When you walk into any room of your home several things become instantly apparent. The overall size is noticed first with an impression of roomy or cosy. A feel of the mood in the room is instant – formal or casual – comfortable or refined. Of course the furnishings set the use as dining, sitting or bedroom.
Almost unnoticed in all of this is the aspect with the greatest effect. Room lighting quickly alters the appearance and feel of a room. Bright harsh white lights give either an industrial office feel or contemporary (depending on the furnishings and opinion of the beholder). Insufficient light will make some think cosy and warm but many will just see smaller and shadowy.
The fact is the lighting level and intensity will change the entire mood of a room. In addition to changing mood and tone of a room the lighting is also the first place to look for long term cost savings. Since in many homes rooms are unoccupied completely during the day when at work and school most lighting is inherently from artificial sources. By choosing energy efficient lighting the savings will pay for any improvements over the course of time.
Though it is easy to determine what amount of light is best for typical use in a room, many rooms can benefit and are used for multiple purposes. For entertaining a large group of guests a brightly lit living room will give it a brighter and larger appearance and encourage talking and interaction. That same room is better served by more subdued lighting for the family enjoying a show or movie while relaxing in the evening before bed.
This need for different amounts of light at different times has been addressed in various ways over the years. The addition of multiple lamps, use of 3 way adjustable wattage bulbs, and dimmer switched have all served purpose. The most convenient and adjustable is with the dimmer switches that have gained popularity – many even coming with a convenient hand held remote control now.
The use of dimmer switches allows your downlights to be adjusted to purpose. It also helps curtail excess energy use. In the same vein as energy savings many have gone to either CF (compact fluorescent) lamps or LED lights. They use only a fraction of the energy of conventional lamps and give off a better quality of light.
When upgrading bulbs and lighting for the purpose of saving energy and more versatile room lighting it is important to remember a few small things. Most of these low energy bulbs do not perform well with standard dimmer switches as you may already have installed. The reason is simple- they use to little energy and the lack of resistance cause the dimmer switch to not be able to read feedback and cause flickering. It is particularly noticeable at lower light level settings.
If you have issues with flickering or “long life bulbs” blowing after just a few weeks or months you will need to change out your dimmer switch to an LED compatible dimmer switch. Find them online at www.downlights.co.uk . These switches are made specifically for the lower wattage of energy saving lamps and will allow you to fully control the type and intensity of any room as suits your purpose.