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Lighting Options for Your Home
Selecting lighting options for your home these days can be overwhelming as there are more choices and varieties than one can imagine. You can find lights to achieve any look that your imagination can dream up.
If you have an older home your options may be slightly limited as the wiring may be old and not be quite as sophisticated as wiring in newer homes. Getting familiar with the quality of your home's wiring as well as with local electrical codes will help you tremendously when shopping for lighting.
For older homes it's recommended to have a contractor come out for a consultation to help you decide if you should replace an older wiring system. Find out what your existing electrical system can handle capacity-wise prior to making lighting decisions. You may also be able to save on electrical costs over time by installing a new and more energy-efficient system.
Modern compact fluorescent lights can produce a somewhat natural light with up to 30% efficiency increases over incandescent bulbs. These compact lights come in a ton of wattages, sizes, shapes, and colors.
The latest in light design are LED lamps. These lights are made from arrays of tiny light emitting diodes. LED lighting solutions are usually quite expensive but produce far less heat, last a tremendously long time, and will provide huge savings in electric costs. Some LED lamps are rated to last 35 years, with more common lifetimes coming in around 6-7 years.
If you have a penchant for high-tech you may wish to consider concrete with embedded fiber optic fibers. These blocks provide a unique look when backlit, providing various colors and effects.
When designing an effective lighting system you need to consider what room you are designing for and your specific lighting needs. Bathrooms generally are brighter than bedrooms to be suitable for shaving and makeup application. Living rooms often have a more dynamic lighting profile including both intense and soft lighting.
Objects appear the way that they do in part due to what's called lighting temperature. This measurement, in Kelvin units, is used to measure how close lights are to natural sun light. Lights that appear artificial and unnatural often have lower "color temperatures". A northern sky in clear conditions near noon time will be somewhere around 7,000 to 8,000 Kelvins; the average florescent bulb weighs in at 4,000 Kelvins, while a regular old incandescent at about 2,800 Kelvins.
More modern light types will give you an appearance closer to that of natural light. Keep this in mind when deciding which type of lamps to purchase. If you wish for a softer lighting scheme consider recessed lighting options or lights that have lower color temperatures.