Which Indoor Lighting Options are Best?

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Selecting the proper indoor lighting is important for several reasons. One of which is that lighting can create the ambience you are wanting in your home. Another important aspect of picking the proper lighting is the related electricity costs and the requisite additional use of energy and its impact on the environment. While energy prices around Raleigh are not as high as many other places around the country, it is still important to make educated decisions when choosing the correct lighting for our Raleigh homes.

One of the most time consuming and difficult tasks that you will face as you work to decorate and illuminate your home is deciding upon the best indoor lighting options. When it comes to lighting up the inside of your home, there are many different things you will need to take into consideration. If you can conceive the notion, there is a lot more to lighting up your home than simply picking up a couple inexpensive lamps. You can tell a lot about you and your family, by the way you have chosen to light up your house. So what are your options? When you determining your options, here are some things you can bear in mind.

Keep in mind that any additions or upgrades to your indoor lighting is probably going to require some professional attention. There are many excellent examples of a Raleigh electricians that specializes in not only electrical repair, but they will preform an entire electrical system assessment of your home to insure it is optimized to function efficiently.

Take some time to research the different lighting types that you can pick from. A few focus on overhead lighting. Or area lamps and soft light also have a nice touch. A popular choice for kitchens is becoming track lighting. An option that is somewhat older are fluorescent bulbs for lighting in kitchens and bathrooms. Your lighting plays a large role in how your room will look in the room. Track lighting looks a lot different than simple overhead lights or lamps. What is the size of the space that you need to light? Large rooms need more light than small rooms. A small 10X10 room probably only needs a lamp or two. More than on source, however, is needed for a larger room especially if you want to make sure that the entire room can be seen. If your main concern is only a small area, you can use a focal light. If you want to light the whole room you could choose to use some overhead lights or some very powerful floor lamps.

Don’t forget to leave room in your budget for redoing the lighting in your kitchen. You are no longer limited to incandescent of fluorescent bulbs in your kitchen. More and more, people are choosing track lighting for their kitchen illumination.

Track lighting is prettier to look at and illuminates the kitchen just as well. They are also easy to install if you want to save money by installing the lights yourself. Why should you settle for something ugly when there are better options available? There are just too many interior lighting options out there that are better.

There are so many different indoor lighting options out there. Trying to pick between them can be bothersome, which is why it is a great idea to come up with a plan for each and every room before you begin your shopping. One way to boil down the options is to choose only Energy Star rated options. The earlier you begin making plans, the simpler it will be to determine a lighting theme for your home. An indoor lighting upgrade can not only increase the value of your Raleigh home, but can save you lots of money on your electric bill and contribute to a positive relationship with our environment as well.


How To Get Long Term Energy Savings Out Of Your Next Green Home Improvement Project

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While new Raleigh area homes are 100 percent more energy efficient today than those built three decades ago, most people are not familiar with how to actually design energy savings into the infrastructure of their home.

Here are a few ways to save energy in your home:

* Windows and doors: Today’s architecture takes advantage of increased window space and elaborate entry systems. This style enhancement certainly adds to the appeal of a home, but it increases the importance of having energy-efficient windows and doors.

On average, a household spends nearly 50 percent of its annual energy costs in heating and cooling. You can reduce this expense by up to 15 percent by using energy-efficient windows and doors, which help decrease the transfer of heat. Start by looking for products that have the Energy Star label. This label identifies products that meet the strictenergy-efficiency guidelines set by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the U.S. Department of Energy.

Many of the homes in and around Raleigh are older and in need of window replacement. Coyote Siding and Windows is a great example of a reputable window replacement company that operates in and around Raleigh, offers excellent service, and great prices.

* Construction materials: Wood or vinyl (for windows) and steel (for doors) offer high energy efficiency. For windows, dual-pane insulating glass units and low-emissivity glass also increase the products’ energy efficiency. For steel doors, look for a polystyrene core, which helps the door retain its energy-saving properties longer than steel doors with a polyurethane core.

Rest assured, however, that you will not have to forgo style and beauty when seeking energy efficiency. Many manufacturers, such as Jeld-Wen Windows and Doors, offer a variety of Energy Star-qualified products that are attractive, durable and provide superior performance. In fact, upgrading windows and doors is a great way to buildenergy savings into your current home.

* Insulating your Raleigh home: In addition to diminishing heat transfer through windows and doors, you can ensure even temperatures in the home by selecting proper insulation. Well-insulated homes can save up to 30 percent on heating and cooling costs. Pay attention to the R-values used to rate the energy efficiency of insulation – a higher R-value indicates a better ability to resist heat flow, meaning that it is more energy efficient.

* Heating and cooling engines: Installing oversized heating or cooling equipment is a common practice to provide customers with immediate results. However, oversized equipment is not necessary if your home is designed to conserve energy; it will only add to the growth of your energy bill.

Visit a local home improvement center to learn more about heating and cooling options.


How To Safely Have An Outdoor Fire In Raleigh

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We are all about being green, but did you know we are super focused on safety as well? Although Raleigh, NC isn’t as plagued by forest fires as must as our neighbors out west, we do see a lot of residential fire destruction. A key aspect to reduce your home from outside fire damage is taking action.

When fire proofing your home the inside is a very big part of the inspection indeed but do not forget that the outside is also a safe haven for fires. You should keep in mind that the outside is also part of your home, so do not neglect to check the patio, the backyard, the roof as well as the garden. Minimizing the hazards in these areas is just as important as the dangers indoors. One example of a fire hazard that exists outdoors is storing of wood. When warehousing wood in your backyard it is imperative that you follow the basic preliminary fire prevention rules in order to diminish the chance of wood catching fire which can cause much larger scale disaster. That is why it is important to maintain your wood in safe manner, in order to reduce the occurrence of the fires as well as the strength and size of the fire. One of the first steps to take when making sure that the fire is stored safely is to make at least a 30 feet safety perimeter around the area that the wood is being stored.

An example of a good safety clearance is a green lawn that is free of any types of fire hazards such as flammable debris, toys or lawn ornaments. You may need to hire a Raleigh tree removal service to come take down any trees that can act as a ladder fuel and carry fire up into your eaves and onto your roof. Now when it comes to plants and fire, there are a lot of plants that are fire resistant; some more than others, it is good to plant these in the area designated as the safety zone. Even though these plants may be fire resistant, it is imperative that you get rid of any dry leaves, dead limbs, twigs, and rubble that surround the plant(s); preventing these things from fueling a small fire that can escalate into a larger much more intense fire.

Also take time to survey the roofing material on your home. In previous years many roofs on homes were built with many risky, combustible materials causing a large amount of homeowners to lose their homes; these losses were directly linked to the roof catching fire. Nowadays there are new and improved roofing materials offered to promote fire safety. When having your home built or either when choosing a home, it would be wise to choose a home that uses non-combustible roofing materials. There are many non-combustible roofing materials available, including: Class A Shingles, Metal or Terra Cotta. If your roof has already been built and it doesn’t need to be replaced, then you do have the option of treating your roof with fire retardant procedures to reduce the flammability of the roof until it can be replaced.

One last thing to pay attention to when fire proofing the outdoor is barbecue grills. North Carolinians are known for our bbq prowess and a lot of us own a grill. Barbecue grills involve a lot of upkeep to keep them safe. You should clean your grill regularly, and make sure to keep it free of dirt and dust buildup. It would be much easier on you to maintain if you made it your goal to clean the grill after every use paying close attention to dust and cobwebs that may have accumulated. Also make it a habit to check all water hoses in the yard for cracks and to make sure it is in good condition; these are also fire hazards. Last but not least if you use propane tanks, check to see if it is damaged in any way. It is very dangerous to use damaged propane tanks. They are very combustible and can cause major damage.