The use of incandescent bulbs across the US began decreasing the moment Congress decided to pass Energy Independence and Security Act (EISA) of 2007. This act laid down some strict rules and standards in the energy sector with an aim of making energy greener, cost effective and long lasting. This was done in style in such a way that all inefficient bulbs had to be replaced with more efficient bulbs capable of consuming minimum energy for cost effective purposes. Environmental consideration was also a factor as this act came into effect. These standards meant that all incandescent bulbs and all close relatives were to be phased out if they failed to follow the set standards. This move led to a decrease in the users of incandescent bulbs across the US with time.
This was a change that brought good news in the world of lighting because CFLs and LEDs came and a good number of people fell in love with them because of their ability to consume minimum energy which meant they were cost effective. With these types of bulbs everyone now has a variety of options to choose from. There are very many nice options available in-terms of the best bulbs for lighting which therefore make it a bit challenging when it comes to finding the right bulb. The other factor likely to determine whether a person is ready to do as EISA mandates is the willingness of an individual to move on from old bulbs known for excessive consumption of energy to the new bulbs well known for saving energy hence pocket friendly. Let’s now look at some of the considerations when planning to buy a light bulb.
This is an important aspect that must be considered when buying a light bulb. Don’t be like other people who just buy blindly without considering this important info about light bulbs and fittings. The shape and type of fitting determines a lot when installing a bulb. There are very many options to choose from when it comes to light bulbs and different fittings. Choose a bulb with the right fitting which makes it easy when it comes to installation. You can as well consider your preference when it comes to fitting your bulb. Does the fitting you settle on the best whether indoors or outdoors.
The other factor you must consider when buying bulbs is the shape. The shape of the bulb goes hand in hand with the fitting. We have a representation of the most common shapes you can choose from below. However, you can always do your research to find out the different types of bulbs available in the market. What we have provided here are the most common types of fittings that you are likely to get whenever you want to buy a bulb for your home office or other household needs.
The different shapes of light bulbs available provide different angles and spread of light ranging from a narrow light to a 360o spread of light. Apart from considering the shape and fitting of the bulb when switched on, you also need to consider the other side of the coin especially when the light is switched off. How will the bulbs look when they are not on? This is something you have to consider when buying light bulbs.
Annual Running Costs
There are many CFLs out there which are affordable and bright enough to give your household the best lighting and tone. Although earlier CFLs used to be dimmer, this has changed recently and CFLs have improved in the past few years. Studies indicate that they are about four times brighter than incandescent bulbs. However, not everyone prefers CFLs considering the quality of light they give. Compared to LED bulbs, CFLs are a much cheaper option. The running cost of a lighting bulb is something you need to consider when buying a bulb for your household, kitchen or bathroom.
Go for the best light bulb color and brightness
Before going for a light bulb make sure you know the type of light you need. This therefore means you must understand brightness requirements. This can as well translate into the output of light or wattage. Like in the old days when incandescent bulbs ruled the lighting world, a period when watts were considered while buying a bulb, today you’ll find bulbs which use less energy but produce the quality brightness. Wattage, Kelvin scale and CRI are factors you need to understand as you plan to get the right bulb. Let’s find out how these terms determine the brightness and color of a lighting bulb.
Gone are the days when brightness produced by light bulbs was measured in watts. Wattage was used as a measure of power when nearly every household was filled with incandescent bulbs. The introduction of energy saving bulbs brought a new measure of brightness produced by bulbs. Today the brightness level of bulbs is measured in what is known lumens. The brighter the bulb the higher the number of lumens used.
A bed-sized table lamp with 400 watts would be appropriate for that matter and it is recommended that the suitable bulb for a living room should be able to produce between 1500-3000 lumens.
• Kelvin scale. The Kelvin scale is normally used to measure the color of light. The temperature produced by a light bulb can also be measured by a Kelvin scale. Many manufactures usually indicate the color temperatures on the packaging of a light bulb. Manufacturers indicate the color temperature that a light bulb will emit when switched on.
The color of light produced by a bulb is an important consideration when buying a light bulb because color affects so many things including mood and several items in the room.
• Color Rendering Index (CRI). Most bulbs are normally given a CRI score. CRI can be defined as the ability of a source of light to represent a variety of colors. For instance you want a bulb which produces light that makes your vegetables look green and not some other strange color. Look at the following images for more explanation of good and poor CRI.
• Buy light bulbs as per your needs. Why exactly do you need to buy light bulbs? How can you find out the right lighting bulb as per your needs? Well, you first have to do a detailed research and go through different light bulb reviews and guides. Choose the bulb you need and do a background check to find out whether it meets your requirements. You don’t want to buy a bulb which will cause problems and cost you a lot yet there are very many bulbs which can meet what you expect.
When being manufactured some light bulbs end up with in-built hardware which can block projection of light reflecting it upwards. It is always advisable to go for a bulb that spreads light in all directions. For a person who needs a bedside light for reading or lighting a section in a room it is advisable to consider directionality of the light. Look for a bulb capable of giving 360o light output.
Which type of light do you want between warm and cold?
When buying lighting bulbs especially the LEDs, you must always consider whether you want warm or cold light. The standard temperature of light is normally measured in ‘Kelvin’. When a bulb produces very orange light it means the Kevin number is low. When it comes to indoor lighting, people prefer a slightly yellow glow or sometimes what is known as warm white. Slightly yellow lighting can be good in a kitchen and bathroom.
When these bulbs arrived they were a game changer and other types of bulbs such as CFLs and incandescent found it hard gaining ground. LEDs are cost effective in such a way that they are capable of using only a fraction of the wattage that incandescent bulbs use. The wattage of these types of bulbs is normally between 4W and 22W. Manufacturers approximate that they can be used for 20,000 hours.
LED bulbs do not burn out like incandescent bulbs normally do. Instead of burning out, LED bulbs normally experience a decrease in amount of lumens which makes them dimmer with time. They take long before finally becoming dimmer. They are better than incandescent bulbs because of the low amount of energy they consume.
However, it does not mean that LEDs do not fail or do not have a disadvantage. Apart from their cost, LEDs are actually a better option when it comes to light bulbs.
They came and replaced incandescent bulbs but unfortunately a better option arrived later in the name of LEDs. Although not many people received CFLs warmly due to the white light they produce. People preferred the warm tone produced by incandescent bulbs. Their approximated average life expectancy is 10, 000 hours.
The whitish color that CFLs produce can be described as less pleasing aesthetically as some users claimed back in the days. Some people believe that switching them on and off regularly reduce their life expectancy. There is also this general belief that CFLs normally take a second or two to light fully after switching on.
There has been advancements in the technology used in producing CFLs since 2007 when EISA was signed into law. Today you can find an ‘instant on’ CFL and a variety in color options including dimmable ones.
The most common downside about CFLs is the fact that they do not last for long enough. Using them in outdoor activities is not recommended because they can sometimes fail to turn on when temperatures are extremely down. However, this should not worry you because actually some cold-cathode CFLs can be used in temperatures as low as -10F.
Their wattage lies between 40W and 150W and they can last up-to 1000 hours. EISA actually never banned the use of incandescent bulbs but what it actually did was setting energy standards and explaining the minimum acceptable lumens per watt recommended for a light bulb. The EISA act expected manufacturers to produce more efficient incandescent bulbs. There is actually more room for improvement of incandescent bulbs in-terms of energy consumption.
These are listed under incandescent bulbs with halogens trapped inside. There is also a filament which burns after these halogens recycle tungsten gas to make the filament bright hence producing light. These bulbs can be useful to any individual who is ready to replace bulbs often and users who prefer using incandescent rather than LEDs and CFLs.
Apart from the information which has been covered about light bulbs and what to consider when planning to get the best light bulb, it is also important to settle on a bulb that you’ll enjoy for a very long time. Manufacturers are required to include important information about their product on the packaging of bulbs so that users can find it easy when choosing which bulb to buy.
Federal Trade Commission clearly gave out the right information to be included in packaging of bulbs and any manufacture who defies this requirement will be obviously facing the full force of the law. The packaging of light bulbs should include important information such as color temperature, lumens and estimated costs and any other important information that Federal Trade Commission believes is right.
A comprehensive guide on what you need to know before choosing the right light bulb
Properly designed landscape lighting can keep you safe, secure, and helps you to enjoy your garden flowers and plants for much longer. Whether you want a little warm light to create a safe path, soft mood lighting to have a nice evening with guests, or a pool of lights to highlight certain features, this guide has the answer for you. Regardless of the size of your patio, garden, balcony, or walkways, the right outdoor lighting will help you easily transform your space into a welcoming area that you’ll want to spend a lot of time in.
When it comes to landscape lighting, less is truly more. Lights will make a space special if you allow the play of light and dark, highlighting accents that you do not mention during the day and createing shadows using the plants and forms in your backyard. Think how you want to play with these elements to create drama, and a well-lit area will be a place where you want to stay longer.
Landscape lighting is an important element of your home’s overall design. Even if you have an awesome architecture and beautiful landscape, proper lighting is what really enhances your outdoor space, different objects, and the little details. There are multiple reasons why you should start updating your landscape lighting plan.
Make an Impression - Before your guests reach the front door, they‘re already forming an opinion about your home. All visitors and neighbors will make assumptions about the interior of your house based on your outdoor areas. From landscape lights to decorative lanterns, outdoor lighting can make (or easily break) the look of the exterior.
The perceived value of your house - When it comes to the landscape lighting, it can tell a lot about the perceived value of your home. Choose proper lighting that enhances the curb appeal of your home.
Safety - Properly lit driveways, walkways, and porches make it easy for everybody to securely walk through your garden. Highlight busy areas of your landscape for late-evening use.
Warm Atmosphere - Make your guests feel more comfortable and put them at ease as soon as they enter your property. There is nothing less inviting than a poorly lit entrance.
Outdoor Entertaining - Landscape lighting helps you extend the area for an outdoor gathering with friends. A well-lit space will help keep your party progressing well, long after dark. Many homeowners view their gardens as the main location for summer entertainment and relaxation, thus the functionality, efficiency, and the design of outdoor lighting has become quite important.
Before installing the lights, identify the features that you like. It can be a tree or a pond – highlighting those will make them pop. Besides, think of adding intrigue to places that do not stand out duting the day. A stone wall can get new personality at nigh when lit with proper lights.
A properly planned landscape lighting design with careful preparation can enhance the beauty, security, and safety of your home. There are different lighting options with different functions.
Path Lighting - A well-lit yard is a perfect crime-prevention option, and light fixtures designed for security, such as motion sensors, add extra convenience and protection.
Path lighting is a necessary step to welcome guests to your home. Path lighting enhances safety by illuminating dark areas that could otherwise lead to falls, and they’re a perfectoptionif you want to improve curb appeal. Lighting stairs, pond areas, and walkways help ensure a safe passage for all.
When selecting path lights, be sure to follow these tips for proper outdoor lighting that will be both functional and beautiful.
Proper Height - A nice warm glow can be easily achieved with path light fixtures installed about 15 inches high.
Define All The Edges - Ensure the best safety lighting with lights installed about one foot from both sides of the path.
Ditch The Bargain Bin - Fixtures with sturdy construction, glass lens, and water-resistant finish are a must-have for long-term use. A powder-coated finish can withstand harsher elements.
Go LED - Many believe that the future of landscape lighting will be LED lighting. LED bulbs reduce power consumption by almost 80% and are not hot to the touch. They also last longer than traditional lights.
Warmth is measured in Kelvinsand it varies from one product to the next and affects the visual appeal of your outdoor area. Fixtures with 3,000K (cool temperature) create a nice, warm, and inviting glow in your garden.
Landscape lighting plays a vital role in curb appeal and is a crucial part of any home’s presentation. There are multiple styles of lighting to choose from to match your taste, personality, and design of your home.
Contemporary - Contemporary lights feature minimal ornamentation with clean lines, simple features, angular frames, and bold colors, which is characteristic of the contemporary style. Popular finishes include Brushed Nickel or Polished Chrome.
Transitional - Transitional style lighting maintains the sophistication and warmth of a traditional design, mixed with the brightness of a contemporary style. Transitional lighting has multiple modern details, but maintains a traditional design and often includes casual, simplified details. Sometimes a modern form is abandoned to heighten the elegance.
Traditional - Traditional style lighting is all about familiarity and comfort. Outdoor lanterns with frosted shades, ornate details, and smooth curves evoke a nice, traditional feel. The most popular finishes include Antique Bronze and black.
Craftsman - Craftsman style lighting includes artistic accents that look like they were done by hand. Among the examples are seeded glass, hand painted finishes and classic profiles.
Rustic - Rustic style lighting means organic shapes and textures with innate warmth. Rustic lanterns are naturally stylish, featuring items that have been purposely worn out or repurposed to create beautiful objects.
Industrial - Industrial style lighting means a blend of urban edge with a utilitarian design. Paired with fine materials and nostalgic bulbs, this style usually includes metal or iron parts that take on a rich finish. Some of the most popular styles include cage, gooseneck, and barn lighting.
When thinking of your landscape design, consider the factors below that will ensure a well-established and beautiful landscape. Think about these tips when placing or selecting light fixtures.
Be Cohesive - Landscapes can help create the same overall consistency. When lighting separates areas – such as pieces of architecture, or a tree – the lighting should seamlessly blend together.
Create Depth - For instance, path lights can create interest while your guests are walking on the property. Lighting along driveways and walkways dramatically enhance the main theme of your outdoor area while preventing accidents when dark.
Accentuate Focal Points - Highlight stationary pieces and entryways to create interesting focal points. These focal points will encourage visitors to come closer and look at your architecture. One of the best ways to enhance the texture of different objects is by mounting in-ground lights close to your focal points.
Explore Perspectives - Look at different features of your landscape. Focus on creating a continuous experience from onefeature to the next.
Balance - Lightingfixtureslook perfect when they’re proportional across different areas of your property. Include symmetrical components at different points, such as corresponding bushes and columns. The main goal is to achieve symmetry with the amount of illumination across different areas of your landscape lighting design.
Quality Control - Select light fixtures that will help set a specific mood, such as soft edges and narrow beams or wide beams of light. Direction should refer to the focal point of where the light shines (does the light need to point up or point down).
Illuminate The Deck - Don’t forget to outline the perimeters of the deck railing and the deck, as well as take care of safety for nighttime use on outdoor porches and decks. Use low voltage fixtures to achieve maximum safety.
One of the most common mistakes that many people make when choosing landscape lighting for the front of their homes is choosing small fixtures. Note, that decorative lighting enhances the curb appeal, so you want your visitors to see these fixtures (or at least some of them). Don’t be afraid to choose a bigger size – especially for homes with large facades.
The rule of thumb is exterior light fixtures that are used to illuminate the entryway should be sized in proportion to the door.
The Bigger the Better - Wall sconces by the front door should be anywhere from 1/4 to 1/3 the size of the door itself. Remember, that lanterns will only appear to be half the size from 50 feet away. Always place the bigger lanterns by the front door (versus the garage door, for example).
Get The Right Position - Quite often, outdoor lanterns should be placed at eye level. The main light source should be approximately 6 feet off the ground.
Choosing the Deck Lighting That is Perfect for Your Needs
Before you start planning your deck lighting, ensure you’re aware of different options available to you. From fun little accents to functional deck lighting, the combinations and the look you want to create are up to you! This guide will help you go through the available choices of style, layout, size, and more.
Before choosing deck lighting, you should think about energy efficiency, cost, eye health, style, light source, and a whole host of different factors. Lighting a deck does not mean putting up several floodlights anymore. Nowadays, deck bring fashion in the lighting schemes. Sensible, strategic use of different light fixtures is a big trend, and this guide will teach you how to plan and make use of creative and logical ideas.
One of the main factors to consider is sizing. Smaller areas look better with task lighting, while larger areas are more suited to floodlights. Besides, function and appearance also play an important role. Think about what you want to achieve and make sure you bought the right type of lighting.
Post Caps. From unique to functional,thepostcapstyles act as a finishing touch on your deck design by being placed atop the locations that punctuate the deck railing. Styles vary from handcrafted to powder-coat two classic finishes.
Rail Lighting. Low-voltage, side-mounted sconces on the railing posts add a nice glow to the illumination. Multiple styles allow you to customize your deck with lighting that adds decorative accents and warm highlights.
Step Lighting. Recessed lighting mounted underneath the steps blends perfectly with them– increasing safety and adding harmony to your deck lighting. Recessed LED lights can also be used to highlight features that you love the most about your deck.
LED. If you are thinking of the green movement, think of choosing LED lighting. LED, or light-emitting diode, is illuminated by the movement of electrons instead of using a standard filament that you can find in incandescent bulbs. LED bulbs are cool to the touch and require less energy to operate. Most of them need a DC 12-volt transformer, but the newest options are rated for both DC and AC power. Carefully read the description before buying a LED bulb.
Incandescent. These bulbs create light using the filament. The filament glows when power is applied, producing light, and generating heat. Incandescent bulbs can work with line voltage and low voltage application.
LED vs Incandescent. Lights for your deck fixtures are usually xenon or halogen lamps, both of them are incandescent. Xenon bulbs are less bright compared to halogens, but they last up to 20,000 hours and can be handled with bare hands. They produce less heat than halogens and the color of light is warmer. Xenon bulbs usually don’t discolor plastic lenses.
However, many believe that future decks will be lit by LEDs, which last longer and help save on electricity bills. A LED lamp can last for 50,000 hours, after which the light will fall below the acceptable level. The most efficient LED lamps can produce the same Lumens per watt as fluorescents. Some people already use LEDs for their deck fixtures, but their cost, low light output, and blueish color have been some of the obstacles to wider acceptance.
Low Voltage. Low voltage lighting requires a transformer plugged into a wall outlet to convey power from 12 volts up to 110 volts. Installation doesn’t require professional help unless you have a transformer that has to be hardwired into an electrical system. Low voltage deck lighting is easy and safe to operate, but you still should contact your building permits department or the building inspector for your area before starting a construction project. Multiple transformers can power low voltage lamps.
AC Transformers. They are used to convert AC current to the voltage required for the incandescent bulbs.
Single Tap Configuration. These transformers have one terminal that delivers current reduced to a specific amount, most of the time it’s 10% of the incoming voltage.
Multi-TapConfiguration. These transformers have many terminals available, ensuring better stability and preventing early bulb burnout.
DC Transformers. These transformers aren’t common in US household application, but they are necessary for LED lights. They can convert AC voltage to DC power. DC transformers come in single tap configurations as explained in 3.1.2.
Line Voltage. Line voltage products use more electricity to create a larger amount of light when compared to the low voltage deck lighting. This product usually has to be installed with professional help, as the installation of Line Voltage requires a permit.
Solar. Solar lighting uses a panel that converts sunlight into electricity and is perfect in a situation when wiring is not an option. Solar lighting can’t produce as much power as line voltage or low voltage power, but it can be used for accent lights. The run time is usually based on the location and the season. For instance, in northern climates, solar lights can run for 10 hours during summer and 4 hours during winter. In southern climates, the same solar lights will run several hours longer.
Before you choose your deck lighting, plan the essential elements.
Sketch It Out. You don’t have to make a sketch of a perfect deck plan, but visualizing the layout of your future lighting objectives can go a long way toward achieving the design you want. Once you have an idea, mark the location of important features, especially if you’re going to have fixed items. These may include large planters, tables, seating, grills, or fireplaces.
Think Utility.What parts of your deck will you light for functionality, safety, or décor? This can include high traffic areas, stair treads, grilling, and so on. A combination of recessed stair lighting, post caps and rail lighting will produce the right amount of light without ruining the relaxing ambiance. As you decide on the locations, mark them on your plan.
Atmosphere. The fun starts with thinking about what kind of atmosphere you want to create. Do you want warm accent lights to soften the environment and add romance? Or bright lights to highlight architectural features and important details?Pencilin these locations as well.
Choose The Lights. Choose the lighting style and finalize the plan. As you go through the options, don’t forget about your deck balusters, spindles, and other material. You want the color, luminance, and style of your lights to highlight the existing features and your personality.
Measure Everything Carefully. When ordering lighting fixtures, ensure you are correct when measuring the size of your deck posts.
Transformer Essentials. To properly determine the size of a transformer you need, add up a total number of watts for each light bulb for your deck. Then you should add 10% for connections and cables that will also add watts to the system. The equation is quite simple: total light watts X 1.1 = transformer size you need.
Then choose a transformer that matches your total wattage, round the number up if necessary. You can also leave room to add more lights. For instance, 13 light fixtures @ 20 watts each will need a 300-watttransformer (13 X 20 = 260 total plus 260 X 1.1 = 286 watts, but 286-watt transformers don’t exist so you round up the number to a 300-watt transformer).
Wiring. Wiring gauge means how much your current wire can handle. Higher current always runs on thicker cable, which is usually indicated by a lower gauge number. Choose wires according to the type of lights, the location, and the layout. You should stay consistent when matching wire types. If you choose LED lighting, matching polarity is crucial.
Think where you will run the wires: hidden within the railing, under the deck, or under the handrail. Voltage drops can occur while current runs to each light fixture on the circuit. It could lead to insufficient voltage. To limit the drop, it’s recommended that you loop the main cable.
Loop Installation. Loop installation means light fixtures are arranged in a looped circuit, which reduces the possibility of a voltage drop.
“T” Installation. “T” installation means the transformer is located in the center of the lighting circuit, creating an equal distribution of power. This installation requires a heavier gauge wire running from the transformer. Choosethis if your lighting fixtures are far from the transformer.
Straight Installation. Straight or line installation means the wiring starts at the end of the lighting and follows the direct sequence to the transformer.
Split Load Installation. This is the best option when light fixtures run in several directions from the transformer. To reduce the risk of a voltage drop, place the transformer in the center of the light fixture run.
People often forget about the importance of controls when designing the deck lighting. Most of the time individual lights can’t be switched – entire circuits can. Of course, there are always exceptions, such as lighting at a grill, or solar-powered lighting. How you control your light fixtures depends on the purpose of your lighting. For example, you may want your safety lighting to come on after dark. Such task can be controlled with photosensors that switch on at dusk.
You can also vary the level of light by setting up different light circuits. You can achieve complete symmetry by alternating light on the railing posts so that each one will be on a different circuit. For a romantic ambiance, one circuit is what you need.
It’s always a good idea to put accent lights on their own circuit, as there are times when you want only accent lights to highlight a certain object.
A comprehensive guide on what you need to know before choosing the right Deck Lighting.
Cabinet lighting is the most convenient and the most attractive type of task lighting for your kitchen. Designers agree that the path to a functional, beautiful kitchen space starts with proper lights. This guide will help you make the right decision as you choose lighting options for your kitchen cabinets.
Tape lighting is perfect for over-cabinet illuminations, while modular lighting system will be better for dust-prone areas. Thinking about types of lights you need is important as they can make your area more convenient and look much better.
They key factor when it comes to cost consideration is the type of fixture you choose. Simple models are affordable and cost less than $100. More intricate or expensive features can cost over $1,000 when all is done.
Task lighting provides enough light for common tasks like reading, playing games, or cooking. These lights are often brighter in design and are directed at work areas, such as kitchen countertops or desks to prevent eyestrain and make it easier to focus on a particular area. Moreover, task lighting should not have distracting glares or shadows that will interfere with a workspace. Although portable lights can do the job, home designers advise using track or recessed lighting for task applications because they blend better with a modern home design.
Accent lighting focuses on a concentration of lighting in one spot or on a subject and creates a point of interest or visual interest. For example, accent lighting can be used to highlight an architectural feature. In order to properly highlight a certain spot, the accent lights should be four times brighter than the task lighting. Accent lights usually point directly at their target, but some track and recessed fixture are also suitable for accent lighting.
LED. LED technology is perfect for cabinet lighting. Not only it is cost-effective and easy to use, LEDs are good for warm areas (like the kitchen) because of their cooler temperature. Besides, LEDs bring energy saving benefits, as the lamp lasts much longer, reducing maintenance costs.
Puck Lights. Puck lights mean small circular disks that can be installed in a pack that is wired together or individually. The biggest benefit of puck lights is their versatility. Puck Lighting can create a lot of light for a focal point, or even become a task light. Puck lights allow you to get pockets of light where you need it or to create uniformlighting when installing many of them in a row.
Linear Lights. Linear lights mean rectangular lights that complement other lights and wiring – in one unit. Linear lights are available in many sizes and colors and can be used for different applications. Some of the most common options are linkable, thin lights that come with LED, xenon, or fluorescent light fixtures. Linear lights allow for many creative solutions. Very thin options can be adapted to any surface.
Tape Lights. Most of the time you can find Tape lights sold in rolls of different lengths. These strips can be easily cut to fit your needs.
Under Cabinet Lights. This is a must-have element of any kitchen today; under cabinet lights add another layer of depth to any area, highlighting decorative surfaces and helping with tasks like cleaning or cooking. Linear or Puck lights with wide beam coverageare perfect for under cabinet lights.
In-Cabinet Lighting. In-Cabinet lighting helps to display decorative items in cabinets. A puck light spotlightshining from above or a linear light that ishidden behind the frame are the most popular options. You can also use sensors to turn the lights on when you open the cabinet door.
Toe Kick Lighting. Toe Kick lighting refers to a decorative accent lighting that adds interest to the kitchen. Flexible or linear lighting is perfect to achieve consistent coverage.
Shelf Lighting. This can either be decorative, such as open shelving, or utility lighting when more illumination is necessary, such as deep or dark cabinet spaces. Linear lighting, placed behind the frame, is quite common.
Cove Lighting. Cove lighting is installed above cabinets around the ceiling perimeter and provides a decorative layer of light. Linear lighting is used most frequently.Closet Lighting. Nobody likes dark closets. Closet lighting can provide the necessary illumination.
Fluorescent lamps are very efficient in providing a certain amount of light. Besides, fluorescent lights emit very little heat. This is important to remember if you are going to store anything in your cabinets. While fluorescent light fixtures cannot be dimmed, they are a good, inexpensive option.
Xenon lights are not as energy efficient as fluorescent and they produce more heat, but they also have thefull dimming capacity, and they provide a welcoming, warm light (if you like the glow of incandescent bulbs, xenon cabinet lighting is perfect for you). They are not cool to the touch, but the amount of heat produced is lower than halogen lights. However, heat output is important and must be kept in mind if you are going to install Xenon lights on the underside of food storage cabinets.
LEDs are the most energy-efficient option. They are cool to the touch, but also more expensive and give white light instead of a warm glow. However, some kitchen designs can greatly benefit from the blueish light of LEDs.
You can use light fixtures that mount on the surface under the cabinets for easy installation, or those that are installed into the bottom of your cabinets for a seamless look. Linear lights should be mounted on the surface, so you do not need large cuts into the structure. Some people assume that non-recessed lights will be jutting out unattractively. But if you do not specifically look for them, you will not be able to see them. If you still think that lights can be seen, add a small vanity panel to the bottom of the cabinet to completely hide them.
If you want to achieve the clean look of a flat bottom of your cabinets, choose recessed under cabinet lighting. Keep in mind that most of the time recessed options are puck lights. It is easier to recess circular, small puck lights than large fixtures.
When selecting cabinet lighting, it is important to think about the power source of your lights. Battery powered lighting can be the easiest solution, but you will be replacing the batteries quite often, which can be time-consuming, as cabinet lighting is hard to reach. Hard-wired is a good alternative. While wiring takes more effort during installation, once done, you will not have to bother with your cabinet lighting.
Cabinet lighting can be sold in packs, wired together, and with plugs included. To use this lighting, you will need an outlet somewhere inside your cabinets. Outlets that you may have for a built-in microwave can also be used for cabinet lighting. Just plug-in and enjoy!
If your wiring is not pre-wired to any plug, you will have to hard-wire your lighting. It is strongly recommended to get a professional to do it for you. Electricians can connect your cabinet lighting together and then hard-wire them so all wires are hidden. They can also connect your lighting to a switch for your convenience. If you still want to hard-wire yourself, call your lighting manufacturer for advice.
You also need to think about the voltage of your cabinet lighting. Low voltage cabinet lights operate from a lower voltage supply (12 or 24 volts). While each option can work great for your kitchen, choosing the correct one will depend entirely on your preferences.
Line Voltage. These are high quality, cheaper initial cost, and easy to install. They work off the voltage supply in your home, so you do not have to wire your lights to a transformer. You can connect them to power. Besides, line voltage lights can be used with standard dimmers instead of those made specifically for low voltage lights.
Low Voltage. There are several actions that have to be completed before installing low voltage cabinet lights. You should have a transformer to convert your voltage supply to a lower number, and if you are going to use accessories (such as dimmers) they will have to be compatible with your lighting system. However, they have two important benefits:theylast longer and use less energy. Besides, low voltage bulbs are smaller – so you have more fixture options to choose from.
You should not confuse Color Rendering Index, or CRI, with the color temperature. CRI does not measure the color of light, but rather the ability to render colors accurately. The scale ranges from 1 to 100 (the sun). A CRI of 85 is perfect for cabinet lighting.
It is important to consider the CRI when choosing cabinet lights because it can affect the entire look of your kitchen. Xenon lights have a CRI of 100, LED and fluorescent has a CRI range around 85-90.
A comprehensive guide on what you need to know before choosing the right Cabinet Lighting.
Humid indoor air can cause damage to your home and furnishings and also promote the growth of mold and dust mites. Purchasing a quality dehumidifier can erase those issues. Controlling humidity levels is important because too much moisture in the air can cause health problems like allergies and asthma to worsen. Purchasing a quality dehumidifier is a smart way to solve all of these problems.
Healthy living does not mix with mold and mildew. These spores are truly harmful to humans on many levels. When allowed to thrive in moist conditions, these little organisms can harm our health in tiny ways as well as major ways over time. Humidity levels below 50 percent make it impossible for mold to grow. That's where dehumidifiers come into play. These appliances fight mildew and mold by keeping the air drier. This is great for many areas of the home, including wetter spots like crawls spaces.
High humidity can greatly increase common household allergy triggers like dust mites, mold spores, and airborne bacteria. By drying out the air with a dehumidifier, these triggers can’t make you miserable anymore.
Unless you have an affinity for cockroaches and spiders, you need to dry out damp spaces in your home. Dehumidifiers help keep the pests out that love moist environments to grow their own little communities.
Besides inviting pests like silverfish, moisture can cause damage to your very home by rotting out the wood structures. So as you can see, moisture and dampness are pests in and of themselves. Dehumidifiers are a super safe "pest control" that protects you and your house by balancing the humidity level.
Dehumidifiers work a lot like air conditioners. Warmer, moist air comes through the dehumidifier and then crosses cooled coils. This process causes the moisture in the air to condense on the coils, thus the moisture is pulled from the air by lowering the temperature.
As always, you need to determine a solid budget for buying any new appliance. Prices for dehumidifiers range from $200 to over $1,000. You want a quality product worth your money, but you obviously don’t want to spend more than you need to.
Getting the right size dehumidifier is key to getting results. Smaller units running constantly may not get the job done of a large unit that runs just a quarter of that time. Capacity is usually measured in pints of moisture removed. So you have to calculate the square footage of the problem space along with the specs listed on the dehumidifier you're checking out.
• Large capacity dehumidifiers are generally used for rooms 500-1,000 square feet. For large, moist areas, buy the largest capacity model you can afford. If not, you will only be returning a unit that isn’t up to the job.
• Medium capacity units should match similar spaces inside the home. Medium units for medium rooms or areas. These models can remove 45 to 50 pints of moisture a day.
• Small capacity dehumidifiers are capable of up to about 25 to 40 pints of moisture every day. These can dehumidify small, damp spaces that aren’t super moist, and they are typically one of the cheapest options.
• Portable humidifiers are the go-to models for most users. They are mobile so they can adapt to needs quickly. You could use these units in the common living room in day time and move it to the bedroom at night for more comfortable sleeping.
• Whole house dehumidifiers are offered as portable units or add-ons to your existing central heating and air conditioning system. Manufacturers claim they can take care of an area up to 3,000 square feet. Even though the initial cost of buying one of these units is higher, they allow you to run your air conditioner much less. They are fixed units, so call a pro installer unless you are a DIY pro of sorts. There are also some accessories that aren’t connected to the main system.
There are three types of home dehumidifiers: heat pump dehumidifiers, chemical absorbent dehumidifiers, and dehumidifying ventilators.
• Heat pump dehumidifiers take water from the air by using a heat pump, much like an air conditioner pump. First, a fan sucks the indoor air across a very cold coil, which then causes the moisture to condense. The droplets drip into a bucket inside the unit or can be pumped to a drain through a hose. The dry air is then warmed by a second, heated coil and exhausted at room temperature. They are a little costly but they’re considered the most effective.
• Chemical absorbent (desiccant) dehumidifiers are most effective in warm climates. They use a chemical drying agent, or desiccant, on a heat exchange wheel to absorb H2O. Damp air is sent outdoors through the vents. Desiccant dehumidifiers use a lot of energy and are more commonly used by industries than homeowners.
• Dehumidifying ventilators use sensors along with an exhaust fan. The sensor turns the unit on as needed so the humidity is controlled with no effort from the homeowner. These units are not suited for hot climates since they pull in air from the outside to work their humidity balancing act. No one wants hot air added to the home when other type units don't have this issue.
Quiet operation gets rid of that awful, annoying sound which comes from the unit if it’s in a common area or close to where you sleep. Another plus of this feature is that they save on energy costs.
Internal pumps automatically pump water vertically to a water basin for continuous operation.
Mobility is a large factor when it comes to your new dehumidifier. Really try to find one with casters so it can be rolled around the house. Having a long power plug allows you to place the unit wherever you want/need.
Direct drains offer continuous operation with a gravity feed to a floor-level drain, so you never have a bucket to empty.
Filter indicators alert when the air filter needs to be cleaned.
Energy efficient dehumidifiers that carry the Energy Star label will save you a lot of cash.
An auto humidistat can sense moisture level in the air around the unit and will automatically shut the unit off to save energy once the proper humidity level is reached.
Low temperature settings allow units to keep trucking in temperatures as low as 41°F.
Auto-defrost prevents units from freezing in conditions below 65°F.
Auto reset will restart the unit to its previous setting if power is lost due to a storm or other electrical issue.
Electronic controls let you select a basic humidity level—normal, dry, very dry.
Digital controls let you program a specific humidity level with percentage points. This is easier to understand than maybe a basic setting for some users.
Some dehumidifiers have larger tubs or drip pans which don’t need to be emptied nearly as often. Because this is a lot more convenient for you, the cost will be a little higher. Generally, the more water a dehumidifier can extract and hold, the higher the price tag. Shop around because prices can vary. Dehumidifiers with front-loading buckets are easiest to empty. Most portable dehumidifiers are equipped to be self-draining, and come with a drain-hose connection. This set up requires some planning as to where the water will be drained to. Some dehumidifiers use evaporation technology, so no drain hose is necessary. insert photo here
The unit will collect a large amount of water in very damp or even wet conditions, so the internal bucket will need to be emptied on a regular basis. Most units offer a direct drain feature which doesn’t require the bucket to be emptied but it requires a floor-level water drain. It is possible to avoid regular emptying of an internal bucket even without access to a floor-level drain, by buying a unit with an internal pump feature that can pump water vertically up to a sink.
Buying a humidifier is a great investment for your home, saving you money in the long run. Dehumidifiers are available as large or small units like many appliances. Options for moisture amounts the machine can remove are also a consideration, as well as some fancy high tech features. With careful consideration and a well thought out budget, there’s no reason you can’t buy a humidifier perfect for you.
A comprehensive guide on what you need to know before choosing the right "Dehumidifier".
A room air conditioner is an absolute “must-have” for people who face hot air temperatures either in the summer or throughout the year. When heat becomes too unbearable and fans don't help, a good air conditioner can do the magic of turning a hot and stuffy room into a cool and comfortable place to be in.
Window room air conditioner is installed as a primary source of cool air in the room or as an addition to the central AC system. These units are made for three different window types: standard, slider and casement. This air conditioner takes hot air from the room, cools and dehumidifies and returns it back inside. This is the most popular air conditioner type. Its disadvantage is that it takes up the window space. Insert pic here.
Wall air conditioner is a unit that is built into the wall of a room. It has all the same properties as a window air conditioner. However, it requires additional wall opening to be created. The disadvantage of this unit is complicated installation. The advantage - it doesn't take up window space and can be installed at any height. These units have a better weather barrier than window air conditioners. Insert pic here.
Portable air conditioners are self-contained units. Usually, they have casters to simplify their moving from one room to another. These units have a long and flexible hose that needs to be attached to a window to exhaust hot air. Portable air conditioners are usually higher priced than wall and window units. Their two main advantages are: easy installation and portability. Insert pic here.
Split-system unit is a less popular type of room air conditioner. It consists of two parts. One is hung on the wall inside the room and one is installed on the outside. They can be used to cool more than one room or large premises. Their disadvantage is the cost. These units are priced higher than other types. They provide more security than window types since the windows don't need to be open. Insert pic here.
BTU is important to understanding the size of the air conditioner the user needs. The cooling capacity of most units varies from 5000 – 12 500 British Thermal Units. The general rule is: 20 BTU per 1 square foot of living space.
• Small window or wall unit's capacity ranges from 5000 to 6500 BTU. This capacity is good for up to 300 square feet. Usually these are the cheapest air conditioners
• Medium window or wall unit's capacity ranges from 7000 to 8 200 BTU. It will cool about 250 -400 square feet. Such units are heavier, harder to install and will cost about twice as much as the small ones
• Large window or wall unit's capacity ranges from 9500 to 12500 BTU. It will cool a space of about 350 – 650 square feet. These models are heavy and costly but can efficiently cool a very large room.
Other factors besides BTU need to be considered when choosing the size of the air conditioner unit such as:
• Ceiling height (for high ceilings the capacity should be increased by 5 – 10%)
• Window and doorway size (large windows and doors need larger capacity)
• Heavily shaded room (capacity should be reduced by 10%)
• Very sunny room (capacity should be increased by 10%)
• Number of room occupants (500 BTU should be added for each person if the number of
room occupants exceeds 2)
• Location. If the unit is located in the kitchen then the capacity needs to be increased by 3000 – 4000 BTU.
It is important to choose whichroom you want to place the air conditioning unit in. You need to consider such factors as the sunny or shady side, the amount of heat (kitchen or laundry room) and the size of the room
Efficient airflow. For built-in, portable and split-system units it is important to find a place with the best airflow. This question will best be answered by a professional technician. The right placement for perfect air flow might go against your décor plans.
Noise. Most of the room air conditioners are somewhat noisy. This factor must be considered when placing the unit near a bed. Also the external unit for the split-system might be very noisy and needs to be installed in a way to avoid bothering the neighbors.
Direct airflow. If the unit is installed, the airflow is directed straight at a place where room occupants are usually sitting/sleeping; it can lead to health problems. Accordingly, it would be best to install the air conditioner high enough to avoid direct air flow. This works with split-systems and wall units. Portable units can be placed in the opposite corner (if there is enough piping). Window units are fixed in one place so the airflow can't be adjusted.
Inverter technology. Usually, air conditioners are either working at 100 % capacity or not working at all. Inverter units regulate the speed of the compressor and maintain the preset temperature. Usually, such option makes air conditioners more efficient and less costly.
Reverse-cycle. Some air conditioner units have a heating option and can be used to heat up air in the winter. They don't cost much more than cooling-only air conditioners. These units are considered one of the cheapest ways to heat large spaces.
Mosquito traps. These are special protective screens on the window units that don't allow mosquitoes to get inside the room. Insert pic here
Adjustable louvers. They can be adjusted vertically or horizontally to make the air flow in different directions.
Remote control will allow distant operation of air conditioners which is compulsory for models that are hung high. Insert pic here
Presence sensor. This feature allows the air conditioner to sense if there is a person in the room in order to continue working. The unit will shut down if there is no one in the room. Some models are equipped with a sensor that directs air flow to the area where a person is. This minimizes operation costs.
Sleep mode. The air conditioner can be set to a sleep mode for the time when people are sleeping so it doesn't work as extensively as when the room occupants are awake. This option will also regulate the air conditioner to produce less noise.
Different fan speed. More expensive models will have variable fan speed. The more speed settings there are, the better you can regulate the airflow. This is another money-saving option.
Programmable unit. You can program such a unit to keep different temperature at different times of the day. Insert pic here
Timer. This option will allow you to set the time when you want your air conditioner to start working and the time you want it to stop. This is a cheap alternative to the programmable unit feature.
Intelligent cooling. Some air conditioners can be connected to your smartphone and operated remotely. This is a good option for the time when you want to come home to a cool room.
Slide-out chassis allow the unit to slide out for cleaning and maintenance.
Filter type is important to the proper air conditioner operation.
• Standard – most popular common type. Needs to be replaced every once in a while
• Washable – these filters cost more but they can be washed and reused. They are durable and will last
for a long time.
Extra features. Extra features are needed to make the room air conditioner operation more comfortable but they are not necessary for its proper work. Accordingly, if you are on a tight budget, such options as different fan speed, sleep mode and programmable units can be overlooked.
Cheapest models. The cheapest air conditioner model is the window type. These are the most popular models, accordingly, they are more widespread. It is easier to find a good promotion on such unit.
Energy-efficiency. Sometimes it makes sense to purchase a more expensive unit in order to save money in the future. Some options allow the air conditioner to consume less energy which in turn reduces the electricity bill.
Installation. Most of the room air conditioners can be installed without professional assistance. This allows a user to save a significant amount of money on installation. This is true for the most window, wall and portable units. Split-systems need to be installed by a technician.
A comprehensive guide on what you need to know before choosing the right Room Air Conditioner for your home.
With so many ceiling fans to choose from, it’s easy to get lost in terminology like blade span, sloped ceiling adaptable, or blade pitch. Still, there is a lot you should consider before buying the ceiling fan that will be appropriate for a specific area in your home. Do you need a fan for rooms with short ceiling to floor height? Or maybe a fan with lights to perform two tasks at once? Or a fan for the high ceiling that will rely on a downrod to suspend the fan? A big ceiling fan for your living room? There is a lot to think before buying a fan. If you want to brush up on all the terminology before making the final decision, this guide can help you. Browse the following chapters to get answers to any questions you may have about fans.
Ceiling fans are not like air conditioners and they don’t remove the humidity from the air or lower temperatures. But you can save money and energy by using a ceiling fan and turning off your air conditioning when possible, or at least turning the thermostat up a few degrees and let the ceiling fan do the rest.
Ceiling fans come in a variety of sizes, finishes, and styles. The three-speed, 52-inch diameter ceiling fan is the most popular. More expensive fans often don’t deliver better performance but have fancier finishes on the motor cover.
Here are some key points to understand:
• Save energy. The recommended temperature is 78° during summertime, but some people like it cooler. Using a ceiling fan costs little to run and can make your room feel 4° F cooler. Besides, fans don’t cool the room, they cool you, so you can just turn them off before leaving the house.
• Blade shape is important. You can get the idea of how well a certain ceiling fan moves the air by looking at cubic feet per minute numbers on its box. A higher number usually means better air movement, but a small difference in numbers really doesn’t matter. For example, tests show almost the same results for fans rated at 5,000 and 5,600 cfm. In addition, think twice before buying a fan with blades that have surface texture, such as bumps and ridges; they often make noise (compared to fans with small, smooth blades).
• Wobble. Modern fans come with balancing kits – weights that you should attach to the fan blades to make a difference in blade weight and remove the wobble. This is a simple process, but it also requires time and effort.
Before getting a fan, think about how you want to control it. Typically, fans are mounted at a box where light fixtures were formerly located. The light switch is replaced with controls that allow for light setting and different speeds. The controls should be made by the same manufacturer as a fan to eliminate hum. Besides, some fans can be controlled remotely, other have a pull chain.
Size really matters when you think about ceiling fans. Typically, a 400-square-foot room needs a 52-inch fan, 144-square-foot room will look and feel better with a 42-icnh fan. For rooms that are longer than 18 feet two fans are a perfect option. Besides, think where you will place the fan before buying it. The middle of the room is a perfect spot, especially if people gather somewhere close to it. Fans mounted too close to a ceiling will move less air.
Ceiling fans can be as cheap as $40 all the way up to hundreds dollars, depending on many factors. A high-quality ceiling fan has several advantages that you cannot find for $40. More expensive fans move air quietly and more effectively. Besides, they are often backed by a nice warranty – 10 years or longer.
Energy Star.Energy Star is a designation for a product that meets certain energy efficiency guidelines. Ceiling fans that have met the requirements can deliver exceptional benefitswhile using less energy. They move air up to 20% more efficiently than other models. The Energy Star ceiling fans with light kits are 50% more efficient than conventional fans and can save you a lot on utility bills.
Choose Your Style.From ornate to traditional, ceiling fans can have a retro-feeling or add a modern twist. Basic fan blades usually come in a paddle shape, but you can also find leaf and oval shapes, as well as blades with different textures. Motor-cover finishes include pewter, bronze, and brass. Popular blade finishes include oak, maple, cherry, and blades painted in different colors.
Installation Requirements.It’s advised to install a ceiling fan in the center of the room 7 to 9 feet above the floor, to attain perfect airflow. Some basic tips include placing the fan not closer than 24 inches from drapes and walls. Manufacturers can also have specific requirements for certain models. If you want to use your fan as a lantern, be sure your electrical box can handle the weight of the ceiling fan. If you don’t know, call an electrician or read the instructions.
Wet/Damp Rating.If the fan is to be placed in a porch, choose the wet rating. These fans have rust-resistant housing, moisture-resistant motors, all-weather blades, and hardware made of stainless steel.
You can get a light kit for ceiling fans in three different ways: included with the fan when you purchase it, integrated into the fan, or bought separately. These light kits are often sold as universal, so they can be used on many different models. Besides, ceiling fans are also light kit adaptable. However, sometimes the compatibility is only between ceiling fans and light kits of the same brand or the same size.
If you want a fan with lighting, be sure to find an Energy Star approved light kit. The Energy Star lighting is long lasting and efficient, so you won’t have to change bulbs very often. Light kits come in several common options: stemmed or branched kits that have globes and can point up or down, anduplight kits that point towards the ceiling and should be placed on top of the housing to cast a soft light.
Almost all Energy Star approved ceiling fans with lighting options use bowl lighting that can be attached directly to the housing of the fan or below the fan. Shade and bowl designs range from crystal, alabaster, and tiffany to clear. The price depends on the glass design, the size, and features.
Lightbulbs. Not all LEDs and CFLs can be used in ceiling fans. If your fan has bowl lighting, you should get bulbs that are intended for an enclosed fixture. If your ceiling fan has globes or cans for bulbs, you should find bulbs specifically designed for ceiling fans. Don’t forget that lighting will increase your energy bills. Halogens are less efficient than CFLs and CFLs are less efficient than LEDs. Incandescent bulbs are being phased out due to their low energy efficiency.
A ceiling fan should fit the overall design of the room. The style you choose should not interfere with the feeling of the room but add to its décor, just like furniture and accessories, but on the ceiling. If you have a large room, you may need more than one ceiling fan.
Connect With Color. There are so many fancolor choices that you can easily find the one that coordinates with other furnishings in your room. It will help create unity and balance in your room. For example, thewood color of fan blades can be the same as the floor color. Metal finishes can match the cabinet hardware, door knobs, bathroom fixtures, or kitchen faucets.
Blend In.Fans are quite big and a bit clunky to conceal. If you want yours to be less visible, choose a simple style and color that can blend with the ceiling. A flush-mounted ceiling fan will blend even better.
It’s recommended to clean all ceiling fans once a season because dirty blades can’t move air as efficiently as clean ones. A pollen or dust covered ceiling fan will fling the particles everywhere as it’s whirring away. And if you have a ceiling fan in the kitchen, cooking grease will become a dust magnet. So keep your ceiling fans clean, especially if you use them often. Doing so requires a little effort, a ladder, and an all-purpose cleaner.
Cover TheFurniture And The Floor. Spread old sheets or drop cloths over the furniture and on the floor that’s near or directly under the fan. A good tip is to cover an area twice as wide as your fan. Position the ladder so you can easily see the top of the fan blades. Remove the globes and wash them in the sink.
Dust Before Washing. Start by removing dust with a duster or a cloth. Then moisten a sponge or a cloth with the all-purpose cleaner – don’t spray it on the fan – and wash every blade. You don’t need to apply heavy pressure because it will only bend the blades and your fan will no longer work properly. Damp blades will attract more dust, so dry thoroughly.
SpecialTools. There is a special tool –a U-shaped, long handled brush – which you can find in home centers and hardware stores. With this tool, you can clean both sides of the blade at once. If you don’t have a tool at home, you can get an old pillowcase instead; slip it over the blades and pull back to remove dirt and dust. If you hate cleaning your ceiling fan, try car wax to prevent dust from sticking.
A comprehensive guide on what you need to know before choosing the right Ceiling Fan
Do you know that those luxurious, relaxing showers that you enjoy taking can actually hurt your house? Humidity and moisture create a perfect ground for mildew and mold which significantly damage building materials such as wood framing and drywall, not to mention the damage to your health that they can make.
The good news is that you can get a bath fan heater that will remove moisture, mold spores, odors and everything that can lead to problems. Sometimes, these heaters are required by building codes (for example, when you don't have an operable window).
There are also many different sizes and types to choose from depending on the consumers preferences. Other aspects to consider are the noise level and the efficiency of the unit. The more efficient the product, the more money you can save in energy costs each year.
You will get the right amount of ventilation in your bathroom if you choose the right size of the fan. You should search for CFMs, or cubic feet per minute, as it indicates the ability of a fan to move air. Small heaters can't generate a lot of CFMs and are perfect for small bathrooms. Respectively, larger fans that generate higher CFMs are better for larger bathrooms. The Home Ventilating Institute has published recommendations and guidelines that everyone can check in order to pick the right size. However, there is a simple rule that you should follow.
• One square foot in the bathroom should have at least 1 CFM: For example, if your bathroom is 50 square feet, get a heater with 50 CFMs to achieve the optimal ventilation. Bathrooms larger than 100 square feet should follow these recommendations:
• Add 50 CFMs for a toilet
• Add 50 CFMs for every shower plus bath combination
Portable fan heaters:
Portable heaters are the lightest and can quickly heat up or cool down the room. They are also easy to operate - you just take it out of the box, plug in and this is it. However, cheap models can be noisy.
Convector portable fan heaters:
These are very tall but also light and thin - it's easy to move them around. Like the previous type, they heat up quickly but they are less noisy. Convector portable fan heaters are wall-mountable, which means you can put them out of the way. Of course, you will find instructions in a box with a heater but you should be prepared to drill holes in the walls.
Oil-filled portable fan heaters:
Oil-filled portable fan heaters are pretty slow to heat up but they are cheap to run. However, almost all models are heavy so look for those that have wheels as it makes easier to move them around.
Electric Wall Fan Heaters:
Energy efficient, easy-to-install and safe, these heaters can be mounted into a wall. They are often located far from sinks and bathtubs and there is no risk of electrocution. Besides, they are also fairly cheap. If you have a small bathroom, this could be one of the best choices.
Infrared Fan Heaters:
These heaters use infrared radiation, thus they are pretty cheap. They also help people who suffer Seasonal Affective Disorder during cold winter months. Bear in mind that you should keep these fan heaters away from the water.
Ceiling-mounted Fan Heaters:
Ceiling-mounted Fan Heaters are perfect for homeowners who want a permanent fan heater - these heaters don't clutter the room. This type of fan heaters is pretty safe as it is mounted on the ceiling.
Floor Fan Heaters:
Floor Fan Heaters are placed between special mesh mats under bathroom tiles. They prevent home owners from freezing off their toes on the bath floor again. They consume the same amount of electricity as a 300W light bulb, thus they don't add up to the electric bill. However, they are more expensive than others. People who want to renovate the bathroom and have a budget for it should consider this option.
Some fan heaters have advanced features such as the remote control for turning the device on and off from anywhere in the room or an LCD display that shows temperature. The most expensive models can also have a fan heater timer that is used to turn the heater on before you wake up or get back home so you don't have to wait for the heater to warm up. Many models also feature frost protection, which means that these heaters can work even when the temperature is below five degrees.
With this feature, a fan heater will heat up or cool down the room and when the comfortable temperature is reached, the heater will remain this temperature in the room.
Some cheap models can sound like jet engines; these models will retract you from enjoying a relaxing escape that is your bathroom. As you search for a bath fan heater, you will always want to consider noise level and choose quiet models. Bath fan heater sound is measured in sones.
A sone refers to a measure of sound as it related to how the sound is sensed by an average person. For example, one sone is like a quiet hum of a fridge in the kitchen at night. If you search for a quiet bath fan heater, choose a sone rating of two or one. Fans rated at four sones are noisier, while fans rate at five sones is not suitable for a bathroom.
Before you buy the heater, make sure that it meets qualifications for low wattage consumption, low sound emission, and have an efficient performance under static pressure. You can also get a model that has a motion sensor to help you make sure it works only when needed.
Another important thing to consider is the power of the bath fan heater. High power, which is measured in kilowatts, will be more suitable for heating bigger rooms. If you have a small bathroom, a low-power, quality portable heater (no more than 2 kW, for example) will do the job - and it is cheaper to run. However, sometimes the claimed power of the bath fan heater is not what is seems. Some models don't match the power they state on the box. It means you can buy a model that seems fine and then end up shivering in a cold bathroom. The only way to find out if you get the power that you pay for is to test the heater.
Unsurprisingly, bath fan heaters can get hot. However, if you read the instructions and use the heater accordingly, they are safe devices. Many models have a carry handle for moving them around, and they also have a safety cut out feature - you can switch off the heater if it gets hot. Never cover the heater up, never place anything on it, because it will increase the risk of fire. More expensive models also have a tilt protection feature - if the heater falls down it automatically switches off. This feature is necessary if you have a large dog or kids.
The design of bath fan heaters: The cheapest heaters aren't the most fashionable devices, but some of the advanced models have a lot of colors and designs to choose from. Some of them have futuristic looks, others look modern or minimalistic to suit your bathroom.
How to position the bath fan heater: In order to heat or cool down the bathroom, bath fan heaters need an inflow of air. Sometimes, more expensive models have inflow vents on the top or bottom. But if the model has a vent on the back (like the vast majority of the models), don't place it against the wall. Besides, oil-filled heaters should be placed in the middle of the room - when the room has a comfortable temperature, you can move it out of the way. Convector bath fan heaters can be placed anywhere.
Bath fan heaters can cost you as little as $15 for the cheapest model all the way up to $500 for more advanced models with many features. However, many manufacturers produce cheaper heaters - you will easily find a lot of models in the $15-$100 price range. More expensive models often have better designs and feature advanced safety. But you don't have to spend several hundreds to get a model that works efficiently and quietly. According to bath fan heater tests, there are models that cost $60 that can beat more expensive models.
Before choosing a bath fan heater, you should make sure you will get the one that is adequate for the size of the room. You will also want to consider your needs and wants with regard to features and noise level so that you will get the most for your budget.
A comprehensive guide on what you need to know before choosing the right Bath Fan and Heater.