Thursday, April 2, 2020
Thursday, March 19, 2020
The kitchen is one of the real “working” rooms in the home. It is not a place designed for relaxation – it is where the food is prepared, where all kinds of odd jobs are done, where neighbors are given a cup of coffee and much more. A room like this will show a lot of wear as time passes, which is why remodeling the kitchen is one of the most popular home renovation projects. Giving the kitchen a new look can rejuvenate the whole house because the positive energy of a nice kitchen will radiate through the home.
Lighting – How Much?
Whether the job is done by a professional remodeling contractor or is a DIY one you have been itching to start, lighting is where all the planning and designing commences. A bright well-lit kitchen will have a clear, clean and open look that will make it an enjoyable place to spend time. Of course, the appliances, cabinets, countertops, flooring, storage and so on are all important, but no matter how good all these are, bad lighting can ruin the look and more importantly, the feel of the kitchen.
There are 2 aspects to the lighting – the amount of light that is required in different parts of the room and the type of light. The amount of light is a matter of personal choice – the room must not be dark and dull, but also not so bright as to hurt the eyes. Everyone has a different idea of what constitutes the right amount of lighting so this is where you can go with what works for you, as long as the lighting enables all the different things that the room is used for to be done.
Lighting – What Type?
The type of lighting is not limited to the use of LED, CFL, halogen or other types of lamps and bulbs. What about daylight? A common problem with many kitchens is that not enough daylight enters through windows and skylights. This means that electric lights must be used during the day. This presents 2 problems – the electricity bills will go up and the benefits of natural sunlight are lost.
The impact of higher electricity bills is obvious. What is often overlooked is the negative impact of inadequate sunlight. Natural sunlight is a great disinfectant and it needs to permeate the kitchen where food is stored and prepared. Then, there is the energizing effect of sunlight on the body’s metabolism. Since the kitchen is a “working” room, the extra energizing impact of sunlight will always be welcome. There is also the psychological effect of natural daylight. Sunlight is a powerful mood booster and being able to cook or do any of the other things the kitchen is used for when the room is full of this light takes some of the pressure off the work.
The Right Light, the Right Way
If your kitchen does not have enough sunlight coming in, there is an easy fix. Install a daylighting system that will capture the sunlight from the roof of your house and carry it through walls and ceilings to the kitchen, where it will be diffused to provide the best natural light through the room. This is a quick, cost-effective and simple solution. You can install a daylighting system as part of a remodel or as an easy stand-alone project. All you need to do to get started is contact a daylighting systems dealer.
Monday, February 17, 2020
Getting through summer especially in a place like California, without air conditioning can be almost impossible. Summer is a time of year that everyone looks forward to but the sharp increase in electricity bills because of the use of air conditioners takes some of the shine off the summer fun. Being able to reduce the bills, without making the home uncomfortable, is something every homeowner would like to achieve, but for many, it seems like an impossible dream. There is a way to achieve this.
Light and Heat Gain
The first issue to be considered is indoor lighting during the day. Many homes have spaces that do not get enough natural light, even with shades and curtains open. This means that electric lights must be used during the day which adds to the power bill. So, reducing the use of artificial light during the day becomes objective one. Traditionally, the only way to increase the amount of sunlight entering a room is to put in additional windows and/or skylights. The problem with this is that it may not be structurally possible; the cost is very high, it is a messy and time-consuming job and skylights may start leaking. All in all, it is not aesthetically pleasing and is not a economic solution to the problem. On top of this, the more sunlight that comes in from windows and skylights, the more the heat gain in the room, which means the air conditioning load, goes up. This, in turn, means larger utility bills.
That brings up the second issue – reducing the heat load to reduce the amount of air conditioning required. Since bringing in more sunlight to reduce electricity use for lighting pushes up the need for air conditioning, it seems like a catch 22 situation where the homeowner cannot come out on top. Fortunately, this is not the case.
More Light and Less Heat
There is a way of increasing natural light availability indoors without adding to the heat load. This is done by installing daylighting systems. These are high tech systems that capture sunlight (even low angle morning and evening light) from the roof and carry it with almost no loss through special reflective pipes to the interiors of the home where the light is diffused using special light fittings. Unlike Windows or skylights, daylighting devices can be installed in any house, require no structural modifications to be done, are cost-effective, can be installed quickly (a matter of a few hours) and cleanly, and will not leak or allow water entry.
As for the heat gain, it is negligible to the extent of having no impact on the air conditioning load. It is light that enters the home, not heat. It is for these reasons that daylighting systems from the leading manufacturer have been awarded the Energy Star label.
There is an added benefit – just as a daylight system limits heat gain in summer, it reduces heat loss in cold weather. Heat loss, even through double or triple glazed windows adds to the heating load. In the same way that heat gain is controlled, daylighting systems restrict heat loss to the absolute minimum.
Installing a daylighting system is simple. All a homeowner needs to do is contact the dealer of the leading manufacturer. The experts will guide him through the options available and answer all questions that may be posed. In fact, once the decision to purchase is made, same-day installation is available.
Monday, February 10, 2020
At Sunlight Concepts, you will find a team of professionals ready to assist you with all your daylighting and ventilation needs.
Friday, January 17, 2020
Everyone wants their home to be the happiest place it can be. That means it should be comfortable, nice looking, secure, safe and where the residents truly feel “at home.” What many homeowners do not realize is the way lighting affects the mood and ambience of a home. Lighting is considered to be one of the most important factors in home design and décor. However, this is often overlooked when planning the interiors.
Appearances Are Deceptive
A home may appear to be well lit and cheerful, but there is often a large gap between appearance and the reality of proper lighting. An example of this is a room that appears to be bright. However, when people need to read or concentrate on a specific task, they have to move lamps around to get the kind of illumination they want. A room like this cannot be called a well-lit one. The problem is that different activities require different types of lighting. If the light is too dim, eye strain and headaches arise. Drowsiness and fatigue are also at much higher levels in dimly lit rooms. However, overly bright or harsh lighting can be just as bad. Eyestrain, migraines, and irritability are more common in overly illuminated rooms.
The problem is that most rooms in the home are multi-functional. For example, a sitting room can be used for entertaining guests, watching TV, doing homework and so on. Each activity requires a different type and level of light. Installing a huge number of light fixtures to cater to the various needs is not just impractical; it will also ruin the appearance of the room.
The solution to this lighting problem is a simple one – use the maximum natural light. Daylight is good for us – from the vitamin D it contains to its disinfectant properties and more. Research has established that our cortisol levels drop when we are exposed to artificial and/or poor-quality light. This leads to increased stress and unstable energy levels. Of course, sunlight is available only during the day –there is no technology to store pure sunlight for use at night. However, maximizing the use of and exposure to sunlight during the day can go a long way towards compensating for the negative effects of prolonged exposure to artificial light at night.
Ensuring windows are clean and keeping drapes open will allow sunlight to enter a home. Unfortunately, that is often not enough to compensate for architectural issues, natural obstructions or weather factors that may result in an inadequate amount of sunlight being able to enter. The way around this problem is to install daylighting systems. These capture the maximum amount of sunlight from the exterior of a home and carry that light through walls and ceiling to even the most interior parts of a house, including places like closets where no natural light is available. The best systems come with dimmers to control the amount of daylight in a room, light add-on kits so the same fixture can be used at night and ventilation kits to control humidity. Installation is quick and requires no structural modifications. The wide range of elegant fixtures means that finding the right ones to match a home’s décor is not an issue. And of course, daylight is free, so a daylighting system has no operating cost.
Contact a daylighting systems dealer to learn more.
Monday, December 23, 2019
Everyone wants to live in a happy home. The quality of life at home affects every aspect of existence. For example, a dull or depressing home will make it difficult for people to have a positive outlook towards their work, social interactions, personal growth and other issues. No one family member can create a truly happy home – it requires an effort from everyone. However, there are situations where no matter how much effort is made, the atmosphere at home is negative and this prevents the home and the people in it from being as happy as they could be. There are several reasons why this could be so. One of the most common, and yet most often overlooked, is the way the home is lit.
Lighting And Mood
Ask people what they think of a dull dark rainy day and almost all of them will tell you that it is depressing. Ask them about a bright, clear sunny day and the answer is the opposite. Lighting affects mood and there is a huge volume of established scientific research to prove this. The term “mood lighting” is an accurate one that refers to how lighting affects our moods. Light has a massive impact on both our physical as well as psychological wellbeing. All creatures have natural active and sleep cycles. For some, like bats and other nocturnal animals, the active period is at night in the dark. For others, including human beings, it is daytime, with its natural sunlight, that is the active period.
Unfortunately, the modern world conspires to keep most of us indoors for a large part, if not all, of the day. That means we spend our time with limited amounts of exposure to the positive influence of sunlight. A large amount of the lighting we live with indoors is artificial. Artificial light does not have the natural power to give us the physical and mental stimulus we need to perform at a high level. In fact, overexposure to artificial lighting, as reputed studies show, can be injurious to health. Research proves that excess exposure to LED, CFL, neon or even old incandescent or halogen lighting can make people nervous and irritable. It can also cause insomnia. Most people when asked if they feel more positive and creative when working on their laptops outdoors, in sunlight, as compared to being indoors in artificial light, said yes.
Bring Natural Light Indoors
We need to live and work, for the most part, indoors. However, that does not mean that our exposure to sunlight and its natural benefits should be curtailed. Maximizing the use of sunlight indoors during the daytime will help to counter the negative effects of long exposure to artificial light. The problem with this is that often windows do not permit as much light as possible to enter. The reasons range from the size of the windows, the direction they face, exterior obstructions that block light or other geographical or climatic factors.
The installing of daylighting systems that capture sunlight from the roof and carry it through walls to even the most interior parts of a home offers the best, and most cost-effective way of maximizing the use of sunlight indoors. Contact a daylighting systems dealer to learn more about these systems, how they work, how effective they are, how simple installation is and why they are right for your home.