Applications and General Lighting Questions

How can I get more light in my space?

You might not need more light; it may be that you just need the right light for the task at hand. Start by breaking down and evaluating the layers of light in your space; there are three basic layers.

Let’s take a closer look at these layers of light.

General Lighting, otherwise known as ambient lighting, provides a comfortable level of brightness for one to see and walk about safely. General lighting replaces sunlight and is fundamental to a lighting plan. Ceiling or wall mounted light fixtures, pendants and recessed downlights are typically what provides general lighting in the space.

Task Lighting helps one perform a specific task such as reading, cooking, homework, games and hobbies. Task lighting should be free of distracting glare and shadows and should be bright enough to prevent eyestrain. Portable lights, pendants or directional lighting fixtures can provide task lighting.

Accent Lighting adds drama to a room by creating visual interest. Highlighting artwork, prized possessions or wall textures draws the eye to these areas. Accent lighting requires at least three times as much light on the focal point as the general lighting around it. Adjustable track heads, recessed wall-washers or wall mounted light fixtures typically provide this type of lighting.

Can I put a higher wattage light bulb in my fixture?

Never exceed the maximum wattage the fixture is labeled for. Exceeding the maximum wattage can cause the fixture to overheat; which could result in a dangerous situation. Instead try using a light bulb that gives you more lumens per watt; an added advantage – they usually last longer too.

What about lighting in my closet?

For safety reasons most jurisdictions will require that you use LED or fluorescent. It is best to check the codes in your local area. Also, most codes require the use of lensed fixtures. These codes apply to: closets, utilities, garages and basements with low ceilings.

What is a good choice for a vanity light?

Good question without a definitive answer; this one is a matter of personal preference. Lighting from either side of a mirror will eliminate shadows and put the best light on the task (your face). Linear fixtures offer even illumination and many can be customized to match the length of your mirror. Some LED vanity lights give you the option of changing the Kelvin color temperature; from 2000K to 4000K. Another good solution is to mix it up, try a linear vanity above the mirror with pendants hanging on each side. Switch them separately and put them on dimmers.

Can I hang a chandelier over my bathtub?

Maybe, if your ceilings are very high. It is best to check the codes in your local area. Generally speaking the answer is – No. Electrical apparatuses cannot be installed where someone can reach them while touching water. Your chandelier will most likely have to hang in the middle of the room.