Accent Light Fittings- Have an exquisite painting you want to highlight? Maybe a rare plant? Well an accent light fixture might be just the thing for you. Used correctly, they create a dramatic effect by drawing attention to and accentuating the special features of beautiful decorations in your home.
Lights are a major cost issue in most homes. With all the new technology available these days, most home owners look towards more cost effective solutions. Read more below, to establish which options suit you best.
Incandescent Bulbs- While certainly the most widely used form of light bulbs in many homes for a long time, they are not the most efficient. Wondering why? While being low cost to begin with, these can cost you a LOT of money – over time. They use up quite a large amount of electricity and now with competing options that are a lot more energy-efficient, incandescent bulbs are slowly being used less and less everywhere. They also tend to have a short life.
Halogen Bulbs- You should, of course, go for the more energy efficient version. These use 30% less energy than regular incandescent bulbs and provide good quality light. They can be used in a wide variety of settings and also cost less than other options such as CFLs and LED lights.
Compact Fluorescent Lamps(CFLs). These are a great energy efficient option. Unlike traditional incandescent lights, CFLs use a fraction of the energy and they produce a very small amount of heat. CFL fixtures will also have longer lives. These might be quite expensive to buy, but they will more than make up for this by drastically reducing your electricity bill.LED Bulbs- These utilise the most cutting edge technology in energy efficiency. LED which stands for light emitting diode, is the newest domestic light source option on the market. These are by far the most cost effective lights compared to the others. CFLs are certainly popular but with longer lives and mercury free design, LED bulbs are certainly the ones to watch. All of these choices are available in New Zealand. So keep in mind your preferences, the ambience you’re looking to achieve and your budget. Of course, every room can include multiple light sources, so this gives you more flexibility to make your choice.
In the modern home, lighting is one of the most important things when it comes to décor and design. It sets the tone for the overall vibe of any space.
When it comes to choosing the perfect domestic light source for you, the task is certainly not easy. There are a lot of different options to choose from; choices such as fluorescent lamps, incandescent fixtures, LEDs, accent spots etc. If you find yourself on the quest for the most ideal solution, here are a few things to keep in mind.
The ideal option depends not only on your preferences but also on what the purpose of illumination is. Before committing to any choice, consider what the lights are for. Are they for ambience? Do you need a minimum brightness in order to perform certain tasks such as studying? Or maybe it’s an accent spot or flood lamp to highlight something special in your beautiful home. Whatever the case may be, you’ll be pleased to know there are many options available that can cater to all your needs!
Ambient illumination- This is typically used to set the mood for any space. It is generally indirect and provides an overall glow to a room without focusing a direct spotlight on any object. These lights are used for living rooms and dining spaces as well as bedrooms. They provide general indoor light, for daily activities. When making your choice, the sky is the limit. From lamps and wall fixtures to stunning chandeliers, there are a multitude of options available.
Task Fixtures- These generally provide more direct and focused light. Utility is the word that captures the essence of these types of light fittings. They focus on providing direct illumination to facilitate your work. This includes fixtures such as table lamps, bathroom mirror lights, lights for kitchen counters etc. Certain rooms in any house need fixtures with focused light that provide functionality and enable you to work more efficiently. This is where task light fixtures really shine. So make sure you keep this in mind when making your choices. Proper task illumination will allow you to work, problem free, without putting any strain on your eyes.
Minimise fire risk by not running cords near sharp cornered furniture or through doorways. Take care to avoid running cords in areas where there is a likelihood of them being tripped on.
Never run electric cords beneath mats or rugs. If they get damaged, they quickly become a very real fire hazard.
Electric cords should be run along a wall rather than across a room. Staples and nails should never be used to secure electric cords. They can easily damage the cords and make them unsafe. Use tape or proper cable clips to safely secure electric cords. Make sure that furniture is not standing on electric cords as the cords can become damaged and unsafe very quickly.
Whenever possible, use cordless electric jugs. When a cord is in use, keep it short and out of the reach of children.
When you’re storing your electric blankets, make sure that they are stored flat, without sharp folds. Sharp folds can damage the internal wiring. Check for any scorch marks and to ensure that there are no exposed wires. Take them to an electrical appliance service shop to have them safety checked.
Never have electric blankets in use on beds where young children may be going to sleep. Bedwetting can easily result in electrocution.
Have a registered electrician check that your fuses or circuit breakers are correctly rated for the circuits in your home.
Never use electrical equipment in wet conditions. Always make sure that you use electrical equipment that is suitable for the environment you are working in. As an example, if conditions are damp, use a cordless drill.
Should an electrical fire occur, it’s important that you have multi-purpose fire extinguishers in your home AND that your family members know how to use them properly and safely.
Regular checks of the electrical appliances, equipment and cords in your home is time well spent. Keep your family safe and protect your property by consulting a registered electrician.
If you are ever in doubt about the safety of any electrical appliance, equipment, wiring or installation, contact a registered Christchurch electrician. A safety check by a qualified tradesman can be an excellent investment for the well-being of your family and the protection of your property.
Make it a habit to unplug small appliances when they are not in use. Always make sure that small appliances like jugs, toasters and irons are working correctly. There should be no strange noises, overheating or burning odours.
As soon as you have finished using any electrical appliance (and it has had time to cool down), put it away so that children don’t have easy access to it.
You can avoid your clothes dryer from overheating and creating a fire hazard, by regularly cleaning the air filter.
Take particular care with heating appliances. Have them checked regularly to ensure that they are safe. When in use, always make sure that they stable and unlikely to topple over. Keep them well away from any item that is likely to catch fire.
Electric sockets and switches should be checked regularly. Check to see if they are working properly and to see if they are damaged. Faceplates should feel cool when touched and should not be cracked or broken.
Plugs should fit securely into sockets. Loose plugs are dangerous. Don’t overload electrical sockets with too many appliances. Ensure that there is never more than one heater plugged into an electrical outlet.
If you have toddlers or young children, the use of safety plugs (caps) is highly recommended. These are readily available from nursery stores, hardware shops, electrical stores and many supermarkets.
Are the bulbs in your light fittings the correct wattage? Many light fittings have a maximum wattage rating, so it always pays to check that you’re not exceeding the maximum recommended wattage.
Are your electric cords in good, safe condition? If the outer covering is cracking or fraying, replace the cords immediately. When checking your cords, unplug them first and ensure that no internal wires are visible.