Julianne Krutka
Park Square Realty | 413-297-6718 | julianne.krutka@gmail.com


Posted by Julianne Krutka on 10/11/2018

Choosing the right lighting for your home not only enhances it visually, but can also make it a safer and more secure place to live.

While an interior decorator or electrician can offer you additional suggestions about upgrading your home's lighting efficiency and appearance, here are a few helpful lighting tips and ideas to consider.

  • Dimmer switches can be a highly desirable feature to include in most rooms in your house. You only use them on an as-needed basis, and they're great for reducing eye strain, creating a more relaxing environment, and conserving electricity. Although dimmer switches are relatively easy to install, hiring a reasonably priced electrician is good insurance against getting an electrical shock or doing it incorrectly.
  • Flood lights strategically placed in different areas of your property can help keep away trespassers, burglars, and vandals. Motion-activated security lights are especially effective at deterring crime and sending intruders on their way. While lighting alone does not comprise a fail-proof home security system, it is one of several methods that, when used together, can keep your home, property, and family safe.
  • Adequate outside lighting helps prevent family members and visitors from falling, tripping, and getting injured on your property when approaching your home at night. This is especially important for those who are elderly or vision impaired.
  • Outdoor lighting can also be effectively used for decorative purposes on porches, patios, backyard decks, and walkways.
Light Bulb Facts

If you're wondering why old-fashioned incandescent light bulbs are becoming harder to find on store shelves, it's because of two things:

  1. The Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007: It was enacted to for several reasons, including eliminating wasteful energy products from the market, helping the United States become more energy independent, and reducing harmful emissions from coal-fired power plants. Although some consumers prefer the old-fashioned incandescent light bulb, it's interesting to know that they're only 10% efficient. What that means, says the EPA, is that 90% of the electricity it uses is lost to heat.
  2. Consumers want to save money on energy consumption. Here's what the EPA says on the subject: "Because lighting accounts for approximately 12% of the average householdís energy bill, more efficient options will help consumers save money on their utility bills."
Those more efficient options include compact fluorescent lights (CFL), light emitting diode bulbs (LED), and halogen bulbs. Although energy efficient lights can be somewhat more expensive initially, they last longer and typically use about 25%-80% less energy than traditional incandescent light bulbs. That's the word from the U.S. Department of Energy's Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy. Based on figures from the EPA, consumers can also save money by using Energy Star-qualified LED bulbs, which use at least 75 percent less energy and last 15 times longer than incandescent bulbs.

With its economical features and versatile uses in and around the house, there are a lot of benefits to be had from choosing the right lighting.




Categories: Uncategorized  


Posted by Julianne Krutka on 8/2/2018

Your outdoor lighting is perhaps one neglected area of your home. For both safety and beauty, the outdoors deserve a certain amount of attention when it comes to lighting. There are plenty of ways that you can make your outdoor lighting both welcoming and practical.


Layer It


Just as you would inside your home, you should try to layer your lighting. To do this, you should include many different kinds of lighting especially lighting that brightens the outside walls of the home, highlights landscaping elements, and even some overhead lighting.


Use Decorative Lighting


Decorative lanterns and lamps are an easy way to add lighting to your outdoor spaces. You can let them stand on their own, spread them out, or you can group them and line them up in certain areas like a wall or a table. Candles are also a great way to multi-purpose practical lighting with decorative lighting. 


Light Your Steps


Itís important to provide adequate lighting on stairs and decks. Anywhere that people can trip is a place that needs adequate lighting. Solar powered lights are perfect for these uses.


Use String Lights


String lighting hung overhead can be perfect for courtyards, decks, roofs, or even trees and shrubbery. If you donít have anything to hang string lights from, you can always get creative using posts and planters. This is a great non-permanent solution for you to have some pretty lighting available.


Donít Draw Too Much Attention To Your Property


While you want adequate lighting on the outside of your property, you also donít want to draw attention to an area of your yard. The whole neighborhood doesnít need to know that youíre out on your deck, hanging out. Choose lighting that provides an inviting glow without an overpowering brightness.            


Use Table Lamps


You may have thought that table lamps are only for the indoors, but think again. Your outdoor setup can be the same as your indoor setup. Put table lamps down on your outdoor tables for adequate illumination. Be sure that the lamps youíre using are rated for the outdoors. 


If you use the right techniques and always be sure that youíre following safety protocols,  you can find success with your outdoor lighting scheme. When your home is properly lit, the best part is that youíll be able to enjoy the outdoors of your home much more thoroughly during seasonable times. Youíll also have an increased sense of security and comfort in and around your home. Itís well known that burglars are deterred from intruding on well-lit properties. Set up your outdoor lighting right and get the outdoor season off on the right foot.




Tags: lighting   outdoors  
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Posted by Julianne Krutka on 7/5/2018

One very important, yet often overlooked aspect of setting up a home is that of lighting. We often take lighting for granted. We turn on a light in order to see something better, but thereís so much more to a well-lit room than placing a light anywhere in the space. Lighting should be done in layers. These layers include:


  • Ambient lighting
  • Accent lighting
  • Task lighting
  • Decorative lighting


For well-balanced lighting in a room, you should mix and match the types of lighting from these layers. Letís break down the different layers of lighting:


Ambient


This kind of lighting includes natural light sources such as windows and doors. Ambient lighting would also include pendant lighting and overhead light fixtures like a combination light/ ceiling fan.


Task


Task lighting is exactly as the name denotes. You use this type of lighting when you want to complete some kind of task. These fixtures could include under the counter lighting, desk lamps, and reading lamps. 


Accent 


Accent lighting provides additional brightness to a room. These fixtures include adjustable lights and recessed lighting features. 


Decorative


Decorative lighting accents a room in a different way. These types of fixtures would be something like chandeliers, different colored light bulbs, and other lights that can be used for decoration.      


Highlights


The great thing about the right kind of lighting is that it will feature the best parts of a room. Do you have a painting that you love? Use lighting to bring it out. Is there a statue that you want to make stand out? Use a soft spotlight. You can even highlight your crown molding and ceiling features with some mounted sconces or rope lights along the edge of your ceiling for an added effect. 


Spread It Out


One of the worst mistakes that people make when lighting a room is forgetting to spread out their light sources. All of the light in the room is concentrated in one spot, leaving dark patches in the space. This can be a decoratorís nightmare. This is why the layering method works so well. The lighting is spread out around the room and even. There wonít be any spots in the room where the lighting is overwhelming or on the flip side, not enough.


Use Your Windows


One of the other big mistakes in lighting is that people often forget to make use of the natural daylight. While you may need some lighting in a room thatís used often at night, there should be some great resources coming from right outside your windows. Donít block this light! Use creative ways to direct the light accordingly like curtains and blinds. Donít be afraid to leave some window space open as well to let the light shine in. While you donít want to sacrifice your privacy, you do not want to live with your windows darkened all day, every day!




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Posted by Julianne Krutka on 4/26/2018

You may take your front door for granted. Maybe you only use your front door occasionally when company comes or you have a gathering at your home. Itís amazing how much more curb appeal you can give to your home with a properly lit front door. Below, youíll find some tips to help you brighten your front door and the overall appeal of your home. 


Make Your Front Door Shine Through The Night


If you want your home to have curb appeal, you may think of the daylight hours. Sure, you want your home to look good during the day, but there are 24 hours! You can find plenty of ways that you can add nighttime curb appeal to your home with correct types of landscape lighting. Some ideas to help you highlight your front door can be found below:


Put a spotlight on the entryway


Using bold lighting like this can help you to enhance the features that are already present on the front of your home.     


Use sconce lighting

This type of lighting is easily mounted onto the side of walls or the side of your home. You can use these types of lights to add to the style of your home as they come in many different kinds from the stately to the fun and whimsical. These lights also provide quite a welcoming touch to the home.


Consider Lighting Your House Number


Wherever your house number is present, you should try to light it. This way, after daylight hours, guests can clearly see what house number is yours. You can do this with a lamp post or a spotlight depending on where you have your house numbers mounted. 


Use Lighting Variations


Just as you would on the inside of your home, the outside of your home should use variations of lighting. Use sconces for overhead lighting. Think of the lighting on the outside of your home based on the main types of lighting: task, decorative, ambient, and accent lighting. Using these basic design principles can help you to find where the need for light is in your yard.


Highlight Your Landscape


Your hard efforts at landscaping arenít just for the daylight hours. Use lighting in your yard as a way to highlight the beauty of your yard the whole day and night through. If you have particularly unique trees or bushes, or a nice statue in your yard, use lights to brighten the space and show off the best features that your yard has to offer.

When thinking of lighting your yard keep safety as your first priority and design as your second for a great outdoor lighting scheme.    





Tags: home design   lighting  
Categories: Uncategorized  


Posted by Julianne Krutka on 12/28/2017

Many times, itís the quick projects around your home that make the biggest difference. Lighting is one of the most important aspects of your home. Without the right lighting, the entire mood of a room can be offset by the poor ambient quality. Lights are practical and help work on our emotions in the most subtle ways. Here, weíll show you some of the updates that you can make to the lighting in your home that you may have never thought of. Kitchen Many kitchens have only one source of lighting. If the kitchen is short on windows that bring in outside light, this single-source lighting can be an even bigger problem. Try under cabinet lighting to illuminate countertops and preparation areas. This is great for not only safety, but to bring more light into the room in a unique way. Bathroom There's nothing creepier in the bathroom than strange shadows. Thatís where recessed lighting comes in. You also donít need to apply makeup in the wrong way due to poor lighting. Having lights available in several areas of the bathroom will make getting ready in the morning easier. Proper lighting will also make showering safer and less like a horror film! Bedroom The bedroom is perhaps the simplest room of the house to light. Youíll need lights by the bed for reading and other tasks. Usually wall mount fixtures work best for these purposes. They make great task lights and also look fantastic on the wall as part of your bedroomís decor. As a bonus, lights on the wall will create less clutter in the home. Dining Area Look for task lights and lamps for your buffet to brighten your dining room. Try adding lighting fixtures in places where youíll be doing a lot of task-focused activities. Aim for more recessed lighting over the dining table so guests wonít feel that they have the spotlight on them. Living Spaces In shared environments, lamps that are easily made portable can work best. This is simply because people tend to forget a lamp thatís tucked in the corner somewhere. Itís also a plus to put your lamps on timers. If you know that you get home at 7 PM every evening, set the timer so that you walk into a bight, inviting home and not a dark one. Highlight Things In The Room Itís always a great way to light a darker corner by placing lights over a plant or a painting. This helps to highlight the decorative aspects of the room even in the dark.




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