Bright New Ideas For Selecting Lighting For Your Home

I sat down with Joanne VanDeusen, the proprietor of The Lighting Place on Main Street in Manchester to have a chat about the most common lighting questions. I came away with lots of new tips and a few tricks in helping to select the proper fixtures. Here is what she shared with me.

When looking for a new lampshade, be sure to bring the lamp base in with you so you can try on different sizes and styles. It is very similar to finding the proper hat to fit your head. The size of the harp (the brass piece the shade sits on) can be changed to raise or lower the shade for a proper fit. You can also add a decorative finial to the top of the harp, which adds a custom touch. Another consideration is choice of material for the shade, a white or cream colored fabric will give you the most light, while a dark shade will create down light and add drama to a room setting.

There is a way to tell if your lamp has a one-way or three-way socket. Remove the bulb and for safety sake unplug the lamp, then look into the socket. One horizontal brass contact is a one-way socket; a horizontal brass and small silver contact is a three-way socket. Obviously, push-through switches are always one-way. You want to go check your lamps, don’t you? Go ahead, but remember to unplug the fixture first!

The Green Revolution is quite evident in the light bulb section of the store with technological changes coming fast and furiously. All of us are getting more comfortable with CFL’s, Compact Fluorescent Light bulbs, with their spiral shape, but now they have a variety that looks like a regular bulb with the spiral shape encased inside. Use these if you have clip on shades or wherever you can see the bulb in a fixture. They have also improved the color of the bulb so look for a bulb with 2700-2800 Kelvin, which closely resembles the warm color of incandescent bulbs. And now for a stock market tip – three letters – LED. Light Emitting Diodes will be the wave of the future in lighting. They use less energy and last longer with 25,000 hours of life and can be embedded in anything – imagine your coffee table also becoming a lamp or switching your wall on at night. We are living in very exciting times.

When Joanne is asked what types of light to choose for a specific room she always recommends that a homeowner layer the light using ceiling, floor and table fixtures. A kitchen can never be too bright so think task lighting –under counter, pendants over the island, overhead light. Add personality and style to the room with your lighting choices as there are an endless variety of styles. She recommends lights be put on dimmer switches, an easy change for an electrician to make and one that saves energy and the life of your bulbs.

I want to add that it is always a pleasure to shop at a specialty store because I find they have a range of prices, the sales staff are knowledgeable about their product, they back up the purchase after the sale and can provide parts when needed. I take all of these factors into account when deciding where to shop. Thank you, Joanne, for sharing your knowledge with us.


-Feathering Your Nest