Light your home with tips from Gayle Kassen of Crescent Lighting (AP File Photo).

Home Lighting

SPONSORED -- "Come out of the cave days of winter and into the bright light of spring," says Pete, and Gayle Kassen of Crescent Lighting helps you figure out the best lighting for your home.

LED lighting is some of the most popular lighting, says Pete, and Kassen says LED lighting has changed rapidly in the past year. Manufacturers are adding chips to LED lights to allow you to dim lights like you can with normal fluorescent lights; to make sure your LED bulb is dimmable, check for the word on the bulb's packaging. "It'll tell you what dimmer it's been tested with," she says, so you can make sure all aspects of your lighting are compatible.

Developments in LED lighting have also allowed the bulbs to emit different colors of light. "You didn't have the different color temperatures like you do now," she says. "Any light bulb is rated with a color temperature. On a Kelvin scale, 2700 is your standard, warm color in a light bulb." LED bulbs are now able to radiate at 2700 Kelvin, rather than at a higher, bluer temperature.

So why is color temperature in your home important? A higher number on the Kelvin scale will wash out paint colors, wood stains, and counter colors, drastically affecting the look of your home.

The difference between the three main types of lighting -- fluorescent, incandescent and LED -- is what the bulbs themselves contain. "An incandescent bulb is just a bulb with an element in it made to turn on when your [switch] gets turned on," she says. "In fluorescents, you have some kind of ballast built in. That ballast has to be fired by the power, which then fires the fluorescent." Fluorescent lights are filled with chemicals which emit light when power is introduced. An LED, Pete says, is a switch passing current across the light-emitting diode.

The fixtures in your home heavily affect how energy-efficient your home is. In new construction, Kassen says, homes must have 75 percent of their fixtures be energy-efficient, or able to have fluorescent or LED bulbs, or the homes will not pass their final inspection.

If it's time to start tackling your spring lighting projects, Kassen says using LEDs make a great addition to landscape lighting, especially if you already have the infrastructure in place. "You can use what you have for power and just attach them to the line that's already in the ground, and start changing your landscape light a little at a time."

Crescent Lighting is a proud sponsor of Home Matters.

Home Matters with Pete can be heard on KIRO Radio every Saturday at 8 a.m. and Sunday at 6 a.m. or anytime at Like Home Matters on Facebook.

Cait Walsh, MyNorthwest Writer
Caitlyn Walsh is a regular lifestyles contributor for MyNorthwest. She enjoys reading and hiking, as well as perusing all the cat videos the Internet has to offer.
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