lighten up

This month’s Home Stagers Atlantic meeting was held at Living Lighting (6417 Lady Hammond Road) in Halifax. I always enjoy going into lighting showrooms…bright, warm, and loads to look at. Maybe it’s the season where we all need a little (or a lot!) more light in our lives!

We covered a lot of topics, but here are a few tips that I thought were most interesting and could have the biggest impact in your space…

• Consider outside landscape lighting for your home. There are now many options in low voltage, no electrician required, systems that easily plug into any outdoor receptacle.

• For the inside, think dimmers. Switch as many of your wall switches to dimmers for a cost effective (approx $7/ each) way to add some flexibility and variation to your existing lighting. Can you say mood lighting?

• When designing or updating a room, remember to think about layering your lighting. Google it…it’s what’s most talked about in terms of lighting and design tips. It’s not a new idea, it’s just that people are finally catching on. Table lamps and floor lamps are not just for your living room or bedrooms anymore…they work in entrances, foyers, hallways, kitchens…etc.

Here are some fast facts and tidbits that will make you sound like a pro when you casually bring them up in conversation:

• In California, there is a new bylaw that states you have to have at least 5 rooms in your house have to have energy efficient lighting (LED, fluorescents). Way to go Cali!

CFL bulbs have a 3 hour start up time…when you flick your switch, it’s like starting a jet engine where all the power and energy goes into turning them on. They take no power to run. That means there is no energy or cost savings in switching them on and off every time you enter or leave a room. It’s better to leave them on for 3 hours.

Halogens are perfect for bathrooms and are what’s used in hair salons & makeup counters because they are the closest to natural light. These are the white lights that have more light output and are energy efficient.

LED lights last forever. And they don’t cost anything to burn. But the initial cost is still high, so they are not mainstream yet. Phillip’s launched an LED bulb in the US that screws into your regular base. They are $80/each and not available in Canada. That sounds like a lot (and it is!), but you only ever buy one…over a lifetime (they really do last forever)…you do the math! In Canada, we are still stuck with the blue-ish light like the first generation of Christmas lights. But hang on, they are coming.

Hope that gives you a few things to think about this week…so lighten up, would ‘ya?

We Are On To You, Sploggers!!

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