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FAQ Lighting

Why is it beneficial for my home to use LED Lights?
The main reason for using LED lights is that they’re environmentally friendly since they do not contain mercury or any other toxic or hazardous materials. Additional benefits:

  • High Efficiency – LED lights consume up to 90% less power than conventional light bulbs. LED bulbs burn very cool, consuming energy for light instead of heat. Conversely, incandescent bulbs emit 98 per cent of their energy as heat!
  • Durability – LED lights have no fragile filaments or tubes; they are resistant to heat, cold, and shock. Average longevity of LED lights exceeds 10 years.
  • Cost Savings – since LED lights don’t have to be replaced for years, this contributes to substantial cost savings on bulb replacement. Additionally, LED bulbs consumer much less energy yielding significant savings in electricity bills.
  • Quality – LED lights offer better light without buzzing or flickering.


What’s the best wattage for reading, working and applying makeup?

  • Reading
    Use a 40 to 60 watt bulb. To prevent shadows, the lamp should be between your head and the page. A lamp with an opaqe shade, like a metal reading lamp, cuts glare.
  • Working at a computer
    To prevent eye fatigue, keep the light in the room no brighter than the screen. Sixty watts in a desk lamp, supplemented by soft, ambient light (from outside or overhead) will do the trick.
  • Putting on makeup
    You’ll need 60 to 80 watts of light. So a 40 watt bulb in each of a pair of sconces or three to four 25 watt bulbs above the vanity work well. Add the overhead if you need more.


Which bulbs should I use?
Here are four bulbs that interior designers swear by.

  • Silver bowl
    A metallic finish on the top half of the bulb softens the light. A great solution for overheads with exposed bulbs, especially if there isn’t a dimmer.
  • Soft pink
    Emits a gorgeous rosy glow. Perfect for mood lighting in the living room, the dining room, or the bedroom.
  • Round candelabra
    Try these in a modern chandelier. Or, for a surprise, swap them in for the flame-shaped bulbs in a traditional chandelier.
  • Edison
    Inspired by Thomas Edison’s original design, it has a visible filament and rustic glow. Pricey and low-wattage, it’s worthwhile only in lamps where the bulb is exposed.


What’s the deal with dimmers?
They are your best option when it comes to illumination, because they let you effortlessly adjust the feel of the room for mood or activity. Changing from switches to dimmers is a quick job for one of our electricians. Please note that dimmers are not just for overheads. You can put a lamp on a dimmer or even opt to have the whole room’s “lights cape” – ceiling, table, and floor lamps – all on a single dimmer switch. Dimmers also save energy and extend the lives of bulbs.

Most dimmers cycle the light on and off 120 times per second – faster than your eye can detect. The longer the light is ON versus OFF, the brighter the light output. Likewise, the longer the light is OFF versus ON, the lower the light output and the greater the energy savings. Dimming the light by just 10 percent more than doubles the life of the bulb.

What is the advantage of a halogen bulb?
Halogen light bulbs use about 20 to 30 percent less electricity as compared to incandescent light bulbs. Halogen bulbs turn on instantly and are fully dimmable, which makes them adaptable to use with standard dimmer switches. They provide brighter, cleaner light. Halogen light bulbs are environmentally safe as they don’t contain any mercury. However, halogen bulbs get very hot and should not be placed near draperies, bedding, clothing and hanging plants, which increases the risk of fire.

If a light switch were wired wrong would it simply not work?
Depending on how hot it is wrongly wired, it might appear to work or appear not to work. There is a severe risk of electrocution whenever switches are incorrectly wired. One of our licensed electricians will be able to check it and rewire it properly.

What kind of lighting does each room need?
There are two rules of thumb: You should have a mix of light sources at different levels to create a flattering ambiance, and you need appropriate task lighting for whatever you do in that space (reading, sautéing, getting dressed). Below are tips for five key areas. Just click on area of your interest.

  • Living Room
    Light three of the four corners, focusing one of those lights on an object (art, a plant, a striking chair). Use a combination of table lamps and floor lamps, some with a downward glow and some that shine upward to illuminate and brighten up a room.
  • Dining Room
    To draw people in, make the table the brightest spot in the room. Use a chandelier or a pendant above the table, limiting the total wattage to 100. Elsewhere in the room, indirect lighting is best – it’s relaxing and flattering. Give the space a subtle glow with a pair of small table lamps on a sideboard or matching sconces on the wall above.
  • Kitchen
    Focus on overhead lighting (on a dimmer that you can crank up when cooking), and add lower sources to illuminate work surfaces. Use pendants, under cabinet lights, or a study table lamp (kept away from the sink).
  • Bedroom
    Aim for a cozy insular atmosphere: Place reading lamps or sconces by the bed – but not pointed directly at it. If you have recessed or track fixtures, angle them away from the bed, toward the dressing area. On a low table, include a small, intimate lamp with a tinted low-wattage bulb to mimic candlelight.
  • Bathroom
    The best choice for applying makeup is sidelights, such as a pair of sconces flanking the mirror. An overhead light helps fill in any shadows on your face and also fully illuminates the room (important when cleaning). In a large space, you might also want a light directly over the shower.


What are my overhead options?

  • Flush-mount
    Fixtures like these hug the sealing. In a bathroom or a kitchen, their bright, whole-room illumination is useful; elsewhere they can be harsh. Calm one down by swapping in low-wattage bulbs, aiming for a total wattage of about 60.
  • Semiflush
    These lights hang down a foot or so from the ceiling. Generally more charming than standard flush-mounts, they have a bit of the glamour of pendants, but are short enough for head clearance in most spaces.
  • Pendant
    The term applies to any fixture suspended from a chain or a cord, including chandeliers. Best over tables and counters or in rooms with ceilings nine feet or higher. Add up the length and width of the room in feet and use the same number in inches for your fixture’s diameter.


How high/low/big/small should lights be?
We’re compiled few of our recommendations. Obviously, it’s all a matter of personal preference and settings should be adjusted accordingly. Below we highlight few areas and provide our input on particular specifications.

  • Bedside lamps
    When you lie down in bed to read, you want the bottom of the shade to be a little below your line of sight, or about 16 to 18 inches from the top of the mattress.A table lamp that’s 26 to 28 inches tall (base and shade together) usually works well.
  • Kitchen pendants
    They should clear the head of the tallest family member and not obstruct views – figure 36 to 48 inches from the top of the counter. Start the row of lights 12 to 15 inches from either end of the island or table, and space them evenly within that span.
  • Dining-room chandelier
    Go for a fixture one-half to three-quarters with width of the table; anything larger will cast shadows on faces. Hang the light 36 to 48 inches above the table. Choose the lower number for more intimacy, the higher one if you want to stand when toasting.
  • Bathroom sconces
    Mount sconces on either side of the mirror (36 to 40 inches apart is ideal) to cast even illumination across the face. Position the fixtures so the bottom edges of the shades are a little below eye level, or approximately 60 to 65 inches from the floor.


How long does a fluorescent bulb last?
Compact Fluorescent Lights (CFL) are intended to last for up to 10,000 hours, which is almost 10 times longer than incandescent lights. A fluorescent bulb produces less heat - approximately 70% of electricity that fluorescent bulb consumes is used to generate light and only about 30% is used to generate heat. For that reason, CFLs are much more efficient and are cheaper to operate in long run while at the same time they are environmentally friendly.

One disadvantage of the fluorescent lights is that they produce less light in their later lives, it’s estimated that “economic life” of a fluorescent lamp is only about 60 percent that of its actual burn time. The lamp grows dimmer and loses color. However, even in spite of this fact, as electricity costs continue to rise, the savings of using fluorescent lights as opposed to incandescent will grow accordingly.

How many outlets should I have in each room?
You need to have an outlet every six feet. This is common for living rooms, bedrooms and dining rooms. Outlets in these areas should be placed 18 inches from the floor. In the kitchen and bathroom, a few additional outlets will be needed for the appliances.

Where should I install smoke detectors?
A smoke detector should be placed on every level of your home, including the basement. It is also important to install a smoke detector within 15 feet of sleeping areas. Wall mounted units should be placed within 4”-12” from the ceiling. For ceiling units, they should be mounted at least 4” from nearest wall. Be sure to include a smoke detector on a wall near dryers, washers and furnaces. If the smoke detectors are battery operated, test the battery regularly. For hard wired units make sure that they have a battery backup. It is imperative to periodically clean smoke detectors. Diligence with maintaining detectors in peak operating condition at all times ensures reliability of the unit and ultimately save lives.

Is it complicated to replace fixtures?
Swapping an existing fixture for a new one is an easy job for one of our electricians. If you don’t have outlets where you need lamps, consider hiring one of our skilled electricians to install floor outlets. This is no small job; it can take about five hours and means removing a small section of flooring.