For those of you who follow this blog, or for those who know of this blog (thanks to the tens of you that actually read it) you know that I don’t claim to be the brightest bulb in the lighting department. Im EASILY distracted by shiny, sparkly things (like light bulbs) that put a twinkle in my eye and a wink of joy in my step. Sprinkle in a basket full of crayons, spongebob stickers, a little candy, and a 1.75 bottle of flavored vodka and Im destined to lead a charmed life. Yes this may seem a bit unvarnished to most people, but frankly I find the basics in life to be THE most rewarding. Take the lightbulb for example. Edison invented the first lightbulb in 1879. A man after my own heart, he started his first entrepreneurial ventures selling CANDY!!(it has sugar in it!) We take for granted this simple but revolutionary invention, that is still used today.
Lighting has come a long way since it’s original start in1879. Today many lighting engineers and designers manipulate lighting to create a spirit, or state of mind. Lighting can add drama, excitement and create all sorts of fun sensations (without alcohol, or overdose binges of sugar)
Lighting can dramatically affect a space’s atmosphere and comfort level, so it is very important to consider it when remodeling or building a home. There are three types of lighting:
Task lighting-this is used to read guilty pleasures, dial 411 for take out, so we can pretend we actually cook food, and many other visual tasks that we will profess we can do like sewing, and doing office work (is that really necessary?) Task lighting is generally lighting that is focused directly onto a work surface.
Accent lighting-Similar to task lighting, due in part to its directional purposes, but it’s used primarily for decorative stuff. Like artwork, architectural features, and sets “moods”(dammit I left my mood ring at home!)
Ambient lighting-This is the most common of terms in our industry. Everyone throws this word around like it’s a politician at a bunny ranch caught on tape. This light is appropriate for hall ways, entertaining, watching TV and any other areas needing privacy control for unmarked cars. (a-hem.. bunny ranches) It is a soft level of light that diffuses the spread of illumination with a soft wash or kiss of light to the point of velvety darkness:
As a big “D” (DESIGNER for you laymen’s) I often have the opportunity to work on homes that start in the blueprint stages. This allows me to draw in a beautiful lighting plan (note the need for crayons, preferably the 96 pack with built-in sharpener) that takes advantage of all the lighting discussed above and take in to consideration all the homeowners good loot, I mean VERY expensive art. Some of the more common fixtures are:
1) Wall washers: ( no these won’t be doing ANY of your dirty work!)
2) Standard recessed can.
Another work horse, this standard fixture can be found in every home. What makes them different and perform different are the trim’s. They are available with reflector trims, black alzak, black or white baffle and various others. Black and white baffle are by far THE most common recessed fixture in America, in a good Ol standard 6″ size. I do not recommend these BIG OL’ honking things. Here is one example (they are few and far between) where GO BIG OR GO HOME, does not apply!! The smaller the fixture (3″-5″) the better.
Standard recessed can with reflector trim:(shiny and sparkly)