What is ambient lighting – Also referred to a “general” lighting, ambient lighting is intended to fill the space with overall illumination providing enough for overall orientation and general task purposes. The level of ambient light should be able to be managed to provide a range of brightness specific to the purpose of the space at a given time; eg., bright perhaps for cleaning, but lower levels to create a more intimate or relaxed setting.
What is accent lighting – lighting that is used to accent or create emphasis on shapes, textures, finishes and or colors, as in a sculpture, window treatments, or any other object of interest. Accent lighting creates a focus or foci of visual interest in a given space. Accent lighting can also be used to direct the eye along a visual field or through a “path”. It is recommended that be effective, accent lighting should be a minimum of three times the amount of ambient light in the same area.
What is task lighting – lighting that is designed and installed to light a specific area where a task can be performed.
What is wall grazing – a lighting term that refers to the effect of lighting (most often from above) certain wall surfaces such as draperies, stone, brick or a work of art. Grazing creates high and low (shadows) levels of light on targeted surfaces.
What is wall washing – a lighting term that refers to a lighting technique that produces a relatively smooth and even illumination on the wall, with no shadowing. Wall washing is a technique often used to highlight one or more pieces of art work.
What is the right size (or width) chandelier for my dining room or kitchen eating area – As a starting point, add the room dimensions together. If the area for your chandelier is 14′ x 14′, add 14 + 14 = 28; your chandelier should be about 28” wide. At the same time, you need to consider the style and design of the fixture you like as well as the ceiling height, as each of these factors may influence the width of the fixture you chose.
What is the right height to hang my chandelier – As a general rule, hang your chandelier 36″ above the top of the table; however, if the ceiling is a 10’ or higher, the chandelier should be hung a little higher.
What is the right width for my chandelier – In most instances, the width of your chandelier should be about 6″ narrower than your table on each side, for a total of 12″ narrower than your table; so if your table is 40″, your chandelier should be approximately 28”.
How high does my ceiling need to be to choose a two or three tier chandelier – Your ceiling height should be at least 10’ to hang a multi-tier chandelier.
Hallway / Entryway Ceiling Fixtures
What is the right height for entry way and hallway ceiling fixtures – Typically, ceiling fixtures should not hang below 7’6″.
What is the right size picture light for my artwork – House of Troy, one of the largest manufacturers of picture lights, recommends that your picture light be approximately one-half the width of your artwork minus the frame.
What is the right height to hang a sconce – As a rule, your sconces should be hung at 6′ off the floor.
Are all wall sconces hard wired – Yes, all wall sconces are hard wired, and most are controlled by a wall switch. There are a few wall sconces, available directly from the manufacturer, with a switch on the back plate, but most are controlled by a wall switch. Someone who does lamp repairs may be able to put a switch on the back plate of your wall sconce.
Wall Swing Arm Lamps
Do I have to hard-wire my wall swing arm lamp – Most wall swing arm lamps are shipped with 8′ of cord and a cord cover in the same metal finish as the fixture. Cord cover length will vary depending on the fixture. If you chose, however, either you or your electrician can convert the wall swing arm lamp to hardwire by removing the cord cover and pulling the cord through the center hole of the mounting plate and wiring directly to a junction box in the wall.
What is the right height for a reading lamp – All useful task or reading light comes from below the lampshade if a fabric lampshade, or directly from a metal lampshade. Therefore, regardless of the height of the lamp, the most effective reading light offers a fabric lampshade whose bottom hits the reader somewhere between the nose and the shoulder, and a metal lampshade that is focused right over the task at hand.
How should I clean my lamps and lighting fixtures – We recommend using only a soft, dry cloth. If you feel it is necessary to use a cleaning agent, do not use scouring agents, ammonia, hydrochloric or acetic (vinegar) acids or abrasive sponges.
What is a lampshade fitter – the means by which the lampshade is supported on the lamp. The most common fitter is called a “washer” fitter, a small washer shape supported in the middle top of the shade by three or four wires extending to the top sides of the shade. A shade with a washer fitter is designed to sit on a harp. A shade with a clip fitter attaches to the lamp by means of a metal wire that fits or “clips” onto the light bulb; most shades with clip fitters are small so as to minimize the weight resting on the bulb. A lampshade with a uno fitter is designed to screw onto the end of a socket fitted to a downbridge lamp – or one in which the light bulb is pointed down. A lampshade with a chimney fitter is designed to be used for lampshades that are intended to sit on a hurricane – most commonly an electrified oil lamp.
What is a harp – the metal wire lamp part that fits into a saddle and supports the lampshade. Harps come in 1/2″ increments. The size or height of the harp is totally dependent upon the lampshade selected for the lamp – the taller the shade, the taller the harp. One important objective in selecting the correct harp is to ensure that the lampshade blocks from view the harp saddle and socket.
What is a hardback lampshade – lampshades made by laminating a fabric or paper onto a plastic liner. Each shade has a top ring and a bottom ring, and the laminated fabric is manufactured to attach to each ring, and then glued on one or more sides, forming the seam. The inner plastic liner can be translucent or opaque, while the outer, visible fabric can be any type of woven fabric including linen, silk, satin, muslin, or one of many different types of parchments or paper.
How do I measure a lampshade – Lampshades are measured using a top diameter (A), a bottom diameter (B) and a side measurements (C).