American Lighting Association

Issue No. 33, October 2012

Photo courtesy of American Lighting Inc.

Learn more about:
Create a Welcoming Home 
Make the Perfect Space for Guests 
Ask a Professional

Holiday Home
Make your home welcoming and festive for the holidays by adding twinkle inside and out.

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SPOT LIGHT: Create a Warm, Welcoming and Festive Home 

Decorating with lights is the most dramatic way to create a welcoming charm for your home during the holiday season, as well as all year long. Taking top priority in your decorating scheme should be your home's facade. What your guests see as they drive up is the first impression of you and your home. Start with a few, easy-to-install landscape uplights to highlight trees and shrubs, or path lighting to illuminate a sidewalk or driveway. Tree lighting uses the heights of trees to spread the light in a soft and subtle way. Use some low-voltage landscape lights, which are inexpensive and easy to install. For professional help with selecting lights or developing a lighting plan, visit an ALA-member lighting showroom.

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Photo courtesy of Sea Gull Lighting

COMFORT ZONE: Make the Perfect Space for Your Guests 

Once your guests are inside, keep them comfortable in a space that's as inviting on the inside as the outside. Here are some lighting tips and ideas to make your home a perfect place for entertaining.

  • Add drama with color-changing lights above a nook or bar area. Newer LED lights can add custom color to complement a specific mood.
  • Use lighting to create a focal point. Lights can draw attention to a centerpiece, buffet, object d'art, etc.
  • Add portable spotlights as highlights. These small, inexpensive fixtures typically work with a tabletop dimmer and can create pretty silhouettes under a Christmas tree or decorative plant.
  • Illuminate corners. Make your space feel larger by placing spotlights in dark corners.
  • Swap out lighting accents. Replace a neutral lampshade with a red or gold one to soften the light and create a holiday mood. Try adding colored glass balls to a chandelier.
  • Use dimmers to create your perfect look by allowing general lighting to play a supporting role, particularly in a small conversation area.
  • Update your powder room. A few extra touches, such as a portable lamp with an unusual shade will make an impact.
  • Try novelty lights in various places. Themed lights are available for many different holidays.

For more home lighting ideas, talk to an ALA-certified design professional at a local lighting showroom.

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Photo courtesy of Maxim Lighting

Photo courtesy of Tech Lighting

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

Is it correct that in order for me to use LED lighting under my cabinets, a large junction box must be installed inside my cabinets?     - G. Weir

That is not necessarily true in all cases. There are many types of LED under-cabinet lighting fixtures, and all of them have a device called a driver. This driver is most often incorporated into the fixture and allows the fixture to be of a very low profile. Other LED under-cabinet systems use a remote driver which has to be mounted in the cabinets. You can see examples and options at your local ALA lighting retail showroom.

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Photo courtesy of Kichler Lighting.

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