“If you want more efficient lighting, which can reduce your utility bill, make sure your light bulbs have the correct wattage for your fixtures,” suggests Egnatis. “Also, consider adding dimmer switches. They allow you to control how much light is being released, so you can set the mood and save electricity at the same time because you’re not wasting light.”
Dimmer switches can be found at home repair or hardware stores in two basic wiring configurations:
Like dimmers, fixture placement can provide the right amount of light for the intended activity, helping homeowners to create the living space they want and save electricity at the same time.
“A great example of this is adding recessed lights over the bathroom sink or vanity,” explains Natale. “Recessed lights provide just the right amount of light for brushing your teeth, putting on makeup or getting dressed, but they’re nonintrusive because they’re housed inside the ceiling or wall. When turned off, they’re practically invisible. You also can add sconces on either side of the bathroom mirror. They give the room a nice look and provide soft lighting that’s ideal for winding down at the end of the day.”
Another way to save electricity and create a great ambiance is to replace incandescent and fluorescent light bulbs with LED, or light-emitting diode, lights. Compared with incandescent and fluorescent bulbs, LEDs last longer, radiate less heat and emit light in a specific direction, making them more efficient.
“Not all LEDs are the same, however,” cautions Egnatis. “Some aren’t as stable or efficient as others. Look for Energy Star (http://www.energystar.gov/
When selecting an Energy Star qualified LED fixture for your home, try to find one that looks classy whether it’s lit up or not. This will help create the right ambiance, says Natale. He recommends a fixture that complements its surroundings in color, shape and material.
“Pay particular attention to the color of the walls, flooring, water fixtures and cabinetry, and make sure the lighting fixtures will add to the décor, not take away from it,” notes Natale. “Select fixtures that are made well – they don’t have to be expensive, but they shouldn’t look ‘cheap’ – they should be made to last. A higher quality fixture helps create a nice atmosphere and it’s a better investment.”
All of these things should be taken into consideration both inside and outside of the home, advises Egnatis.
“Landscaping and exterior lighting are often overlooked, but they can add curb-appeal, increase your home’s market value and help with overall security,” says Egnatis. “Add Energy Star qualified LED light fixtures and bulbs to your outdoor living spaces. Fixtures should highlight eye-catching architecture and landscaping features.”
Grenadier Homes designs and builds semi-custom, custom, patio and town homes throughout the Dallas/Fort Worth Metroplex. It is recognized throughout the industry as a leader in customer satisfaction, workmanship, integrity, innovation and perseverance. Although the company was founded in 1990 by Anthony Natale and John Egnatis, Grenadier Homes can trace its roots back to the 1960s when Natale’s father, Nick, built a custom-designed home for the Egnatis family. Natale and Egnatis became neighbors and close friends, frequently playing ice hockey together on Grenadier pond. The build had a major impact on them both and later, they created Grenadier Homes with that in mind – to make a positive difference in people’s lives through homebuilding.
For more information, visit www.grenadierhomes.com. Connect with Grenadier Homes at www.facebook.com/