Better lighting for better living

Did you know that in 2014, inefficient light bulbs are out, and energy efficient ones are in, literally?

In January, the federal government began phasing out incandescent light bulbs to reduce energy consumption and greenhouse gas emissions across the country.

There are many benefits to using energy efficient bulbs, one of the most immediate being the savings on our energy bill. However, choosing the right bulbs to get optimal lighting in the home does pose a challenge.

As unfamiliar as the new types of bulbs may seem, they can still create an ideal atmosphere for any room in the home, while reducing energy costs and your carbon foot print. To help you achieve the best lighting possible, Marie-Josée Leblanc, a home décor expert and Rona collaborator, shares her advice:

There are three types of lighting: general, functional and ambient,” she begins. “General lighting includes recessed lights and ceiling fixtures, allowing you to function in your daily activities, such as vacuuming and dusting, making the bed, putting away clothing, etc.  Functional lighting is present in a high activity zone, such as the kitchen or family room. These types of lights include cabinet pot lights or pendant lights over the kitchen island. Ambient lighting is designed to increase the ambiance of a room, such as dimmer lights.

To improve the lighting in your living room, for example, Leblanc recommends the following:

• Always have three to five sources of light – this includes general, functional and ambient.

• Use warmer light colours – more yellow and orange hues will give a warmer feel to the room. White lights are more appropriate for the kitchen.

• Add natural light – use candles to create warmth in the room.

• Paint your walls – you don’t have to work exclusively with bulbs or candles to change the lighting. Paint your walls a lighter colour to create the illusion of more light in the room. (NC)

1 Comment

  • Since most people aren’t familiar with light bulb terminology, “warm lighting” means 2700K (temperature in Kelvin) to most people. This is the color produced by your average incandescent bulb. You’ll see some sort of Kelvin rating on bulb packages now, so look for 2700K if you’re looking for that warmth.

    Halogen bulbs (which are still incandescent, but meet the new efficiency standards) typically burn a little whiter — about 2900K. CFLs and LEDs can both be bought at 2700K, but may still have a slightly different feel, though they’ve become a pretty good replacement match.

    When this designer mentions whiter lights in a kitchen, you might not like something beyond 3000K — you have to try and see. But if you reach something like 4100K or 5000K … you might feel like you’re in a hospital.

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