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Design Tips

Lighting makes a big difference in how you feel about your home. Lighting helps you perform tasks more easily, and makes you feel safer and more comfortable. By using different lighting techniques, you can create a dramatic look, a soft cozy feeling, highlight artwork, or provide lighting for a work area. When planning the lighting for a room in your home, begin by considering the activities taking place and the look you are trying to achieve.

Grand Light’s design team can assist you through every step of the decision making process, from the selection of lighting fixtures, to layout design, to installation, and more. At Grand Light, our knowledgeable and courteous staff of lighting professionals provide our customers with the highest level of service and design expertise.

For a free half-hour lighting design consultation, call us at 1-800-922-1469 or simply use our contact form. Our team is waiting to assist you with all of your lighting design and layout needs.

Outdoor LightingOutdoor-Wall-Lighting4

Exterior lighting should not only enhance the beauty of your home, but should also add safety and security. Exterior lighting can make a dramatic first impression. Choose the correct sized fixture
for the scale of your home by visualizing how the fixture will appear from the street. Selecting a small fixture for a larger home will reduce from the presence of your home.

Browse through our huge selection of outdoor and landscape lighting, or call us at 1-800-922-1469 for a free half-hour consultation.

Landscape LightingLandscape-Lighting

Landscape Lighting is all about beautifying all that is in the exterior environment. Our landscape lighting unobtrusively blends into any surrounding, harmonizing your property with both nature and architecture. Grand Light’s designers and products will help your landscape lighting design come alive with a three-dimensional look from dusk till dawn.

Browse through our huge selection of landscape lighting fixtures. For a free half-hour lighting design consultation, call us at 1-800-922-1469 or simply use our contact form. Our team is waiting to assist you with all of your lighting design and layout needs.

1) Planning the Low-Voltage Landscape System

Strategically locating the fixtures around a structure with pools of light in contrast with darker areas provides the interplay of light and shadow that creates stunning visual impact. Low-voltage lighting is easily installed, making it ideal for enhancing existing properties. The design of each installation is tailored to the unique characteristics of a property’s foliage, structures, and human activities.

2) Sketch the Property

The front sidewalk or driveway is a natural starting point. Sketch the structure (house or office building) in context of the lot, and make note of trees for uplighting, interesting textures, signs or address markers, colorful flowerbeds, and shrubbery.

3) Indicate Fixture Locations

Once the sketch is complete, pencil in the placement of area, path, directional, and specialty fixtures.

areaArea lights are indirect light sources that have a large distribution of light on the ground or on the surface commonly used for driveways, isolated planters, or perimeter illumination.

Path lights are commonly used for small pathways, walkways, flowerbeds and ground cover areas, with spacing of 6 to 10 feet. With a narrow pathsidewalk, stagger the lighting from one side to the other; however, a uniform row of fixtures works well for a wide walkway or driveway.

directionalWell lights are extremely effective for aiming light up a tree or column. They should be located 2 to 4 feet from the trunk base.

Directional lights aim a beam directly at an object or surface. These fixtures can be hidden under shrubs or in other unobtrusive ways.

Specialty fixtures are used for a wide variety of special installations and applications, including hanging, surface, underwater, step, and brick lighting.speciality

It is usually more attractive when the lighting effects are spread throughout the setting rather than merely aimed for symmetrical distribution.

 

4) Selecting the Proper Transformer

When the system lamp wattage is known, the transformer calculation is easy. Just add up the total wattage of the lamps you are using and make sure it is less than or equal to the transformer rating. Try to leave extra space on the transformer for future expansion.

Recessed & Track Lighting

General Lighting

General Lighting sets the basic ambient illumination level of space. General Lighting is important for circulation and functionality, and allows you to express a range of moods throughout every room in your home.

Browse through our huge selection of recessed and track lighting. For a free half-hour lighting design consultation, call us at 1-800-922-1469 or simply use our contact form. Our team is waiting to assist you with all of your lighting design and layout needs.

  • Uniform Down-Lighting

    Uniform illumination provides a layer of ambient light typically used to provide general lighting on horizontal surfaces. It is important to note that, while useful, uniform illumination typically has the least visual impact on a space.

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  • Non-Uniform Down-lighting

    Non-uniform down lighting provides the appearance of pools of light and can provide a more interesting visual appearance. Non-uniform illumination is generally accomplished with par or MR16 lamps spaced far enough apart so their beams do not overlap. Spacing is a function of the chosen lamp’s beam spread and desired effect.

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Task Lighting

Task Lighting provides supplemental illumination over tasks. It is critical to allow enough light to perform your tasks accurately, efficiently, and safely

  • Recessed Task Lighting

    Placement of recessed down-lights to facilitate tasks is critical. For counter or work surface tasks, recessed fixtures should be placed between the cabinet face and the front edge of the counter. This position avoids the casting of shadows and minimizes veiling reflections.design_task1

    When lighting paper tasks, down-lights should be placed on each side of the task to minimize glare.design_task2

    When lighting tasks in front of people, such as at a table or in front of a mirror, it is important to locate down-lights in front of the person so as not to cast unnatural and unpleasant shadows. Whenever possible, add complementary fill lighting from a diffuse source such as a wall sconce or chandelier.design_task3

  • Decorative Pendants Task Lighting

    Decorative pendants provide both functional task lighting and add a visual interest and aesthetic character into a space. Pendants can be used singularly to light over small tables such as in an intimate restaurant, or in multiples to light elongated surfaces such as residential kitchen island counters or retail cash wraps or feature displays. For tables, the bottom edge of the pendants should be mounted 30 to 36 inches above the counter top.design_task4

Accent Lighting

Accent Lighting creates high contrast between space and objects of interest such as sculpture, collectibles, and architectural details. For noticeable visual impact, accent lighting should be at least three times as bright as a surrounding area. More dramatic accent lighting requires contrast ratios of 5:1 or greater.

  • Accent Lighting on Flat Artwork

    Flat art is usually illuminated by a source striking its surface at a 30-degree angle. This eliminates veiling reflection (glare) from bouncing into a viewer’s eye, and prevents the casting of a shadow of the viewer onto the artwork.design_accent1

  • Accent Lighting on Three-Dimensional Objects

    “Key and Fill” is an effective technique for accentuating the three-dimensional character of an object. This technique entails the use of key and fill lighting from two sides of the object. Key lighting is a hard-accent light used to create shadows and to highlight an object’s form and texture. Fill light is a softer light thrown from the opposite side of the object to soften the shadows, making the object appear more natural. Other techniques can also be applied to further accentuate the unique character of an object, such as silhouetting.design_accent2

Wall Lighting

The illumination of vertical surfaces can impact the perception of a space more than any other type of lighting. Light reflecting off of walls creates a bright, spacious feel and adds visual interest.

  • Wall Washing

    Wall washing provides an even spread of illumination for vertical surfaces such as walls, large paintings, wall hangings, bookcases and shelving, cabinet fronts, or stairwells. The diffuse nature of wall-wash illumination has the effect of flattening out textured surfaces.design_wall1
    Wall-wash luminaries are usually spaced equal to the set back distance from the wall. Closer spacing will provide higher light levels, with better uniformity.

  • Grazing

    By placing down-lights 6 to 12 inches from a wall, a grazing effect can be achieved on textured surfaces such as brick or stucco. PAR lamps are a good source to use for grazing.design_wall2

  • Light Scallops

    Light scallops can be an intentional or unintentional effect of a down-lighting plan. The last row of down-lights closest to the wall will cause light scallops, which if planned for can add visual interest to a space. The more diffuse the light source and trim are, the softer the scallop will be. For example a R/BR-lamp mounted in a flush-to-ceiling open trim, will barely create any scallop, while a R-lamp in a shallow white baffle will create a soft scallop, and a PAR lamp in a deep-black baffle trim will create a crisp scallop. You should be mindful of the horizontal location of the center of the scallops relative to architectural features such as cabinet frames, doorways, windows, etc.design_wall3

Tech Traktech-trak

To calculate the amount of track you’ll need for an organic shape, draw the Tech Trak to scale (for example, ¼” =1′). Use a piece of string to “trace” the drawing. Measure the length of string, then convert from your scale.

Use standoff supports every four feet of a Tech Trak run. For best appearance, place the last standoff 4 to 6 inches from the end of the run, and place standoffs symmetrically, altering between standoffs with connector where track sections join together and standoffs without connector in the center of each 8-foot track section.

Browse through our Tech Trak lighting catalog. For a free half-hour lighting design consultation, call us at 1-800-922-1469 or simply use our contact form. Our team is waiting to assist you with all of your lighting design and layout needs.

Two-Circuit Monorail

tech-pendant2The first step in designing your Two-Circuit Monorail system is to determine what it is you are trying to light. You’ll need to decide where the pendants or elements should be installed to put light where you want it, and which pendants or elements will be controlled by each circuit.

The second step is to draw your Two-Circuit Monorail run. Remember, Two-Circuit Monorail can be shaped
by hand to follow architectural details or to create an organic shape. Your run must be placed so it runs directly from beneath the surface transformer or power feed, and intersects the locations of all the
fixtures. You’ll need to determine how many pieces of rail you’ll need. Also, you may add one set of end caps to each end of the run for an elegant finishing touch.

Next, add up the wattages of the lamps you’ll be
using on the system; this will help you select a transformer. A remote transformer with a power feed canopy provides the cleanest look, but the remote transformer must be installed in an accessible, remote location. The surface transformer then simply mounts to a junction box. Two-Circuit
Monorail transformers come pre-wired with either two or four 120 volt input lines to allow for independent switching of the circuits.

tech-monorailFinally, determine how far from the ceiling you want the system to drop. Power feed canopies place the rail two inches from the ceiling, while Two-Circuit Monorail surface transformers place the rail six inches from the ceiling. If this drop is shorter than you require, you’ll need to add a power extender to your canopy or surface transformer. The maximum standard drop for Two-Circuit Monorail is eight feet.

There are select standoffs that will match the drop of your power feed to support the system. Adjustable standoffs provide a clean, elegant look. Choose rigid standoffs for curvy runs, or runs with multiple glass pendants. You’ll need one standoff for every three feet of Two-Circuit Monorail. The power feed counts as a support, so begin adding

standoffs three feet from the power feed.

Note: Power extenders and standoffs are field-cuttable, so it’s easy to achieve a custom drop length.

Browse through our Two-Circuit Monorail catalog. For a free half-hour lighting design consultation, call us at 1-800-922-1469 or simply use our contact form. Our team is waiting to assist you with all of your lighting design and layout needs.

Monorail

The first step in designing your Monorail system is to determine what it is you are trying to light. You’ll need to decide where pendants or elements should be installed totech-pendant3 put light where you want it.

The second step is to draw in your Monorail run. Remember, Monorail can be shaped by hand to follow architectural details or to create an organic shape. Your Monorail run must be placed so it runs directly beneath the junction box with the surface transformer or power feed canopy and intersects the locations of all the fixtures. Determine how many pieces of rail you’ll need. Add a pair of end caps to each end of the run for an elegant finishing touch.

Next, add up the wattages of the lamps you’ll be using on the system: this will help you select a transformer. A remote transformer with a power feed canopy provides the cleanest look, but the remote transformer must be installed in an accessible, remote location. A surface transformer simply mounts to a junction box.

Finally, determine how far from the ceiling you want the system to drop. Power feed canopies place the rail two inches from the ceiling; surface transformers drop it from two to five inches, depending on the type of transformer. If this drop is shorter than you require, you’ll need to add a power extender to your canopy or surface transformer. The maximum standard drop for Monorail is eight feet.tech-monorail (2)

There are select standoffs that will match the drop of your power feed to support the system. Adjustable standoffs provide a clean, elegant look. Choose rigid standoffs for curvy runs, or runs with
multiple glass pendants. You’ll need one standoff for every three feet of Monorail. The power feed counts as a support, so begin adding standoffs three feet from the power feed.

Note: Power extenders and standoffs are field-cuttable, so it’s easy to achieve a custom drop length.

Browse through our Monorail catalog. For a free half-hour lighting design consultation, call us at 1-800-922-1469 or simply use our contact form. Our team is waiting to assist you with all of your lighting design and layout needs.

Kable Lite

kable-liteThe first step in designing your Kable Lite system is to determine what it is you are trying to light. You will need to decide where the where pendants or elements should be installed to put light where you want it. Determine the cable separation of the run. Generally, the higher the ceiling, the wider the cable separation can be.

We recommend the following:

Ceiling height Cable separation not to exceed
8′ 3.5″
9′ 5.5″
10′ 8″

Different fixtures have different cable separation requirements, so make sure the fixtures you’ve chosen are compatible with the cable separation.

kable-lite-transformerThe second step is to draw your Kable Lite run. Remember, Kable Lite is designed to make straight lines and simple turns. The cables must be placed so they pass over the locations of all the fixtures. Kable Lite surface transformers and power feed canopies have 24-inch feeds, so your Kable Lite run must pass within two feet of the junction box. Determine how many feet of cable you’ll need.

Finally, add up the wattages of the lamps you’ll be using on the system; this will help you select a transformer. A remote transformer with a power feed canopy provides the cleanest look, but the remote transformer must be installed in an accessible, remote location. The surface transformer simply mounts to a nearby junction box. Kable Lite power feed canopies and surface transformers have 24-inch feeds; if this drop is shorter than you require, or if you prefer the look of hardware, you’ll need optional hardwire feeds. We recommend putting a pair of turnbuckles on each side of the run for visual symmetry. You will not need to add supports to your run unless it’s long (over twenty feet) or has heavier elements (such as glass pendants).

Browse through our Kable Lite catalog. For a free half-hour lighting design consultation, call us at 1-800-922-1469 or simply use our contact form. Our team is waiting to assist you with all of your lighting design and layout needs.

Wall Monorailsprocket_head_with_barndoors

The first step in designing your Wall Monorail system is to determine what it is you are trying to light. You will need to decide where the elements should be installed to put light where you want it.

The second step is to draw your Wall Monorail run. Remember, Wall Monorail can be shaped by hand to follow a curved wall or soffit. Your Wall Monorail must be placed so it runs directly in front of the junction box if using a remote transformer or within two feet of the junction box if using a surface transformer. Determine how many pieces of rail you’ll need. Add a pair of end caps to each end of the run for an elegant finishing touch.

The next step is to add up the wattages of the lamps you’ll be using on the system – this will help you select a transformer. A remote transformer with a power feed canopy provides the cleanest look, but the remote transformer must be installed in an accessible, remote location. A surface transformer simply mounts to a nearby junction box and requires end or center power feed connectors to bring power from the transformer to the run.

Finally you will have to add standoffs. You’ll need one standoff for every three feet of Wall Monorail. The power feed canopy counts as a support, so begin addingWall-Transformer
standoffs three feet from the power feed canopy.

Browse through our Wall Monorail catalog. For a free half-hour lighting design consultation, call us at 1-800-922-1469 or simply use our contact form. Our team is waiting to assist you with all of your lighting design and layout needs.

Formal Chandelier

hand-blown-glass-large-chandeliers2Chandeliers provide a key element in the décor of your dining area, and are functional as well.

The minimum diameter of the chandelier should be about half the width of your table. For rooms with an 8-foot ceiling, hang the chandelier so the bottom of the fixture is 30 to 32 inches above the tabletop.

The style of the fixture is important to take into consideration as well as the specific activities that may take place at your table other than dining.

Browse through our huge selection of Chandeliers. For a free half-hour lighting design consultation, call us at 1-800-922-1469 or simply use our contact form. Our team is waiting to assist you with all of your lighting design and layout needs.

Crystal Grades, Styles, and Cleaning

Crystal Grades:

The heart of every crystal chandelier or crystal adorned light fixture is the crystal itself. Each crystal represents the difference between choosing a light fixture of heirloom quality that completes the room and one that lacks warmth and will soon become just part of a room. Since the significant cost of a crystal chandelier is in the quality of the crystals that will adorn it, understanding the different types and shapes of crystals is necessary. When selecting your crystal options, consider that the type or grade of a crystal determines the clarity, color density, and light dispersion. To help with your selection of crystal grades, the most popular options are listed below.

Swarovski-Strass-CrystalSwarovski Strass Crystal: Regarded by leaders in the industry as the finest crystal in the world, Strass crystals are acclaimed for possessing the highest levels of both clarity and internal flawlessness. Possessing a lead content that exceeds 30%, each Strass crystal is first cut by a machine to ensure that each facet meets precisely at one focal point to achieve optimum refraction and produce an optically pure prism. After machining, each crystal is hand polished and given an invisible optical coating that not only makes it easier to clean and maintain, but actually repels dust particles. To ensure buyer protection, each Strass crystal is laser etched with the official Swarovski Strass logo.Swarovski-Strass-Crystals-Fashion-Colors

Swarovski Strass Crystals in Fashion Colors: Almost as famous for their innovation as they are for their crystals, Swarovski has taken their renowned Strass crystals and has added color options using a technique that does not degrade the look or finish of the crystal, but actually enhances the existing faceting, clarity, and shape. Featuring over 15 different color choices, Swarovski makes it possible to match and compliment your existing color palette and still dress your crystal light fixture with the highest quality of crystals.

Swarovski-Spectra-CrystalSwarovski Spectra Crystal: Manufactured in Austria by Swarovski, Spectra crystals offer an affordable Swarovski crystal option. Each Swarovski Spectra crystal is created and cut in a process similar to the Strass crystals. However, Spectra crystals are different from Strass crystals as they are not made with lead, do not come with an optical coating, and are available in different shapes and sizes.Precision-Crystal

Precision Crystal: Laser cut and machined polished, Precision crystals are manufactured with a lead content level of 30% or more. Using only the highest quality precision cutting machines, each crystal is cut for optimal light dispersion and clarity.

Imperial-Regal-Gem-Cut-Royal-Cut-CrystalsImperial/Regal/Gem-Cut/Royal Cut Crystals: Blending a quality look with a great price, Imperial, Regal, Gem-cut, and Royal Cut crystals are created by artisans worldwide and match some of the most flawless crystals made by high-quality manufactures. Each type of these luminous crystals are for the discerning customer who appreciates fine craftsmanship at an affordable price.Venetian-Crystal

Venetian Crystal: Using the same time-honored techniques that have been perfected over generations, Venetian glass comes from the historic glass making region around Venice, Italy. Molded and fire polished, Venetian Crystal possesses a subtle beauty– soft and graceful– that has a look and feel of its own. Compared to cut crystal, it is moderately priced.

Bohemian-Hand-Cut-Hand-Polished-CrystalBohemian Hand Cut and Hand Polished Crystal: Crystal which is made in the Czech Republic which was Bohemia. These prisms are better than machine cut crystals because each crystal has its own unique qualities. Each prism is hand cut and hand polished following the ancient traditions of the Czech Republic and is made entirely by hand without any machines following centuries old traditions.
 
 
 

Crystal Styles:

Just as there are numerous crystal types, there are a diverse amount of shapes to accompany them. Below is a guide to some of Grand Light’s most popular shapes.

Crystal Shapes

Crystal Cleaning:crystal-cleaning

The most important factors that contribute to the frequency of cleaning your crystal chandelier are the location, type of crystals, and the shape of the crystals. A crystal chandelier hanging in a
foyer trimmed with Swarovski Strass crystals, which are finished with an optical coating that repels dust and other airborne particles, is both easier to clean and would be done less frequently, while a crystal chandelier trimmed with hand cut crystal pendeloques in the same location will show more dust and require frequent cleanings.

To determine if your crystals need to be cleaned, look at your light fixture and if the crystals seem to be dull or have a layer of dust coating on them, refer to the cleaning techniques below.

Note: Prior to using any crystal cleaning techniques listed below, unplug and turn off the power source to your crystal light fixture and allow all bulbs to cool.

Cleaning Techniques:

Grand Light has been the leading source of crystal light fixtures for over 70 years, and in that time, we have perfected the art of cleaning and maintaining crystals. Here’s how we recommend you do it.

Latex Glove Method: This technique is best used when particle and dust coating is minimal and does not require the crystals to be removed.

Start off by preparing a solution consisting of one part isopropyl alcohol to three parts distilled water in a spray bottle. Next while wearing latex gloves, spray the solution onto a lint-free cleaning cloth. Do not spray the crystals directly to reduce the chance of spotting. To ensure proper cleaning, each crystal should be done one at a time.

Crystal Removal Method: This technique is best used to remove the dust that has been building up over the years and requires a bit more effort to clear away.
Begin by placing a soft towel or blanket down on a level, safe location. Next, remove all trims and finish pieces that will prevent you from removing the crystals. Once this is completed, remove the crystals and place them on the towel or blanket. Upon removal of the crystal, hand wash them in mild dish soap and lukewarm water. Rinse the crystals in warm water and allow them to dry. Remember to wear gloves when placing them back on your crystal chandelier or any other crystal light fixture to reduce fingerprints and other grime.

Browse through our huge selection of Chandeliers. For a free half-hour lighting design consultation, call us at 1-800-922-1469 or simply use our contact form. Our team is waiting to assist you with all of your lighting design and layout needs.