Decorating with Fluorescents: Illuminate your Home with Energy-Saving Fluorescent and ENERGY STAR®-Qualified GE Energy Smart™ Light Bulbs
While most consumers know that fluorescent and CFL bulbs can save energy, they may believe that these lights still hum, flicker and give their homes an eerie green glow. Today's state-of-the-art GE energy-saving fluorescent and CFL bulbs are welcome additions to any lighting décor. GE Energy Smart™ bulbs turn on instantly, produce no sound, and are now available in a variety of shapes and sizes to fit almost any fixture.
Kathy Presciano, lighting specialist for GE Appliances & Lighting, offers the following room-by-room tips for bringing energy-saving light into your home.
Options in color
GE Energy Smart bulbs are available within a warm color range or, if desired, cooler color tones. Choose the color that works best for you. If you decorate with reds, browns, and oranges, you want to illuminate these rooms with bulbs that have a color temperature in the 2,700K to 3,000K range, such as GE SoftWhite incandescent bulbs or Energy Smart CFLs. If you happen to like green carpets, or blue colors, light these rooms with bulbs that produce color temperatures of 4,000K or above. New Energy Smart Daylight CFLs, with a color temperature of 6500K, provide a cool daylight color and boast an 8,000-hour rated life.
GE linear fluorescents are available for a variety of lighting applications. If you are lighting a particularly large, dark area of a home, like a garage or basement, GE Sunshine bulbs provide a light similar to daylight at noontime. If you are replacing a fluorescent bulb in a living area of the home, where warm, natural light is desired, choose a GE Kitchen & Bath bulb that makes food look more appealing and makes skin tones more attractive.
Room by room
In the laundry room, kitchen or bathroom, GE Kitchen & Bath bulbs provide warm, natural light. These bulbs offer good color rendering and are perfect for overhead fixtures or under-cabinet task lighting. They are available in different lengths including the popular 18-inch and 36-inch tubes.
In the bath or powder room, GE Energy Smart decorative globes are a great choice for framing the mirror over the sink. They simply screw into most standard fixtures for the bathroom mirror. Decorative candle-shaped CFL bulbs are available in both medium base and candelabra base for covered wall sconces in the bath or anywhere around the home.
In the kitchen, Energy Smart R30 reflector bulbs are a great choice for recessed lights. These bulbs can wash the room in light when full light output is desired. Or, when used with a dimmer, these bulbs provide a soft glow in the kitchen.
In the living room, reflector CFL bulbs provide warm downlight, and may even fit the bill for some task and accent lighting fixtures. For task lighting, A-line shaped CFLs are a good fit for table lamps. In addition, the new smaller screw-in T2 Spiral® CFL bulb is a great choice. This new bulb from GE Appliances & Lighting is one of the industry's smallest available CFLs and provides flicker-free starts, warm and pleasing incandescent-like color and excellent lumen maintenance over its 12,000-hour rated life.
There are some dimmable CFL bulbs that can be used in the dining room, living room, or any space that requires different levels of light. For example, GE Energy Smart Dimmable Spiral bulbs can be used with standard household dimmer switches. They come in 15-watt and 26-watt bulbs, which replace 60-watt and 100-watt incandescent bulbs and will dim to 20 percent of their maximum light output. The color is soft white, and it has a rated life of 10,000 hours. There are also dimmable reflector lamps for downlights.
When lighting the garage and back hallway, GE Sunshine bulbs are a good choice. These fluorescent tubes offer a light similar to noonday light. They are ideal for color-critical areas or where sunlight is at a minimum. GE also offers Energy Smart compact fluorescent reflector bulbs that are perfect for recessed lights in a hallway ceiling.
For creating special dramatic effects, try these fluorescent wall lighting techniques:
• Valance lighting: This is lighting from light sources on a wall above eye level, shielded by vertical panels or decorative moldings The light is directed upward and downward. By shining light upward and downward, you can highlight ceilings and walls simultaneously. The fluorescent tubes are typically mounted about eight inches from the wall. Another thing you might try is creating a nice lighted display shelf by placing a piece of translucent plastic above the channel holding the light source.
• Cornice lighting: This is a type of fluorescent wall lighting that shines light downward only. This lighting can dramatize draperies, artwork and other wall treatments. Install tubes about six inches from the wall and mount the cornice with large angle brackets.
• Cove lighting: This is a type of fluorescent wall lighting that shines light upward. Use it for highlighting a ceiling, outlining a room or accenting a special architectural design element.