Wrought iron and Lights
The Lighter Side
Latest in lighting blends energy savings with retro style, modern crystal, chrome
BY DENISE O’TOOLE KELLY
That’s not an issue if you’re hiding it under a pretty shade or inside a closed fixture. But some of today’s trendy home lighting throwback designs call for bulbs that are equally attractive and retro.
“Edison-style light bulbs are very popular right now,” says McArthur, referring to classically pear-shaped, clear glass bulbs through which you can see the filament aglow.
Homeowners who opt for a stylish new fixture that showcases incandescence need not worry about a federal phase-out of the old technology slated to begin this year, the women agree. “They’re not outlawing incandescent light bulbs like everyone thinks. They’re just trying to make it more energy-efficient,” McArthur says. Though retailers will not be able to replenish stocks of 100-watt bulbs after Oct. 1, 72-watt bulbs that emit the same amount of light will be on the shelves, she said.
Before you shop for lighting fixtures, do some homework and consider these tips from the American Lighting Association, a Dallas-based trade group.
Keep in mind that dark colors absorb more light. You may need to provide additional light in rooms with dark wall colors.
Consider your style. You want the lighting’s shape, color and size to complement the room and your home’s style.
Before you buy, shop lighting showrooms, shops and online for styles, shapes and ideas. If you need help selecting the right lighting, check the American Lighting Association’s website for a list of retail showrooms, designers, consultants and manufacturers.
A good lighting plan involves three types of lighting: ambient or general lighting, task and accent.
Ambient lighting provides the room’s overall illumination. It allows you to see and walk around safely. It can include chandeliers, ceiling or wall-mounted fixtures. Ambient lighting also can include recessed or track lighting. Have a central source of ambient lighting in all rooms.
Consider adding dimmers, which some designers consider a must-have update, especially in the kitchen. Dimmers allow you to adjust the intensity of the light or to strike the right mood.
Task lighting helps you perform specific tasks, such as preparing food or reading. Task lighting includes pendants, floor and desk lamps and under-cabinet lights.
Accent lighting creates visual interest in a room. It can be used to focus on a painting or sculpture or highlight a wall. Track, recessed and wall-mounted fixtures provide accent lighting.
Hang multiples of this wrought-iron cage light in a hallway or over a kitchen island. Or hang it alone in a mudroom.
Ceiling: If you prefer light from above, your options include chandeliers, flush-mount fixtures, pendant lights, track and recessed lighting. A combination will give you the light you need for general lighting and tasks.
Walls: Wall lighting provides indirect light and adds a decorative touch. Wall-mounted fixtures, or sconces, light a wall area and can be used in most rooms. For a functional reading lamp near a bed or sofa, swing-arm lamps are popular.
Lamps: Floor, desk and table lamps allow you to move your lighting and place it where it is needed.