Lighting Fixtures

Lighting fixtures refer to a variety of bulb holders. Lamp fixtures are often accompanied by shades, enclosures or cases that hold the bulb in. A bulb, wiring and circuit are essential for light to emanate in the first place. A fixture’s role is considered minimal as far as the functioning of a bulb or its light rendering capacity is concerned. Lighting fixtures serve purely aesthetic functions.

The market offers lighting fixtures of infinite designs, types, shapes and sizes. Most stand out as creatively designed works of art in metal and glass to house bulbs. With lighting plans aspiring to create a mood and ambience, correct positioning of the bulb is extremely vital. While considering a lighting fixture, it is important to take into account that a particular bulb is right for a certain fixture.

For example, a halogen bulb should always be housed in an enclosed lighting fixture to avoid the dangerous consequences of a burst halogen bulb. The fixture has to be evaluated on various other parameters, like what type of task it is chosen for, what is the kind of light distribution can be expected from it(given its shades, shape, color, etc.), how does it effect the efficiency of the bulb and what kind of color distribution does it render. Hence, choosing a lighting fixture purely on aesthetic criteria is not a judicious decision.

Lighting fixtures also influence the efficiency of bulbs. It is always advisable to go for lighting fixtures with the highest energy efficiency ratings. While shopping for fixtures, one should ask about their efficiency. The efficiency rating of fixtures is published by the manufacturers and is available at the retail shops.

An inefficient fixture may absorb huge amounts of light, consequently reducing the amount of light distributed, or radiate the light to various cavities in the ceiling. The light efficiency of the fixtures can be maximized by regularly cleaning the dirt, and cobwebs from the shades and fixtures.

A lighting fixture should also coordinate and complement the look and style of the space. While choosing a chandelier, for example, the space it is meant for has to be borne in mind. A huge suspended fixture will look out of place in a small room. There are lighting fixtures for all kinds of lighting requirements. Lighting fixtures in resplendent designs and infinite sizes and ranges flood the market. An automatic or manual control facility increases the lifespan of the lamps, apart from enabling the easy layering of light. The age of individuals, the speed and precision demands of a task and the albedo of the surface are some of the other factors that determine people’s choice of a particular lighting fixture.

Installing Kitchen Lighting Fixtures, DIY OR Hire A Professional?

If you are not an experienced or licensed electrician or electrical contractor, initial wiring for any new fixtures should best be left to the professionals. This is because, initial house wiring requires installation to be done in conjunction with all local building codes. These codes may require wiring to be of a certain size, voltage, and type. However, if wiring is already in existence, installing kitchen lighting fixtures is not a complicated task.

The installation of kitchen lighting fixtures is an easy do-it-yourself task as long as you are using existing wiring, and have some experience with electricity. If you are confident that you can do the job yourself, all one has to do is follow these simple instructions.

Step 1: Type of Installation

The first step in installing your fixture(s) is to determine the type of installation that is required. In this regard, focus is laid on the location as well as the type of lighting fixture which greatly determine the varied installation directions. For under cabinet units, all one is required to do is locate the available electrical socket and then plug in the lighting fixture. However, other light fixtures such as ceiling fixtures are wired directly to the electric control panel which has its own circuit. In this case, our focus is on installing a new kitchen ceiling fixture.

Step 2: Locate Circuit

In case there has never been a previously installed lighting fixture, and the breaker for the fixture has not been indicated on the new breaker box, one needs to determine the circuit that will power the lighting. In order to do this, one needs to have somebody else turn the power switches off and on while testing the exposed wiring where the new fixture will be fitted, each wire at a time using a voltage tester. Once the circuit that will power the new fixture is determined, the beaker should be marked and then turned off.

At this point it is advisable to tape the beaker over, just in case someone might turn it on while one is in the process of installing the new lighting fixture. Use the voltage tester to recheck the wires again even after turning the beaker off in order to be guaranteed of safety since working with live wires is a bit deadly.

Step 3: Assemble the New Fixtures

Build the new assembly by carefully following the manual that contains the manufacturer’s directions. While doing this, it advisable to leave all bulbs or lamps out of the unit until it is installed properly. Locate the ceiling studs where the base of the new unit will be attached.

Step 4: Connect the Fixture

Having done all of the above, the base or brace of the new lighting fixture can be fastened to the ceiling studs using a screwdriver or a drill. Ensure that the like-wires are properly connected to one another and complete these connections by fastening the wire nuts. The new assembly can then be mounted on the base or brace using the available hardware.

Step 5: Bulb Installation

Any other extra fixture elements such as tracking and other individual sockets that are usually wired to the overall fixture can now be installed. Fix the bulbs tightly on the new fixture and then turn on the breaker to check whether your new kitchen lighting fixtures are operating properly.

2012 Lighting Trends: Reclaimed Light Fixtures

In recent years, all things ‘reclaimed’ have become super trendy. Those who follow the trends may purchase items such as reclaimed barn wood furniture pieces, antique display items and so forth; but few consider the prospect of reclaimed lights. When looking to update the lighting in your home, why not consider using a reclaimed fixture?

Are Reclaimed Light Fixtures Safe to Use?

The answer, in short, is a ‘yes’ and a ‘no.’ In some instances, the wiring may not be useable and could result in a fire if the fixture is installed ‘as-is.’ However, when using a reclaimed lights, it’s perfectly acceptable to remove the interior wiring and update all of the wiring and other electrical components before reusing the fixture. By updating the wiring and giving the fixture a thorough cleaning before use, you can make it a safe, useable fixture for your space.

What Types of Reclaimed Light Fixtures are Out There?

There may not be the same modern, decorative light fixtures that you will see in a light store today. However, you can easily find a number of different fixtures for use in your home including chandeliers, wall sconces, table lamps and floor lamps. If you really look, you may be able to find other fixtures such as pendant lights, hanging lanterns and even certain outdoor fixtures.

Keep in mind that ‘reclaimed’ does not necessarily translate into ‘antique.’ True antiques are at least 100 years old and the term ‘reclaimed’ simply means it was found or salvaged from elsewhere and is being offered for reuse. You may find reclaimed lights from offices and retailers that have gone out of business in the last couple of years, translating into a relatively new light.

Where can I Find a Reclaimed Light Fixture?

When looking for a reclaimed light fixture, you’ll obviously want to steer clear of retailers of new items. Instead, check out flea markets, secondhand stores, thrift stores, antique stores and antique malls. In some instances, you may even find reclaimed or ‘used’ lights at garage sales, estate sales and so forth.

There are also several online locations that can be highly beneficial when looking for reclaimed or ‘used’ fixtures.

What Do I Look For When Buying a Reclaimed Light Fixture?

If you are making your purchase in person, be sure to inspect the fixture thoroughly. Keep in mind that tarnishing does not necessarily indicate a poor fixture. Many older, retro, vintage or antique fixtures may feature mild to significant tarnishing that can be polished up and will look as good as new. Instead, look for issues such as rust, cracks and other irreparable damage.

If the fixture includes glass shades or crystals, inspect these items for cracks, chips and other damage. However, keep in mind that in some instances, you may be able to repair or replace the damaged portion. A missing crystal teardrop from an antique chandelier can often easily be replaced with a little bit of shopping around for the right piece.

Finally, don’t forget that the electrical wiring of a piece can be replaced to ensure the fixture is safe for reuse.

Reclaimed lights can be a great buy if you know what you’re looking for. Buy a fixture that is in good shape and if necessary, replace the wiring prior to installation for a beautiful, good-as-new fixture.