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Options for Lighting Your Home

Thanks to advances in materials science and other techno-wizardry, your lighting design options today are, well, blinding. Any look you want, for any part of the home with any layout is available.

Here are some guidelines and choices...

First and foremost, when shopping keep in mind any electrical codes and the limitations of your home. Many families today are refurbishing beautiful older homes. These elegant houses were often well built, but wiring systems were not what they are today.

You may have to contact a contractor to help decide whether to replace that older wiring system. At minimum, you'll need to take measurements and develop a list of usage (loads), circuit breakers, etc. Find out what your system can handle before you start loading it up.

Fortunately today, installing newer systems can actually mean consuming less electricity while providing more illumination.

Compact fluorescent bulbs, for example, can now reproduce a very natural color balance while consuming 30% less electricity. Gone are the days of the greenish overcast. They're made in a variety of shapes, sizes and amounts of illumination.

LED (Light Emitting Diode) lights are the latest rage, and for good reason. Despite being more expensive to purchase, they're actually more economical in the long run, thanks to their long lifetimes.