Setting the Scene: Put Your Outdoor Living Space in the Best Light
Curb appeal is essential, whether you are selling or buying a home, or giving a warm welcome to friends and family. According to the American Lighting Association (ALA), consumers should look for outdoor lighting products in a family of sizes so they can maintain a theme throughout their residence.
“When people are looking to upgrade their outdoor lighting, starting with the front of the house usually helps guide them through the complete outdoor lighting package,” explains Toby Boyd of Philips Professional Luminaries, which manufactures the Philips HADCO Landscape and Hanover Lantern lines. “Remember, when guests visit, the first thing they notice when they arrive is the front of the home – and it’s also the last thing they see when they leave.”
Hubbardton ForgeIn choosing a new lighting package, size is as important as style and color. As a rule of thumb, if only one fixture is going to be used at the entrance, Boyd recommends it measures one-third the height of the door. If installing two fixtures, make each about one-quarter the size of the door.
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Save Money and Stay Cool with Ceiling Fans
It's easier than you think to beat the heat this summer while saving money. "People tend to forget that ceiling fans reduce energy. Using them allows you to run your air conditioner less frequently," notes Nathan Frampton, president of Fanimation. "If you aren't using your ceiling fan during these hot summer nights, you are costing yourself mega-bucks," he adds.
"The best way to understand the benefits is to do a few simple calculations," explains Joe Rey-Barreau, education consultant for the American Lighting Association (ALA) and an associate professor at the University of Kentucky's School of Interior Design. "If the ambient air temperature is 78°, your body will feel as if it is 72° if you are seated under a ceiling fan operating at a low speed. The fan makes you feel cooler by flowing air over your skin, which causes your perspiration to evaporate faster."
Zeynep T. McLeane of Emerson Air Comfort Products agrees. "A ceiling fan can make a person feel as if the room is 10° cooler," he comments. "It runs on a fairly low amount of energy that is equivalent to a 100-watt bulb – and even less if it is an Energy Star – qualified fan."
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A Recipe for Great Kitchen Lighting
The average size of new homes is shrinking, but not when it comes to one room – the kitchen. According to the American Lighting Association (ALA), this multi-tasking room not only serves as the family's central gathering spot, but it also performs as a dining area, homework station and casual entertaining space. "We might have reached the peak of the housing boom, but somehow kitchen islands seem to be getting larger and larger," observes Catherine Schlawin, an ALA Certified Lighting Consultant (CLC) and manager/ Residential Lighting at Dominion Electric Supply Co., a chain of lighting showrooms in the Baltimore/Washington D.C. area. "I believe that because people are spending more and more time in their kitchens and using that area for so many different things, we need to be able to have lighting for every task and function," she says.
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