21st century technology brightens kitchens and baths with low voltage light bulbs
Lighting in kitchens and bathrooms has improved beyond Thomas Edison’s wildest dreams – just as the rooms themselves have evolved dramatically. Today’s new kitchens feature expansive islands and wide open spaces, while today’s bathroom often functions as a luxurious hideaway, complete with Roman tub, spa and a variety of pampering fixtures.
To provide adequate lighting for such vastly different rooms, designers have developed an array of new technology. These include greatly improved low voltage specialty systems, new incandescent fixtures that use halogen or xenon bulbs, and new fluorescent sources that offer greatly improved CRI (color rendering) and CCT (color temperature).
So how do you take advantage of these new technologies? Whether you’re building a new home or simply want to add new life to an existing one, good lighting design is based on a system the experts call “layering.” Instead of simply mounting a fixture to provide light, layering produces more interesting spaces by balancing the decorative and functional aspects of lighting.
An effective kitchen or bath lighting system will include four major functions – with innovative new products available for each of them:
• Ambient or General Lighting: Today’s new fluorescent lighting offers excellent color rendering for general lighting in kitchens and baths. New designs offer fixtures that are beautifully encased in wood with the latest designer finishes and accents. Or you can use recessed fixtures for general lighting, taking advantage of today’s new compact fluorescent lamps.
•Task Lighting: Low voltage pendants or recessed low voltage lighting over a kitchen island provide excellent task lighting for this busy workspace. Under the cabinets, try low voltage linear lighting instead of fluorescent fixtures. For example, Ambiance® Lighting Systems by Sea Gull Lighting Products, Inc., offers an array of new designs, as well as a mini-recessed fixture that is approved for use as a shower light.
•Supplemental Task Lighting: Recessed low voltage lighting is an ideal choice to provide supplemental task lighting on counter space work areas in kitchens or baths.
•Accent Lighting: Small, adjustable and directional track fixtures are useful for accenting counter top or cabinet displays. Or you can highlight special items by displaying them in glass-front cabinets, illuminated with innovative new fixtures such as the Disk Lighting System – also part of Sea Gull Lighting’s Ambiance® brand product line. Another popular accent approach uses low voltage linear lighting under the toe space of a bath cabinet for night lighting. Finally, you can add another layer of light altogether by lighting above your cabinets with low voltage linear lighting.
The alternatives could go on and on, limited only by your creativity. As kitchens and bath designs continue to evolve, the lighting industry will continue to develop new technologies and new products that respond to the ongoing changes in the way we use these functional and comfortable spaces.
Mark Harris contributes and publishes news editorial to http://www.discount-light-bulbs.com.
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