I am beginning my electrical design on my new house, to be started in the
spring,and would like some input on where it would be appropriate to put
different types of lighting. For example, I know that I will be putting
surface mount fluorescents in all closets and in my home office, but not
sure about other areas.
Right now, my existing home was retrofitted with a large number of recessed
cans in the kitchen and dining room, as well as one basement room. While
the light levels seem to be fine, switching on 10 - 100 watt incandescent
bulbs in the kitchen seems to be a huge electricity hog. What can I do in
the new house to get the same daylight spectrum and light levels without
sacrificing a week's pay each month (it seems) just to have that? I also
have tracklighting with some small halogens in my office, and while the
light is "warm", it is not without many shadows. It's tough to work after
dark in there.
Any help or advice would be greatly appreciated.
Reply To: wmengineer (at) adelphia (dot) net
Incandesants output 17 lumen per watt. CFL 40 to 60 but T 8
flouresent up to 105 lumen per watt almost 10 times more than
incandesant . there are dimmers that go to 10 or 20 % and sylvania has
a good selection of colors. You should contact Sylvania, GE and
Phillips to see what they offer.
When I remodeled my kitchen I put in recessed cans, I use compact
fluorescents, and there are daylight bulbs available(google). The CFL's are
28 watt and put out like a 100 watt bulb. Granted they never last as long as
they say and they do turn yellowish towards the end of their life. I am
purchasing them at Costco for like 4 bucks a piece. Ikea had some a while
back that were like 2800 k, looked yellow next to almost everything, really
cheap. I also used indirect lighting fluorescents, 4-8 footers mounted on
the tops of the cabinets and shining up. They work great. I like indirect
light so not a problem. Biggest issue that I know is no shadows on the
counters in the kitchen.
I put my lights on two switches. One switch for each side. Works well and
you can burn what ya need and not any more. I usually use the lights above
where I am working and not the other side. Winter time both switches are
I suggest a mix of incandescent and florescent lights. With the new
compact florescent lights you may be able to use the same fixtures. The mix
should give you the natural color of the food you are looking for.
You may also want to use other florescent lights with some of the new
more natural color lamps. They are not all that bad. A real step up from
the old cool white lamps.
Install undercabinet flourescent strips - the professional models are 1/2"
thick. Wire them all to a wall switch at each kitchen entrance. Consider them
the primary light source.
They're the best task lighting and reduce, often eliminate the need for
overehead lighting at all, except for asthetic purposes. You may want 1 over a
sink or desk that can operate independantly.
It seems as if you've answered many of your own questions. You at
least know what you *don't* like. Consider where light is critical and
make it so. I have a central ceiling fixture (fluorescent) in my
kitchen, and will definitely opt for some under-cabinet lighting the
next go-round. When I work at any of the counter/stove/sink areas, I
put them in shade (never mind how much) from the overhead light. OTOH,
the overhead in the computer pantry is just right. Instead of having
all lights turned on by one or 2 switches, you might prefer more
localized on/off options. The further away a light is, the more
shadows are going to be thrown. If you want consistent light around
your office worksurface, mount it low and close. The concept "lamp"
comes to mind -- either desk or standing.
I have close to 100 Lightolier track light fixtures in one of my homes
and both my wife and I are quite disappointed with them. They are fine
for lighting art or specific objects but not for area lighting.
Jon Endres, PE wrote:
We have found that for lights that will be left on for long periods of time
(not just on then off in a few minutes) the compact fluorescent lights work
very well. We use them in the living room lamps and elsewhere and have
noticed a drop in the electricity consumption.
You might want to look into LED's also. The initial cost is high but the
savings are great.
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