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Lighting Basics

Lighting can completely change the mood of a space. Lighting is used for both function and form. Where you place the light source, the type of light source and how the source is controlled, all play key roles in getting the desired results. Even the light bulb you select can have a big impact on the space. Recessed lights for example, typically use light bulbs that are available in a variety of wattages and can vary in “beam spread” from 10 degrees to over 50 degrees. A 10 degree beam spread is a very narrow beam of light while a 50 degree beam spread is a flood of light over a large area. This one factor can make a huge difference in the way a space is illuminated.


The number of lighting choices available today can be intimidating. Standard incandescent lights, fluorescent, LED, halogen, and others each have different characteristics. Manufactures publish photometric charts that help us visualize how the lighting will work in a room. Knowing the desired results is a good start to the design plan. In a kitchen for example, people generally want nice bright lights without shadows in work spaces. “Layering” the lighting in a kitchen is a great way to have light where you need it while eliminating harsh light that is hard on your eyes.


REF Corp provides lighting consultation services to help you get the results you desire.