Frequently Asked Questions

  1. WHAT IS THE BEST GENERAL LIGHTING FOR A KITCHEN?
  2. HOW DO I LIGHT MY DINING AREA?
  3. WHAT DO I DO ABOUT TASK AREAS SUCH AS ISLANDS, AREAS OVER THE SINK, AND COUNTER TOPS?
  4. WHAT IS THE BEST WAY TO LIGHT MY HALLWAY?
  5. WHAT IS A PHOTOCELL?
  6. WHAT ARE THE BENEFITS OF USING A PHOTOCELL?
  7. HOW FAR OFF THE FLOOR SHOULD A FLOOR LAMP OR TABLE LAMP BE?
  8. HOW MUCH LIGHT DO I NEED IN A ROOM?
  9. WHEN DO I USE A DIMMER SWITCH?

Answers...

  1. WHAT IS THE BEST GENERAL LIGHTING FOR A KITCHEN?

    Unfortunately, there aren’t any easy answers here, since so much is determined by the size of your kitchen area. Most people start with a 2-light or 4-light decorative fluorescent in the centre of the ceiling. It’s less costly, uses less energy and provides very good general light output

    A kitchen of 100 square feet or less can use a 2-light fluorescent; up to 250 square feet takes a 4-light fluorescent. Larger than 250 square feet will need the 4-light fluorescent plus additional lighting.

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  2. HOW DO I LIGHT MY DINING AREA?

    Normally, a decorative pendant (single light – since this is generally a smaller eating area) or a Chandelier with a down-light will do the job while providing plenty of light on the table surface. Use a dimmer to soften the light for mood dining when entertaining and to turn up higher for homework.

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  3. WHAT DO I DO ABOUT TASK AREAS SUCH AS ISLANDS, AREAS OVER THE SINK, AND COUNTER TOPS?

    Besides the general lighting guidelines in the above answers, these areas call for more concentrated lighting since they are normally work areas. Linear Lighting systems can provide solid, brighter light on work surfaces. Also, soffits above cabinets and other concealed locations add a warm, comfortable atmosphere to your kitchen. A decorative pendant with 2 or 3 shades (depending on the size of the island) can be installed over your island for sufficient light and to add a decorative element to that area.

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  4. WHAT IS THE BEST WAY TO LIGHT MY HALLWAY?

    There should be a light every 8-10 feet. Either flush mounts or semi-flush fixtures can be used depending on the ceiling height (once again, remember that the bottom of the light fixture should be at least 7 feet from the floor).

    If you have a long hallway, you may want to install wall lights for added light and beauty. The rule again is that wall lights are hung roughly 60” from the floor, spaced 6 -8 feet apart along the wall.

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  5. WHAT IS A PHOTOCELL?

    A Photocell is a light sensor that varies its resistance between its two light terminals based on the amount of light it receives.  In other words, it is a sensor – or an “eye” that detects light - which turns your outdoor fixture on when receiving less light (usually around dusk) and turns it off when receiving more light (usually around dawn).  Fixtures that come equipped with a Photocell are often referred to as “Dusk-to-Dawn” lights.

    Often times, you can combine a photocell with a timer allowing you the option of turning the fixtures off at a specific time. This is increasingly popular among landscape lighting systems. By using both a photocell and a timer, the system will turn on when the photocell detects dusk, and turn off based on the settings of your timer.

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  6. WHAT ARE THE BENEFITS OF USING A PHOTOCELL?

    By using fixtures equipped with a Photocell, you will save money and energy.  Fixtures which use a Photocell will turn on and off at the appropriate time without having to remember to flip a switch.

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  7. HOW FAR OFF THE FLOOR SHOULD A FLOOR LAMP OR TABLE LAMP BE?

    The bottom of the lampshade should be approximately 42 inches from the floor’s surface. Desk lamps should be 16 inches above the work surface and 13 inches from the front of a desk.

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  8. HOW MUCH LIGHT DO I NEED IN A ROOM?

    Believe it or not there is actually a proven formula for calculating the proper amount of general light (usually expressed as the number of watts) you should have in each room or area of your home and it’s not difficult, just some basic arithmetic. Multiply the length times the width of the room. Then, multiply that number times 1.5. That gives you the amount of wattage you need to light the room properly for general illumination.

    Example: A room is 12 ft. x 16 ft. (12 x 16 = 192). Then multiply 192 x 1.5 = 288 watts. That means an 8-light chandelier using 40-watt bulbs would give 320 watts, which is even more light than needed.

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  9. WHEN DO I USE A DIMMER SWITCH?

    Although dimmers can be used in every room, we put this question here, because the dining room will be the location of many varying activities.  For instance: An Intimate dinner party?  Dim the lights. Children working at the table or doing homework?  Bring up the wattage!

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