just like other features in your home, you can choose which types of light bulbs will light the way. Be sure to ask your builder which types of light bulbs come standard with your home and which bulbs are the best options for your new home.
The wrong kind of lighting can create an unpleasant environment, or worse, says interior designer Mary Cook, of Chicago-based Mary Cook Associates and author of The Art of Space. “Lighting is so critical,” she says. “It really is a big deal.”
Incandescent, CFL or LED lighting for your new home? The benefits of LED lighting over the other two can make it the best choice for your new home’s lighting fixtures.
Bathrooms “In rooms like the bathroom, where someone is applying makeup, we make sure they have amazing lighting,” Graniczny says. So, that means using cool or bright lighting in this space. First, this type of lighting will help wake you in the morning. Second, this type of light mimics outdoor light, so you’ll have a more accurate view on what you’ll look like in sunlight.
Cool Light: This light has blue tones to it and is stimulating. Best for kitchens, bathrooms, work spaces and the outdoors. Warm Light: This light has red tones to it and gives off a soothing, relaxing feel.
Best for bedrooms, bathrooms and gathering spaces, such as a family or living room. Bright Light: This light gives off white light, like daylight at noon. Also comes in soft white (soft yellowish light), cool white (soft white light) and daylight (bluish white light).
Best for bathrooms, kitchens, basements or for task or accent lighting.
Home Theater Want your home theater experience to mirror that of a regular theater? Aside from the screen (if you really want to take it to the next level, you’ll choose a screen with a light rejection surface), seating and room color (keep it simple and make sure the paint is matte or flat) you should ace the lighting, too.
The higher the Kelvin temperature, the cooler (blue) the light will be. The lower the Kelvin temperature, the warmer (yellow) the light will be. Bright (or white) light is in the middle range of the Kelvin scale, around 4,000 Kelvin to 6,000 Kelvin.
“People get hung up on price and they’re not thinking about energy efficiency and saving money in the long run,” says Jackie Graniczny, Sublime Homes’ designer. “But, once we point out to them that LED lights save them money and time, especially when it comes to fixtures that are installed high, they understand that LED bulbs don’t have the same home maintenance required of less-efficient bulbs.”
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Lighting is not a one-size-fits-all solution for every space of your new home. Before you get any bright ideas, it’s important to consider what lighting works best in each room.
Because kitchens in most new homes are a part of an open floor plan, lighting can be tricky. “You’ll want task lighting for chopping and cooking, and you’ll probably have warm lighting from the pendants, but you want to make sure the color of the lighting in the kitchen is complimentary,” says Cook. “To handle lighting in the kitchen, we do layered lighting. Make sure you match the lighting colors.” For pendants lights over a kitchen island, for example, use cool white light to match task lighting.
These are a few light bulb options you have to keep your home well lit — we’ll discuss the differences later in the article:
Kitchen They call the kitchen the workhorse of the home, so you’ll need a variety of lighting in this space, says Cook. Ideally, you’ll want to use cool lighting in the kitchen, since you’ll be doing a variety of tasks.
No matter the lighting you use around your home, both Cook and Graniczny suggest using LED bulbs, as they are energy efficient and save money in the long run. LED bulbs also come in a variety of forms, ensuring use in different lighting fixtures around your home.
Graniczny also mentioned that more buyers are requesting smart light bulbs for their new homes these days. Smart light bulbs — which are typically LED bulbs — can be controlled via smartphone, which means you can turn on your lights before you even get home.
You’ll want warm lighting in this space. Maybe you want it pitch black, except for the screen lighting, when viewing movies, but like theaters, warm accent lighting will lead the way should you need to get up for a popcorn refill or a restroom break. Accent lighting or wall sconces with warm lighting will provide just the right glow to prevent glare on the screen.
“Exposure to natural sunlight is a great way to start your day,” Cook says, so simply open those curtains or shades when you wake. For the evening, use warm lights to help you unwind and prepare for sleep.
Your new home is almost ready for the finishing touches and you are counting down the days till you move in. But, have you considered how you’ll light up your new space?
When building your dream home, have you considered using LED lighting, including built-in LED fixtures or LED bulbs in traditional fixtures?What’s the deal with LED lighting?In years past, homeowners have been reluctant to use LED (light-emitting diode) lighting for three main reasons: LED lighting is too white LED bulbs cost too much You can’t use LED bulbs in traditional fixtures When LED lighting for homes first became available, they were considered to be too white by many users.
And, the bulbs did cost much more than traditional incandescent bulbs or compact fluorescent (CFL) bulbs. There was also no way to use LED bulbs in older, traditional fixtures. As with most things, the technology of LED lighting has changed tremendously.
Now, LED lighting not only gives off the same lighting density as incandescent bulbs and, in some cases, you can change the very color of the light right from your phone. The cost of the LED bulbs has dropped 90 percent since 2008 and LED bulbs now come with the same mechanism as traditional bulbs, so they can be used in any light fixture.
How is LED lighting different from traditional bulbs or CFLs?Traditional Incandescent Light BulbsTraditional incandescent light bulbs are the least expensive bulbs to buy. They produce light through two filaments and are on the instant electricity hits the base; the way they are made and produce light has not changed fundamentally since Thomas Edison created the first one.
Incandescent bulbs last approximately 1,000 hours. They give off heat and are very energy inefficient. When they burn out, they can simply be tossed into the trash (carefully, though, because they can break easily).
Compact Fluorescent Bulbs (CFLs)Compact fluorescent bulbs are made with a mercury switch that needs to heat up before it produces light. They are more energy efficient than incandescent bulbs, but the light can be harsh.
CFL bulbs are made with bases that fit into traditional lighting fixtures and they produce much less heat than traditional bulbs. The typical CFL bulb can last up to 8,000 hours.One note on CFL bulbs: Several years ago, before LED lighting became more prevalent, everyone was switching to CFLs.
Then came the realization that CFL bulbs were as hazardous as traditional fluorescent bulbs and that they cannot be disposed of in the trash; they are considered hazardous waste.Manufacturing of CFLs also costs more, as hazardous waste precautions need to be made here as well.
Today, CFL manufacturing is trailing off, with General Electric, one of the largest manufacturers of CFL bulbs, phasing out the production of CFL bulbs and major sellers, such as Home Depot and Wal-Mart, phasing out their stock of CFLs in favor of LED bulbs.
LED BulbsLED bulbs, however, are based on an electronic switch. They are instant-on and produce no heat. As mentioned, the light effects can be changed, depending on the mood and use. They last up to 25,000 hours are the most energy efficient of the types of bulbs discussed, produce no heat and can be disposed of in the trash.
This will help you get a better picture of how each of the bulbs stacks up:Benefits of LED LightingWith CFLs being phased out, and incandescent bulbs being inefficient and costly, it makes sense to look at adding LED lighting to your new-home design.
Some of the benefits of using LED fixtures include: Energy efficient 100-percent recyclable Fabrics and paint won’t fade from their use Easily controlled through third-party apps LED ceiling fixtures are safer, as insulation can be placed right over them, because LED bulbs and fixtures produce no heat Energy-Star certified LED lighting is the wave of the future in lighting, with even more changes coming along.
Current projects for newer LED lighting include OLED (organic LED) lights. Made from organic materials that allow for even more flexibility, one OLED application is being used to light hospital rooms.
OLED panels are placed above patient beds and can be adjusted for minimal-glare overnight lighting that does not disturb sleeping patients.While you’re choosing the best options for your new home – right after the countertops and carpet – choose LED lighting fixtures right from the start.
You will be amazed at the result.
Another benefit to smart light bulbs, Graniczny says, is that some brands allow homeowners to control the lighting color. That means you can change the color of the same light bulb to meet different needs, say from bluer morning lighting to a softer glow in the evening.