26 January 2009

Choosing a Light Fixture

I don't recall if I have ever mentioned this before, but our kids have two pet birds: a budgie and a cockatiel. Because they remain in the kids' bedroom, I need to make sure that there is enough light for them, which means that on most days, the light is turned-on for several hours a day. This has never been much of a problem, but several months ago, we switched to using those new energy-efficient light bulbs. The problem we are facing is that these bulbs only last a few months and then burn out.

I did some research on the Internet and I discovered that the energy-efficient bulbs have a tendency to generate a great deal of heat and, when they are in enclosed light fixtures, there is nowhere for the heat to dissipate, so they burn out. This means that we either revert to the old incandescent bulbs, or I go shopping for a new light; I have elected to get a new fixture. So, as my wonderful journey begins, my first question is what type of fixture to get. Since this is in a bedroom and there happens to be a bunk bed in the room, I need to have a light that is fairly close to the ceiling (after all, I really don't want my daughter banging her on the light each time she gets out of bed).

There are two types of ceiling light fixtures that I am looking at: one is flush and the other is semi-flush. Now the flush fixture is basically what it sounds like. You have a fixture, which is mounted onto the ceiling outlet box and enclosed in its cover; with no gap between the light and the ceiling. Since this is what we currently have, I went over and looked at the types of lights that are in the semi-flush category. In these lights, you will mount the fixture to the ceiling outlet box as usual, but there will be a gap between the ceiling and the cover. This means that the heat, which is produced by the light bulbs, will be able to escape into the room and thus the bulbs will not overheat as before.

So, I have decided upon the type, now I need to choose a style. When choosing a light fixture, please be sure to take the d├ęcor of your house and the particular room in mind. So, whether you are looking for chandeliers or ceiling fans you will want to match the fixture to the look you wish to achieve for your house. In my case, there are hundreds of different styles to choose from, but since this is a children's room, I will be going with a three-light semi-flush light fixture with the diffuser (light cover) being made of etched glass. It is not the fanciest light, but it matches the look of the room and most importantly of all, is inexpensive.

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