Thursday, February 25, 2010

Tip's and Tricks


The most common lighting is a bath bar over a mirror, the bar should be shorter than the mirror by a few inches on either side. Sconces on both sides of the mirror will even out the lighting which is ideal for makeup application, shaving and other tasks where you need to see small details. The best option is a combination of both an over head light, like a bath bar and sconces, that will give you the most even lighting! A newer trend is to use pendants in place of the sconces, or to add drama by using mini chandeliers! A light over the vanity usually is not enough light for the whole room, a flush mount is very common for this space, it is really nice if you can put the over head light on a dimmer so you can soften the light if you desire!


Pendants can be used everywhere! The most common places for pendants are over a table, island or bar in a kitchen or dining room setting. Pendants have become more and more popular for vanity lighting in bathrooms and over night stands in the bedroom. A good rule to follow is always placing a fixture so the bottom hangs 30-34 inches over the surface you are illuminating. As always there are exceptions to the rule! For task lighting you really want to avoid shadows, and to make sure you have a nice even lighting to make sure we get that even light we use photo metrics. You want to create lighting that overlaps and gives a smooth even bright lighting so you can see to accomplish any task at hand!

Photometric Diagram for MR16 lamps
This Photometric chart shows how much area will be illuminated when it is a certain distance away from the light source. For example if you are hanging a pendant over a bar and the bottom of the pendant sits 2 feet from the top of the bar you will only get 1 foot in diameter of light from that pendant. (There are some extra limitations like the shape of the glass (like I said there are always exceptions to the rule) but this chart helps determine how high you want to hang a pendant.) So you would have to hang a lot of pendants to create that even lighting if you want them to sit 2 feet above the bar. If you hang them closer to 4 feet from the surface you will get a wider beam of light and you can use fewer pendants to illuminate your work space.
Keep in mind pendants are more ascetically pleasing when they are paired in odd numbers!


Hinkley Lighting offers great advice on sizing and placement of fixtures inside and outside your home. If you would like two lanterns outside your door, they should be approximately one quarter the height of your door and the bulbs should rest 66 inches from the threshold of the door.
When in doubt go larger! The lantern should appear to be about half the size of the door when you are 50 feet away.

If you are using one lantern outside your door it should measure one third the height of the door. If you have a fixture with a long tail or top scroll, measure the overall bulk of the fixture.

The bottom of the foyer fixture should hang at least 7 feet from the floor. If you have a two-story foyer and there is a window, center the fixture so it can be seen from outside.
Wall sconces help create "layered lighting" or a warm, welcoming effect. If you have a larger foyer sconces help create that atmosphere place the bottom of sconces 60" from the floor and space them 6-8 feet apart from each other.

If you want the light to be the focal point of a room, measure the length and width of the room and add those figures together. The sum, in inches, will equal the diameter for the correct size chandelier. If you are placing the chandelier over a table this size may not be appropriate instead size your chandelier three quarters the width of the table and hang the chandelier 30-32 inches above the table top.

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