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How to Select the Right Light Fixtures

Light_FixturesLighting is a big part of your home – we understand that as well as anyone. Light has the power to set a mood, create an ambiance, encourage comfort, establish a setting, and more. When you’re choosing what light fixtures are best for your home, kitchen, bathroom, bedroom, or office there is so much more to consider than just the look of the fixture (although we know that looks are very important). When you’re ready to update your space or start work on a new home, take time to consider all aspects of your light fixtures. Below is a list we’ve compiled of essential elements to this process…

Bulb Design

When choosing a light fixture, you are advised to consider the design of the required bulb. The design is based on three parameters namely, bulb shape, lighting controls, and the base type. Taking these three factors into consideration when choosing a light fixture can help you determine what is best for your space and the ambiance you’d like it to create.

Bulb Shape and Size

Most of us know by now that bulbs come in a multitude of different shapes and sizes including spiral bulbs, A-line bulbs, globe bulb, indoor reflector bulb, parabolic aluminized reflectors, triple tube bulb, and post bulb.

The spiral bulbs are most suited for light fixtures and lamps that enclose the bulb behind a shade or covering. It has fluorescent tubes arranged in a spiraling order. These are also sometimes called twister bulbs. Generally, A-line bulbs are ideal for light fixtures that do not hide the bulb, or lamps that feature multiple shades. A-line bulbs resemble the standard incandescent bulb. The third form is the globe bulb, which as the name suggests, is sphere shaped bulbs that are mainly used in bathrooms and as pendant lights. The indoor reflector bulbs are used in recessed light fixtures, ceiling fans, and track lighting. They are most often a desirable use for directional lights. Parabolic aluminized reflectors are used for outdoor floodlights and sport lights. They are very durable and can withstand adverse weather conditions. Another bulb that comes with similar features is the post bulb. Lastly, you can find triple tube bulbs, which are considered the best reading lamps.

Bulb Base Type

  1. It is imperative that when you are shopping for light fixtures, that you consider the base bulb. When looking for the right fixture, you need to buy the fixture depending on the base of the bulb. There are three standard base sizes that fit in different light fixtures:
  2. Plug-in Base: Small plastic bases with two or four pins and are designed to be used with separate ballasts which are mounted in the fixture.
  3. Screw-in Base: Standard Edison-style base such as those found on incandescent light bulbs.
  4. GU24: Designed to replace the Edison socked and base to match the newest Energy Start requirements. GU24 fixtures avoid backward compatibility with screw base bulbs which guarantees higher energy efficiency.

 Lighting Controls

The light fixture that’s chosen should be able to accommodate the particular bulb to be used. Many light fixture components differ based on the lighting output. The amount of light depends on the intended function of the bulb, a factor that dictates the light fixture to be used.

Lumens are standard units of light output for bulbs whereby brighter bulbs have higher lumen number as compared to the dim bulbs. When purchasing light fixtures, it is imperative to consider the lumen of the bulbs, as bright bulbs serve different purposes from the dimmer ones, aside from contributing to the mood or function of the space.

For more sustainable choices, look for those bulbs that use about 25% of the wattage to glow more space than other bulbs. The wattage also determines the lifespan of the bulbs--therefore, consider the wattage and life span of the bulb when selecting light fixtures. It could make a big difference in the long run!

Color

Setting the right mood in your room requires you to factor in the color temperature of your bulbs. Different bulbs and different light fixtures produce warm yellow light while others produce a blue light. In order to have consistent light quality, you should use bulbs with similar color temperature with your room. For example, using some light fixtures in recessed settings can cause your bulbs to malfunction, especially if it is a bulb that puts off an increased amount of heat. This too, can affect the lifespan of the bulb.

Safety and Recycling

Always be conscious of light bulbs that may contain traces of mercury – they can be harmful to your health. All bulbs in light fixtures are safe as long as they remain intact. For safety purposes, if you break a dangerous bulb, air out your room for 15 minutes and then clean it up using the standard solutions. Do not dispose of broken or used bulbs in your trash. Follow the right disposal steps or take your used bulbs to the nearest recycling depot.