By Sanford Fogg
In a new monthly column, Sanford Fogg, of Fogg Lighting in Portland, offers his best advice on illuminating your home.
Q: What’s the most important thing to consider when planning lighting for a new home or remodel?
A: Bringing in a lighting designer at the start of a project is key. This is not a luxury reserved for people with big budgets. We will consult with any customer, free of charge, in our store. For a reasonable charge, we’ll also make a house call, but this is not typically necessary. Working with floor plans or drawings, we can determine how much light you need in a room, what types of fixtures will work best, and where they should go. Because lighting is one of the last things to be installed in a house, people often don’t contact us until the final weeks of a project. At this point, the wiring is done and it’s no longer possible to alter the lighting plan. We see kitchens that are drastically under-lit, with a grid of recessed lights in the center of the room instead of over the work surfaces. In living rooms, people frequently use recessed fixtures like klieg lights overhead, when they should be positioned around the room’s perimeter to create more comfortable, ambient illumination — to name just a couple of potential pitfalls.
Because contractors’ allowances are sometimes not enough to cover the type of lighting homeowners want or need, we also help clients devise a realistic budget up front so they are not hit with unexpected costs at the end of the process. You can spend a lot of time and money on your plans and architect, and choose the prettiest countertops, tile, and art, but if you don’t light it all properly, you can’t take full advantage of, or truly appreciate, the work you’ve done.
Re-Printed from the September 2013 ALA Technology Newsletter
Residential Lighting By The Numbers
Reliable data about the energy use of lighting products, together with numbers about the types and the quantity of products sold into the residential market, has become an increasingly important part of ALA activities in recent years. I pay particular attention to lighting energy data and the mix of light source products in various lighting applications. Those numbers indicate market trends and information about the technology being used. Demographic numbers are a good predictor of market activity too. An example is the market for elderly-friendly lighting which is growing because every day more than 11,000 people reach 65 years of age in the U.S.
Starting in 2002, the U.S. Department of Energy began publishing detailed lighting inventory and energy consumption data by sector – residential, commercial, industrial and outdoor. An update was published in 2012 based upon 2010 data, but last December, for the first time, residential lighting energy use was examined in detail.
Report Results fromResidential Lighting End-Use Consumption Study: Estimation Framework and Initial Estimates
(Download at no charge, here: http://alturl.com/qg bh2)
Since the 2010 data above didn’t include the rapid growth in the use of LED bulbs during the past couple of years, I looked at another DOE report which uses the same database, but which analyzed the LED adoption rate over the 2010-2012 time period.
Adoption of Light-Emitting Diodes in Common Lighting Applications.
(You can find that report at http://alturl.com/7z6yd)
The big question is: What will consumers put into those sockets as the conventional bulbs are replaced? The answer to that question will make 2014-15 an unusual and interesting time in the lighting business.
What are you going to put in your sockets? That’s the question that you have to answer for yourself. Please visit us at www.fogglighting.com and like us on Face Book. Be sure to download the UL app, LightSmart, for all kinds of interesting lighting information.