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Lighting 101

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Lighting 101

Ceiling Fan Tips
Ceiling fans cool you in the summer and warm you in the winter, all for just pennies a day. They are extremely efficient: even at high speeds they use less energy than a 75-watt light bulb. Actually, fans save energy, with cooling costs alone lowered as much as 40 percent, according to a study by Florida Power and Light. In the summer, fans create a wind chill effect that makes a temperature of 78°– 80°F feel like 72°F. So by using them you can set your thermostat higher. On most fans, the summer setting is a counter-clockwise rotation, viewed from below. In the winter, fans run in reverse (clockwise), reclaiming lost heat from the ceiling. They provide an even, comfortable temperature by moving hot air back down to the living areas below.

What to look for in a ceiling fan.
When shopping for a ceiling fan, you may find it difficult to determine why one costs $50 and another $500. At first glance there may appear to be no difference. Only when you begin to examine them closely, armed with the information that follows, will you be able to recognize the qualities that will assure years and years of beauty and comfort. Inexpensive fans may look good when new, and they may even run well at first. After continued use, however, they will become noisy; or they will warp, wobble or quickly wear out. Selecting a proper ceiling fan should be done as carefully as picking a piece of fine furniture. Look for a brand name, such as Craftmade, that carries with it an established reputation for quality.

Quality made fans will not wobble.
The reason poorly made fans wobble is because of cheap blade materials, rotors and/or improper sealing processes are used. Blade brackets should have exact degrees of pitch or angles, while blades should be matched in carefully weighed and balanced sets.

Quality made fans will not wear out early.
Those that do wear out have undergone poor manufacturing techniques or inadequate testing and inspection. Other problems that promote wear and tear are incorrectly matched motor size and blade pitch. Defective motor windings can cause electrical shorts. And poorly installed on/off pull chains can be pulled out of the housing.

Look For These Features:

  • A heavy duty motor for smooth, quiet performance
  • A 16 pole motor with 2,000+ feet of copper windings for greater efficiency and smoother performance
  • Multiple capacitors to control starting and running
  • Die-cast aluminum rotors for cool running
  • Stamped steel or die-cast zinc housing
  • Heavy duty bearings that never need oiling because they are permanently lubricated
  • 3-speed reversible switching for summer and winter
  • 12°, 14° or 16° blade pitch which greatly increases air flow
  • Factory-installed gaskets to reduce noise and vibration.

Lighting Tips

How much light do I need?

  • As we get older, we require more light. At age 50, we need twice as much light to see well as we did at age 20 and we are more sensitive to glare. Good lighting can help by increasing contrast on adjacent surfaces to “clarify” the space.
  • The quantity of light you need depends on the nature of the task - how easy it is to see – and the age of the person performing it.
  • The quality of the task lighting is also important.

Guidelines for selecting a chandelier:

  • Dining room chandeliers should be selected according to the room and the table size. The diameter should be approximately the diameter of the table less 12 inches. This is so that people will not hit their heads when standing up.
  • In ceilings of 10 feet or higher, multi-tiered chandeliers can be elegant and dramatic.
  • The chandelier should be 30-36 inches above the table (add 3 inches per foot of ceiling height above 8 feet).
  • These are only guidelines and there are always exceptions to the rule.

Lamp Tips

  • The choice of your table lamp may sound easy but to be able to get the best and make the most of your purchase, it is important to consider some guidelines when you buy your lamp. Your choice can depend on the style of your console table and the style of lamp that is appropriate for the table. It is important to know the specific purpose for using the lamp. Will this be for task lighting like reading, sewing or other work? Will it be for creating a romantic ambiance or a sophisticated and classy look or mood? Will it be used to create an accent in one specific area of the room?.
  • Look for a lamp of sufficient height to accommodate it’s location. Many of the very inexpensive lamps found at the large retailers are very short and made with lesser quality materials.
  • Look for the wattage rating of the socket. Again, some of the lesser quality lamps have plastic sockets rated for 60 watts max. Most of the better lamps have three way sockets rated to handle up to 150 watts.
  • Last but not least, make sure the style adds to the overall mood of the design. Lamps can be a big part of the look you are trying to achieve. Don’t just settle because of a low price. Remember, this will be a purchase that will be with you for many years to come.