In a previous post, we showed you the method of how to calculate wattage needed for any room. You can also use this method to calculate the amount of lumens you will need for any room, which is becoming a more important calculation due to the increasing popularity of LED fixtures.
A lumen is simply 1 unit of light output. LEDs are measured in lumens rather than wattage since LEDs put out a brighter light, without using a lot of wattage. For example, a 5 Watt LED can be the same amount of light as a 40 Watt Incandescent bulb. They put out the same amount of light (lumens), but the LED uses significantly less power.
It is important to keep in mind, that not all LEDs are the same when comparing the by wattage. You have to factor in lumen output and color temperature as well. We will dive into the ins and outs of LEDs in another post, but for now, let’s see how to calculate the lumens for any room.
Lighting by Lux is on Pinterest. Follow us for current style boards such as Coastal Living, Vintage Industrial, and Bohemian Chic. We also have Schoolhouse Lights and Mid-Century Modern boards which showcase lighting fixtures that encompass the specific look and feel of these timeless design styles. Another popular board is Robin’s Picks, where you will find a variety of trending light fixtures picked out by our top style expert.
With so many different shapes, sizes, and styles of light fixtures available, it’s easy to forget that they actually serve a real purpose; other than to look pretty of course. Recently, we have had a few customers ask us if the chandelier or pendant they are shopping for will be enough light for their room. And we tell them the simple method of how to find out.
It can seem like a daunting task to figure out how much light is needed in any room, but I assure you it is super easy and simple. All you need is basic math and the measurement of the length and width of the room in feet.
Calculate Wattage Needed for Any Room:
Sounds like it might be complicated, but it really is just simple math. To start all you need to do is multiply the length of the room in feet by the width of the room in feet. This will give you the square footage. For example, a 16 foot long by 14 foot wide room has a square footage of 224.
Once you have the square footage of the room, you can use it to find out how much wattage you will need for general lighting in the room. The reason the wattage calculation is important, is because most incandescent lighting fixtures have a maximum wattage listed. For example, a 6 light chandelier that uses incandescent bulbs might have a maximum wattage of 60 watts per light, for a total of 360 watts for the fixture. How would you know if 360 watts is enough for your two-story foyer light? Or is 360 watts overkill for the intimate breakfast nook?
To calculate the total wattage needed, multiply your square footage by 1.5. Going back to our example of the 16’ by 14’ room, which has a square footage of 224, we would multiply 224 by 1.5 and get 336 watts. The general lighting in the room will need to reach the 336 watts mark to ensure there is plenty of overall light.
Table lamps can offer great functionality and aesthetic enhancement to a room, their portable nature also requires less design commitment than other types of lighting for the home. That said selecting the perfect table lamp can feel like a daunting task, but with the right pointers it’s really easy.
Our best tip is to start with the type of lamp you’re after before deciding on the style. That may feel counter intuitive at first because we’re all very visually oriented and aesthetics are typically the first concern, but by starting with the type or intended task for the lamp you’re ensuring the lamp will actually perform its intended task, rather than just sit there looking pretty.
Here are some tips for selecting the right table lamp
- First decide on the application. Decorative table lamps only need to provide the proper amount of ambient light in the room and yes, being attractive doesn’t hurt at all. Reading lamps benefit from a diffuser, aiming arm and dimmer switch. Buffett lamps, as the name suggest, are meant to illuminate a surface at standing height. Likewise, desk lamps are intended to provide illumination for a desk, but shield the light source from direct eye contact.
- Consider selecting a lamp made from a heavy material. Because a table lamps are free standing, it’s always a good idea to select something substantial that will be stable in its place. Lamps made from solid wood, cast iron, brass, ceramic and natural stone are great choices for the home. This is true whether you are getting a table lamp or a floor lamp
- The right shade can make or break the lamp. There is more to shades than just their aesthetic appeal; the shade can greatly affect the amount of lighting that you get from the lamp. An opaque shade will send light only up or down whereas a diffused shade will spread the light around in multiple directions. You do want to consider the aesthetics as well, though. For example, do you want a shade made from a hard fabric like vinyl or one made from a soft fabric, such as silk?
- Don’t forget the dimmer. It is always good to have different light level options with your lamps. Many portable lamps come with built-in dimmer/slider switches to make this simple for you.
- Pay attention to detail. People get right up close to portable lamps a lot of the time so after you’ve selected the proper lamp type; it’s worth it to pay attention to the great decorative detail that can be found on some portable lamps.
- Don’t ignore the light bulb. These days it is very important for you to look at what type of light bulbs can be used in the lamps that you choose to purchase. Traditional incandescent light bulbs are being phased out so you may want to look for a lamp that allows you to use a CFL bulb or better yet, an eco-friendly LED light bulb.
- Keep in mind that special applications may benefit from specific lamp types. For example, piano lamps and desk lamps are suited to specific tasks and may not be right for general use.
Have you ever found yourself rummaging through your kitchen cabinets and drawers wishing you had just a little more light? What a nuisance! Yet, it’s fairly easy to update your cabinets with the proper lighting to make this problem go away once and for all. Undercabinet lighting is designed to illuminate work surfaces from above, which reduces shadows so that you can easily see what you’re doing on top of a counter, in a cabinet, or other work spaces.
Having trouble deciding what type of undercabinet lighting is right for you? This guide provides you with insight into our top under cabinet lighting recommendations and the reasons that we recommend these particular models.
Our “Value” Recommendation in Under Cabinet Lighting
If you are looking for quality under cabinet lighting on a budget then we recommend the Maxim Lighting CounterMax 120 Volt Direct Wire Xenon Under Cabinet lights. The affordable 87831 series comes in either a white or bronze finish and is available in a variety of different sizes to suit your specific needs. Unlike some other similarly priced products, the Maxim CounterMax series comes with the Xenon bulbs so you won’t have to run to the store to try to find the right light bulbs for your new under cabinet lighting. Most importantly, this is a direct wire 120 volt option that makes it one of the easiest types of undercabinet lighting for anyone to install.
Not looking for the ultimate in under cabinet lighting but still want a little more than the value option? We have just the thing for you. While there are many mid-range undercabinet options we recommend the Kichler Series I TaskWork Modular 12 Volt Xenon. This is a 12 volt undercabinet lighting system with a built-in electronic transformer that uses Xenon bulbs, which are included with the purchase. You can use these lights individually, interconnected with cables or snapped together, providing you with numerous configurations to create the perfect under cabinet lighting design for your home.
Each of the individual fixtures has its own Hi-Low, On-Off switch and there is also a Master Switch Option that allows you to turn the lights on and off together as a unit. This means that you can use the undercabinet lights that you need at any given time without wasting lighting in the other areas of the space. There are four sizes to choose from and they come in three different finishes, so there will be a design that easily suits the style of your home.
When we’re asked for our “best” under cabinet lighting, the answer is always Kichler’s Design Pro LED Modular & Disc light series. First of all, they’re LED lights which are a terrific option for anyone who wants to enjoy energy-efficient lighting in the home, without sacrificing quality. The LEDs will last for 40,000 or more hours before needing to be replaced and they are included in your purchase. Not only will you save energy (and costs) around the home but you can install them and then forget about them for years on end without worrying about their maintenance.
That isn’t all that makes the Kichler’s Design Pro series the ultimate in under cabinet lighting, though. Other key features of these lights include:
Compact fluorescent light bulbs (CFL) are a great alternative to traditional incandescent light bulbs. They are more energy-efficient, which means that they are more affordable. They last longer so they don’t require the hassle of frequent replacement. And in theory they are greener for the earth because they aren’t thrown out as often. However, CFL bulbs do contain mercury, which can be bad for the earth if the bulbs aren’t properly disposed of when you’re done using them. This guide tells you all that you need to know about the threat of mercury from CFL bulbs, how to recycle the bulbs properly and what your alternatives are if you don’t want to deal with recycling CFL bulbs.
Understanding the Mercury Issue
Each CFL bulb contains approximately five milligrams of mercury. If the bulb breaks then the mercury is released. This can be dangerous to the individual if the bulb breaks in the home. If it breaks in the landfill then it can be dangerous to the earth because the mercury then makes its way into storm water and the air. The Association of Lighting and Mercury Retailers reports that four tons of mercury leak into the environment each year because of improperly discarded CFL bulbs. Mercury dangers are cumulative so the more bulbs that end up in the landfill the more dangerous it is for the environment.
Does Your Bulb Contain Mercury?
CFL bulbs are the only household light bulb that currently contain mercury. You can always check the light bulb label before you purchase it to find out if it does have mercury, though. That’s because the new light bulb labels will specifically say if mercury is in the bulb.
How to Handle a Broken CFL Bulb at Home
Follow these tips if a CFL bulb breaks in your home:
- Immediately open all windows to help ventilate the room. Leave the room for at least fifteen minutes after doing this. If your central heating / AC is on then turn it off during this time to make sure that the mercury doesn’t circulate through the rest of the home.
- Put on gloves before handling the broken glass. Scoop all visible glass and powder into a glass jar with a metal lid. Alternatively you can scoop it into a sealed plastic bag.
- Use a thick tape, such as duct tape, to pick up the remaining shards and powder that you haven’t been able to scoop up by hand. When finished, place the tape into the glass jar or sealed plastic bag.
- Use a damp paper towel to go over the surface again to pick up any remaining remnants. Put this into the glass jar or sealed plastic bag.
- Never use a vacuum for cleaning up a broken CFL bulb. You run the risk of spreading the mercury throughout your home. You can vacuum as normal after the area is cleaned up but you should remove the vacuum bag immediately after doing so just to be on the safe side.
- Contact your local recycling center (see resources below) to find out if you can drop your broken CFL bulb. If not, check with your local government to find out what the proper disposal method is in your area. In the meantime, keep the glass jar or sealed plastic bag outside in a safe area.
Do you need a new dining room light? We are giving one away – a stunning drum pendant light – to someone in need. All that you need to do is to show us that you really need it by providing us with a picture of the dining room light that you’re currently suffering with. The ugliest light wins.
The winner of this giveaway will receive the Quoizel Utopia 3 Light Drum Pendant.
This drum pendant is the perfect item to update any old dining room. The classy design of its cream silk drum shade peeks out from the artistic flair of a black metal shade overlay with gorgeous leaf cutouts. The effect will transform your dining room into a magical place with the perfect ambience. And if one day far into the future you decide that you need a different chandelier or pendant in your dining room then you can move this one to another part of the house because it has a versatile design that will work in almost any room. So, are you ready to win this great prize?
Here’s how to enter:
All you need to do to enter is share your ugly dining room light with us on our Facebook page. Here are the simple steps for doing that.
1. Take a picture of what you think is the ugliest dining room light you’ve ever seen.
2. Visit us on Facebook.
3. Click Like at the top of the page.
4. Click to share a photo on our wall.
5. Select “upload a photo” and upload the image of the photo that you’ve stored on your computer.
6. Add a comment with a little bit of information about the ugly light you want to replace in our contest.
7. Click share and you’re entered! (feel free to share this with your friends)
All of the entries will be reviewed and a winner will be selected by our staff. The winner will be the person with the best ugly lighting photo since that is who really needs this prize!
Runner Up Prize
A random runner-up winner will be chosen from all of the entries
So what does the runner-up win? It’s a great modern Kichler LED desk lamp:
The sleek geometric design of this desk lamp will never go out of style. Since it uses energy-efficient LED bulbs it provides a contemporary but affordable task lighting option for your home.
This giveaway will end on June 1st, 2011. Get your entry in by then! A winner will be selected by June 2nd. The winners will be notified by email and announced here on the blog.
The Fine Print
This offer is open to U.S. residents only. Contest void in Florida, New York, and Rhode Island. Also void in Puerto Rico and where prohibited by law. Lighting by Lux reserves sole and final judgement in contest, no ifs, ands or buts. Maximum one contest entries per person. Contest entrants must “Like” Lighting By Lux on Facebook between the date of this post and June 1st, 2011 in order to be eligible.”
A stunning chandelier never fails to attract attention when you walk into the room. However, you don’t have to have a huge chandelier to make a room better with a hanging light. Smaller chandeliers and other types of pendant lights (such as ceiling fans) can make a huge impact on the ambience of any home without overwhelming the entire space. They add stunning ambience that improves the beauty of the room in which they are carefully placed.
Chandeliers are Decorative Lighting
The most important thing for you to realize is that these types of lights are designed for decorative lighting more than for functional lighting. Understanding this will help you use these lights correctly.
Tips that relate to this point include:
- Use chandeliers and pendant lights to light specific areas, not whole rooms.
- Select these types of lights for their beauty and aesthetic appeal.
- Place these in rooms that aren’t already dominated by other bold interior décor items so that they can stand out as a statement piece.
- Put these lights in rooms where intimate low-lighting is desirable.
Defining the Chandelier
Let’s start with chandeliers since they tend to be the most impactful lighting option for the home. What exactly is a chandelier? In short it is a light fixture that has a main body off of which protrudes multiple arms and each arm holds its own socket or lamp. A chandelier does not have to be a large and dramatic statement piece of lighting although it can be.
You may have heard the rumors that the light bulbs you are used to using in your home are being phased out. It’s true. However, the transition is not nearly as scary, confusing or time-consuming for you as you may think. In fact, the phase-out is already happening in California and it’s going totally smoothly for consumers.
Understanding the phase-out will make you feel better about the fact that the light bulbs you’ve used your whole life are now disappearing. Here are some of the most frequently asked questions about this phase-out and the answers that will keep you informed:
Q: What is an incandescent light bulb?
A: If you’re not familiar with the term, it just refers to the standard, traditional type of light bulb that most of us still use in our homes today. If you don’t specifically go looking for energy-efficient CFL or LED light bulbs for your home then you are probably using incandescent light bulbs.
Q: Why are incandescent light bulbs being phased out?
A: They are outdated. There are more energy efficient light bulbs options in the market today. We can save the earth as well by getting rid of these old inefficient light bulbs. Consumers can also save money on these bulbs.
Q: Will the new light bulbs cost a fortune?
A: No, not at all. They will be comparable to light bulbs in the market today. In fact, over time they will actually save you money. That’s because they will last longer so you won’t have to pay to replace them as often. They will also drain less electricity so your energy bills will be lower.