Monday, March 21, 2011

Let There Be LIGHT!

Lighting in a room is key. Especially when entertaining company. The lighting in a room sets the mood and if it's too dim people may feel uncomfortable at the intimacy of the setting. On the other hand if it's too bright it can hurt the eyes and feel overly harsh. I tend to err of the side of bright because you can always buy smaller wattage bulbs to soften the lighting. If you don't put enough lighting in a room you have to resort to lamps, which are good for decoration and mood lighting, but are not good if you have to rely on them to light a room.

To the room at hand! Here is a before picture of the lighting in our back room.

As you can see we rely on a lamp to help light the room. Even with the lamp it is a poorly lit room. This is especially bad because this is our "dining room" and sufficient overhead lighting is very important to promote conversation at the dinner table.

Now here is a picture of the room with the new lighting!

It's so much brighter, but not just brighter, it's evenly lit. No more dark patches in the room. To get this effect we used six (two more above where I'm standing taking the picture) recessed can lights. The reason we used can lights is our low ceiling. Most ceilings are at least 8 feet, but our back room is hair grazing 7 ft. 3 inches. Sorry Shaq I know you wanted to come hang out but you are too tall for our back room. Audra wasn't excited about can lights but once I showed her how short our ceiling really was she consented to them and has grown to like them.

Something you need to watch for when using can lights is height above the ceiling.

As you can see we had less than 6 inches to work with. Most can lights are at least 8 inches tall, but we found some shallow ones for a few bucks more. Another thing we had to make sure of was that the can lights were rated for insulation contact. Can lights can get very hot and if insulation is touching them and they aren't rated for it, it can start a fire.

Along with getting wire pulled for new outlets and other circuits in the house(stuff that I would not recommend doing yourself unless you are a licensed electrician) the can lights needed to be put in before we sheet rocked the ceiling. Now that all that is done, we are ready to put the ceiling up!

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