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Bright Ideas in Lighting

  ighting is an amazing thing. It has the subtle power to make small rooms look open and airy, or large rooms appear cozy and inviting. It’s especially important in log homes.In conventional construction, drywall reflects light, but in log construction, the wood in the walls and ceilings absorbs light. That means it takes much […]

 Bright Ideas Headline

Drop Cap- Lighting is an amazing thing. It has the subtle power to make small rooms look open and airy, or large rooms appear cozy and inviting. It’s especially important in log homes.

In conventional construction, drywall reflects light, but in log construction, the wood in the walls and ceilings absorbs light. That means it takes much more light to illuminate a log home. Add vaulted ceilings and a log home needs far more lumens than a conventional home does.

Dick Idol shed antler chandelierThese spaces will also have to work for you as you age. After 60, you need three times the amount of light to accomplish the same tasks as you needed at age 19.
One of the most common mistakes many log home buyers make is under-budgeting for lighting needs. This is an oversight that can be easily avoided with some advance planning.

There are no universal rules for lighting costs. The materials that help or hinder the reflection of light in your home will influence the number of fixtures you need. These include room sizes, cabinetry color and flooring, and any non-log wall treatments. Fixture quality and installation costs will also affect the total price.

If you’re on a budget, focus on wiring your home generously for a variety of fixtures. Because fixtures are easy to replace, you can use less expensive products until you can afford to upgrade to more artistic and custom illumination.

Lighting Basics
There are three basic types of lighting—general, task and accent&3151;and your home should include all three.

Progress Lighting P3201-33General lighting takes the place of sunlight, enabling you to see and move about safely. Task lighting helps you perform specific tasks, such as cooking or reading. Accent lighting adds drama to a home by directing eyes toward a specific area.

Light Sources
Ceiling fixtures are practical for general lighting in busy areas. Wall-mounted fixtures can furnish general, task and accent lighting.

Chandeliers can be used in foyers, bedrooms or over a living room grouping and provide a great source of general lighting. Track lighting, once considered as tacky as green shag carpeting, has advanced light years in appeal and convenience, and it’s still a good source of general lighting, as is recessed lighting when employed in ceilings or under eaves.

Cherry Tree Design MeridianPendants suspended from the ceiling can be used for task lighting—particularly useful over kitchen islands. In the bathroom, lighting strips above sinks or by the sides of mirrors supply task lighting for grooming. There are also small specialty lamps, such as clip-on lights, adjustable task lights and mini-reflector spotlights.

Don’t forget floor or table lamps. They have their place, too. Not only do they supply ample reading light near chairs or bedsides; they are portable, allowing you to move them or group them as needed.

Exterior Lighting
Exterior lighting is needed for both aesthetic and safety reasons. For safety, illuminate steps, paths and driveways to prevent after-dark mishaps. Low-voltage lights installed under handrails, stairs and around decks increase the ambiance of outdoor entertaining. You can draw attention to key architectural features, such as an entryway or gable, or highlight the natural features of the landscaping.

Evergreen Studios 916 Van ErpControls
Lighting control has moved beyond on/off switches. You can now program a variety of lighting scenarios for each room and recall them instantly with a touch of a button from a hand-held remote. Dimmers also are controlled with touch, slide or rotary switches. Other controls include timers, photo sensors and motion detectors.

When planning your lighting system, look at the activities that occur in each room, the atmosphere you want to create and the decorative elements you wish to emphasize. Some lighting suppliers have engineers on staff to assist you with developing a strategy for your particular floorplan.


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  1. Bulb-type is another factor worth mentioning. LED lighting is an option which log home buyers should consider. Although LED bulbs are still relatively expensive, there are several facts which make them worth consideration. First of all, they last for 25,000 to 50,000 hours, an important consideration for hard-to-reach ceiling accent lighting in particular. Second, they are very inexpensive to operate–cheaper than comparable incandescents, halogens, or CFLs–and will more than pay for themselves over their useful life in electricity cost savings alone. Third, they are environmentally friendly, particularly relative to CFLs, as they contain no mercury or other hazardous materials. Fourth, they light instantaneously at full strength, unlike CFLs which take a while to warm up when temperatures are low. Fifth, they are more durable since they don’t contain easily breakable filaments. Sixth, their operation is cool and doesn’t generate the heat that halogens or incandescents do. LEDs are suitable for both indoor and outdoor applications. And LEDs are now available in a variety of light colors (warmth), i.e., with colors comparable to either CFLs or incandescent bulbs and in a variety of shapes and sizes to fit either standard-base or specialty-base fixtures. Unlike halogens, LEDs do not require the use of voltage transformers, and accordingly can withstand variations in power supplies more effectively. And many LEDs are dimable as well. The box stores have a good, and increasing, variety of LEDs available. Good hardware stores are stocking more and more LEDs as well. Interested in a testimonial? We installed LEDs throughout our log home prior to move-in, and we continue to replace the few remaining incandescent and CFL bulbs in the table and floor lamps that we brought with us

    Bill DoodyOctober 16, 2014 @ 8:02 pmReply

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