American Lighting Association

Issue No. 26, January 2012

Photo courtesy of Sea Gull Lighting Products

Learn more about:
Get Ready, Get Set, Get Efficient
Pendants Provide Perfect Task Light 
Get Answers to Your Questions

Get the Job Done
Household jobs are easier to tackle in an organized, well lit space.

Send us your design questions
For more great lighting ideas view our Lighting Videos
Share with a friend
RIGHT LIGHT: Get Ready, Get Set, Get Efficient 

Don't waste energy or time by working in a dim space. A task area, whether for cooking, office work or laundry, is more efficient when illuminated properly. Prepare your work space by providing three main layers of light:

  • Portable: When working on a detailed task or at a desk, a portable lamp usually provides the main source of light.
  • Overhead: While usually providing a secondary source of light, overhead lighting - such as a chandelier, pendant or ceiling fan - is essential at night or other dark time of day.
  • Ambient: Create a cozy, comfortable feel in a work area by utilizing ambient lighting to light bookshelves or accent artwork.

See the latest lighting products for your home at a nearby ALA-member showroom.

Back to Top

Photo courtesy of Hubbardton Forge

BRIGHT TIPS: Pendants Provide Perfect Task Light 

Make the overhead lighting in a workroom more functional and pleasing by replacing outdated overhead lights with pendants. Two pendants will balance the illumination by evenly distributing light across a desk or counter. The more focused light from multiple pendants generates fewer shadows and less glare, resulting in a more productive work space.

For more ideas about task lighting, visit

To learn more about how to create your perfect space, visit an ALA-member showroom.

Back to Top

Photo courtesy of Hinkley Lighting

EXPERT ADVICE: Want more home lighting ideas? Ask a professional. 

What is the proper number of recessed cans for a 12-foot by 17-foot kitchen? - Ed F.
A good rule of thumb for a kitchen is to use recessed lighting with 75-watt PAR light bulbs with a flood distribution. These are halogen reflector lamps, which efficiently direct the light out from the can to the surface being illuminated. Place the fixtures around the perimeter of the room (30 inches away from the wall) and approximately 6 feet apart.

How high should pendant lights be placed above a counter with bar stools? - Carol A.
Generally, the bottom of the pendants should not be lower than 5½ feet above the counter. This allows for a clear view across the room from both a seating and standing position.

Do you have questions about lighting your home?
Click here to submit your questions for an ALA-trained lighting professional.

Visit ALA on Facebook.

For more information about lighting your home, click here to visit ALA online.

Back to Top

LBL Lighting
Photo courtesy of LBL Lighting

Photo courtesy of Elk Lighting

Send us your design questions >

For more great lighting ideas view our Lighting Videos >