APRIL 2012: Lighting As Design

Oct 30th 2015 Staff

Issue No.28 Apr 2012

Trading Spaces star Laurie Smith focuses her interior design expertise on home lighting in a new video series.

Expert Advice

How can I determine the correct amount of xenon bulbs to place under a wall cabinet?

A good rule of thumb for calculating undercabinet lighting for xenon bulbs is to use approximately 54 watts per 6 square feet of cabinet or counter surface. For example, a surface that is 10 feet long and two feet deep equals 20 square feet. Divide 20 by 6, which gives you 3.33 (round down to 3). Therefore, you would need 3 xenon bulbs at 54 watts each.

Right Light

The video "The Impact of a Single Lamp" highlights the significant impact one portable fixture can make in a space. Laurie points out that a lamp can either reinforce the palate of a room or recede into the background. "A lamp that matches its space, can actually disappear," she says, "while a lamp with a contrasting color as its base can complement a room's color scheme."

The variety of shapes, styles and colors of light fixtures can make choosing difficult, which is why talking to a lighting expert at an ALA-member showroom is helpful.

Bright Tips

Popular interior designer Laurie Smith stars in a new video series about home lighting. Each of the four videos focuses on a different aspect of incorporating lighting into a design scheme.

Videos in the series include:

Known for her clean lines, symmetry and classicism, Laurie wrote the book Discovering Home with Laurie Smith, and appeared regularly as a featured designer in the hit television show Trading Spaces (2000-2008).

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