Thursday, December 21, 2006

Lighting a timberframe with fluorescent....

Now that we've got some electricity in the house, I've been thinking about and experimenting with lighting. Being that we're running on solar electricity, we've pretty much ruled out the beautiful, but inefficient, halogen track lighting that you see in the glossy timberframe magazines. With "Lowe" expectations, I went to Lowes looking for a suitable fluorescent substitute for incandescent track lighting. Much to my surprise, there have been several innovations in fluorescent lighting in the past two years. 20 years ago, all you could buy were the "long tubes," used in schools and workshops. Then came the "twisty" shaped bulbs that are a drop in substitute for regular light bulbs (these are wonderful). Now you can buy fluorescent lighting in really tiny, self contained form factors.

The small packages include the bulbs, switch, ballast, and starter... and you can even string them together in long chains. Based on the packaging, I'd say the initial target market for these new form factors is "under kitchen cabinet lighting." But I've found you can do some neat things with these little packages. For instance, I hid 8 of them above the top plates in my "tower room" and the light just seems to come from no where and illuminate the entire roof structure. What's more, because the light bounces off of the tongue and groove ceilings before illuminating the room, the inherently "cold" nature of the fluorescents lights is tempered to a "warmer" glow. Very neat, more examples to come! (There's a lot more glare in this picture than in real life - I had to take the photo without the flash on.)


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Check out l.e.d.'s great for solar power !!! Available in halogen style lamps ,tubes and plastic strips etc.

August 31, 2009 at 3:02 AM  

Post a Comment

<< Home