Lighting Your Nursery

lighting-your-nursery

For most expectant parents one of the most important things about the pregnancy is buckling down and designing the nursery. After all, this is where you will be bringing your child home to for the very first time, and where they will spend a large chunk of their time for the next several months to years. If you are in the midst of designing your nursery, it is possible you’ve forgotten one important details; the lighting. Don’t fret though; many expectant parents focus on decorating their child’s room and filling it with appropriate furniture, but completely forget about lighting. So, now is the perfect time to rectify the situation, as lighting is an extremely important aspect of your child’s nursery.

Why are Lights Important?

The lighting in your nursery is important for several reasons. First, it can effect your child’s ability to sleep, and strong lighting may hurt their eyes, as they will spend much of their first months lying on their backs staring into the lights. Glare and strong glows can be harmful to a newborn, so picking soft lights is your best bet.

Experts also note that soft, layered lighting can be an easy and effective way to acclimate your baby to the dark, and to get through baby-oriented tasks safely and happily. Lighting is very much a cornerstone of every well-designed nursery.

Picking the Right Lighting

Now that you know how important lighting is, you are probably wondering how to pick the correct lighting solution for your needs. Experts all seem to agree that soft, layered lighting is best for a newborn and young baby. Start with LED bulbs in both overhead lighting and task-oriented lighting. Not only do these lights cast a soft glow, but the spectrum is more natural. The bulbs also refrain from heating up, which prevents the possibility of burn injuries.

Where Should Lighting be Situated?

Most experts agree that overhead lighting is a good starting point. Overhead lighting is away from the child, and creates a softer more manageable glow. Overhead lighting also removes the possibility of choking hazards, which lights situated too close to a child’s crib creates. LED bulbs can be purchased for existing overhead lights, or you can install a new lighting fixture to fit the needs and theme of your child’s nursery.

Once you have overhead lighting all figured out, experts suggest picking task oriented lighting, as well. A task lamp situated next to a rocking chair makes the space multifunctional. You can use the space to put your child to sleep, or use it for story time and breastfeeding. A floor lamp or desk lamp that is powered by an LED bulb is best. Not only are these bulbs more energy efficient, but they also do not heat up like traditional bulbs, preventing potential burns and injury.

Finally, you’ll want to utilize a nightlight. Often thought of as a lighting solution for slightly older children afraid of the dark, the soft glow of a nightlight can be reassuring to babies, too. It will also help you complete baby-related tasks at night without turning on stronger lights, which can make it more difficult to get you and your child back to sleep.

Now that you have the 411 on the lighting needs of a nursery finishing up the decorating process should be a breeze. Remember, proper lighting is about more than simply setting a mood or ambiance. It is an easy and effective way to keep your child safe and happy during their first few months. These tips and facts should make your shopping experience a bit easier.

Making the Switch to LED lighting

making-the-switch-to-led-lighting

LED (light-emitting diode) lights have a number of benefits over traditional, incandescent lights. In terms of energy efficiency and lifespan, LED lights really shine. Did you know, though, that LED lights are also lower voltage, more durable and much cheaper over their entire lifespan than incandescent lights?

Savings with LED Lights 

Let’s face it – incandescent light bulbs have been a tremendous drain on peoples’ utility bills for decades.

Since incandescent bulbs unhelpfully convert most of the energy that goes into them into heat rather than light, incandescents can be very inefficient (and expensive). In fact, homeowners spend on average 30 percent of their electricity bill on lighting alone.

Enter LED lights. It’s been estimated that some LED lights can last years and give homeowners back in massive savings over the same period. The US Department of Energy even estimates that LED lights can last up to 25 times longer than halogen incandescents.

The US Department of Energy also says that LED lights only use one-fourth the amount of energy that incandescent bulbs do. This means that LED lights are also more energy efficient compared to old-fashioned incandescent bulbs.

When you consider how efficient, durable and ultimately cost-saving LED lights are, the evidence really starts to pile up in LED’s favor.

Incandescent Vs. LED Bulbs 

Since LED lights are much more energy efficient and durable over their lifespan than incandescent bulbs, LED lights save users money over the long term.

How much money? The average price for a kilowatt hour of electricity in the United States is approximately eleven cents. The thinking goes that if you use one thousand watts over an hour, you would end up paying eleven cents, on average.

So, how does this relate back to the incandescent versus LED argument. Simply put, incandescent lights use around 60 watts whereas an average LED light uses just under 10 watts. The higher energy efficiency of the LED means cost savings for homeowners.

The Numbers Are In: LEDs The Winner 

Just consider that the monthly watt expenditure of lighting the average home is 3,000 watts with an army of incandescent bulbs whereas a home lit with LED lights runs under 500 watts monthly.

Doing the calculations and inputing the average cost of electricity in the US and the energy efficiency of both incandescent and LED bulbs, switching to LED lights could save homeowners an average of forty dollars per month.

This number takes into account the fact that LED lights turn much more energy into usable light – whereas incandescents squander a lot of energy turning energy into heat.

LED lights are also more resilient over their lifespan as well, which means that LEDs quickly pay for themselves in durability and long-term energy efficiency.

Use Lighting to Create the Perfect Mood

use-lighting-to-create-the-perfect-moodA great way to set different moods in different parts of the house is to use LED lighting. LEDs are cordless, come in many different colors and light intensities, and are extremely energy and cost efficient. Avoid the long cords of traditional lamps. Often times, you are overpaying on your electric bill if you only use incandescent bulbs in your home. Mix in some LED lights, which use a fraction of the energy traditional light bulbs use and are much brighter, and watch your energy usage drop every month. With LED lights, you can light your home effectively and set different moods in different rooms while saving money on your electric bill. It’s a win-win-win.

Fine Dining.  Spruce up your next dinner party or romantic dinner with LED lights on your dining table. Get a glass cover and slip LED lights underneath it to dazzle your guests and dates. LED lights can have their brightness controlled. Set the lights under the glass covering to a soft glow, and you’ll find yourself in a magical restaurant with food and atmosphere just for you. Simulate candle light without worrying about fire hazards or messy wax. Turn your dining room table into a magical spectacle of light.

Set the Mood Outdoors.  Light the path to your outdoor paradise with LED lighting in the back yard. Again, lights out on the patio or along your beautiful walkway can make it seem like you’ve transported yourself to a candle-lit Spanish villa. Soft lighting in the walkways can make your back yard safer without adding bright, ugly flood lights. You and your guests can still see where they’re going without lighting up the whole neighborhood to do it. A warm, yellow-orange glow in your backyard can add a sense of romance while being safe and energy efficient.

Lighted Seating.  Have a home theater? Light the way to your seats with strips along the floor or add to the movie theater effect by adding LED lights to the seats themselves. The right amount of light can cast a warm, inviting feeling in your private theater. If your theater is your favorite chair, consider LED lights on its arms or legs to set the room aglow for movie night in your living room. Have fun with the colors. Set a soft red for horror movies, or a softer golden light for romantic comedies.

Basic Lighting Tips.  LED lights are great for setting the mood in various rooms, and saving some money while you’re at it. They give you a great freedom in the color and style of the lights and can add both flair and somberness to any room for any occasion.

When you are decorating your interior, think about the lighting effects and what each room will likely be used for. The living room, for example, will likely be used to watch TV or movies, so the lighting should be low and the décor relatively simple, usually. For living rooms with some more flair, consider LED lights in different colors that accentuate the daring decorations you have placed there. The lighting should go along with the items of decoration in every room. In addition to providing light to the interior of your home, LED lights can be decorations themselves. Use them to bring out the life in any room of the house. Lighting is a key piece of the ambiance of a space, so make use of all the lighting options you can. LED lights can be great options, but think about chandeliers, old-style lamps, and bright, decorative overhead lights that add to the ambiance and décor.

Tips for Hanging Christmas Lights on Your House

tips-for-hanging-christmas-lights-on-your-houseWith the holiday season upon us, it is time to get your home ready to spread the cheer. One way to do this is by hanging Christmas lights up on the exterior of your home. However, before you get started, consider these tips that will make setting up more enjoyable and help ensure your home is considered a neighborhood showplace instead of an eyesore.

Make a Plan

Instead of grabbing a bunch of lights and “winging it” with your design, you need to come up with a plan. Consider the style of your home because you will want to avoid a garish design and go with one that compliments your house and landscape. For example, whether you have a one-story ranch or Victorian-style home, a classic look can be had by running string lights along the roofline and outlining other architectural features of your house.

If you have never decorated your home with lights before, consider how the other homes in your neighborhood are decorated for a general feel to avoid clashing styles, Be careful not steal someone else’s design. No one wants to be known as the “Griswold Family Christmas” house on the block either. If you belong to a homeowners’ association, be sure to stay within the guidelines for holiday decorations to avoid problems with your neighbors.

How Many Lights Do You Need?

Should you go with white or multicolored lights? Miniature or C9 light strings or icicles? There are so many types of lights in which to choose. Measure the length of where you are placing your lights to determine how many strands you will need. The most important thing is to make sure you have enough lights to achieve the look you are going for. With all the types of LED Christmas light now available, you can hang multiple sets of lights without having to worry about an extravagant electric bill come January.

An easy way to calculate how many string lights you will need for your trees or shrubs is to measure the height of the area you are decorating, divide by 1.5 and then multiply by 100. Using this formula, a 6-foot tree will need 400 lights. One of the easiest ways to decorate your shrubs is by using net lights.

Safety First!

You will need to have a suitable power source to supply power to your lights. It is best to use an outlet that is equipped with a ground fault circuit interrupter (GFCI). In the event of overcurrent, this type of outlet will shut the power down to prevent blown circuits or sparking wires. Be sure to use extension cords that are rated for outdoor use and tape them down securely if you must run them across walkways. Remember to turn your lights off when you are not home or installing a timer to turn them off at the end of the evening.

Before hanging your lights, make sure to inspect them for frayed wires, missing or damaged bulbs, and most importantly, plug them in to make sure they light up. Dispose of any damaged light sets to prevent a fire or shock hazard.

Once you are ready to hang your lights, make sure you are using a sturdy ladder. Only use insulated holders or clips made specifically for hanging lights. Never use nails, tacks, or staples. There is a variety of plastic light clips on the market for almost every type of light including rope lights, C9s, and miniatures that will not damage your home.

Once you are done, it is time to sit back and enjoy the show!

Mood Lighting in Your Bathroom

mood-lighting-in-your-bathroomOne place which doesn’t get nearly the attention it deserves when it comes to mood lighting concepts is the bathroom. We all spend at least a little time each day in the bathroom and this may be the place where setting the proper mood is pivotal. When you’re in there you don’t want any distractions, you don’t want to feel as though you are under some fluorescent nightmare, and you generally want to walk out of the bathroom looking your best.  Here are some ways to create a relaxing mood in the bathroom with some lighting concepts.

Overhead: The first thing you should do to set a proper mood in your bathroom is get rid of the overhead lights. If you have a fan that’s connected to the switch for the light and you want to continue to use that you can actually take the bulbs out so that you don’t need to be bothered with that upsetting overhead light.

Puck Lights: One of the best ways to create a mood in a room is to isolate the light. Puck lighting lets you do just that. Puck lights create a small spotlight that you can use to really set a mood in the shower, at the sink or over the toilet. Puck lights are a great light to use late at night when you have to escape to the bathroom but you don’t want to wake the rest of the house.

Sconces: Another great way to add mood lighting to your bathroom is to use wall sconces at various points along your wall. Sconces can be set with bulbs of different strength and they can really just be positioned almost anywhere that you want along your wall. As long as you can get power to it, your sconce can set exactly the mood you are interested in.

Floor Lamps: To really get the mood set in your bathroom some people even go as far as having floor lamps set up in the room. You can get floor lamps which have got a short boxy feel so that the light is all kept around the source. You can also get floor lamps which point up at the ceiling to help cast light all over the place. Whatever type of mood it is you are interested in setting you can pretty well get that accomplished with a floor lamp.

Any of these style of lamps can really help set the mood in any room in your home. Bathroom mood should be relaxing whether you are taking a bath, exfoliating your face, or anything else. You want your bathroom to be a calm and soothing place. Switching out the harsh overhead lights you currently have for something a little more ambient may be just the thing your bathroom needs!