Practical Solutions for Lighting Problems
Adequate lighting is a must in all areas in and around your home. It provides for comfort and convenience, safety, and better security.
It is also sometimes difficult to find a way to provide adequate lighting without ruining the aesthetic appeal of a room or area or the need to do major electrical installations or upgrades.
There are however some solutions available for most situations that allow for both budget and appeal in many common problem areas.
The most common problem in lighting installations is the need for a switch. Looking for an old fashioned pull cord from a ceiling light in a dark room is not ideal under any circumstance and is not needed with the many switches now available. There are automatic switches for nearly every purpose.
The two most common automatic switches are motion detector switches and light sensitive switches. A motion detector switch (sometimes referred to as an occupancy detector switch) has a sensor to detect when something is moving within its range and automatically turns on the light. These are available either as a fixture or as an adapter that goes into the socket and then the bulb is screwed into the adapter.
Motion detector switches are often used for security lighting if flood lights are used around the home or garage and you prefer not to have the security lights on all the time. There are other places that you should consider them as well. They work well in closets so the light turns on as soon as the door is opened and will go off soon after the door is closed. Basement stair safety is enhanced by their use, as well as attics. As a rule rooms that have a lot of traffic or where pets frequent are better served with other alternatives.
Light sensitive switches are excellent for exterior applications. They turn on automatically as it gets dark and then off when it gets light again. They are commonly used outside exterior doors, some security lighting applications, and landscape lighting. They also are readily available as either fixtures or adaptive add-ons to existing fixtures. Most people find them more convenient than timers as they do not need to be adjusted according to seasonal changes in hours of daylight and also function if it is dark earlier than normal due to heavy overcast conditions.
Battery powered emergency lighting is a must have for every home. With the availability and low cost of LED lights having several readily available in the event of a power outage is prudent. The modern LED lights are as bright as a room light and can run on home batteries for days. Many are available not only as lamp type fixtures or flashlights but as simple globes that can be stuck temporarily to a ceiling or wall.
General room lighting is far easier to adapt now than ever before. Common problem areas are in the main living room and in the kitchen. With only ceiling lighting in the kitchen dark shadows on counter work spaces below kitchen cabinets is common. Instead of the large fluorescent lights mounted below the cabinets an LED strip can be installed along the bottom of cabinets that is nearly invisible unless turned on. Another use for the LED strip lights is in living room if a standard lamp is not convenient. This allows for indirect lighting that will not interfere with TV viewing and that can be dimmed or brightened as needed for mood or reading. Any recessed lighting will suffice for this purpose of course but the strip lights install easier without modifications to ceilings or walls needed.