Lighting Control Cooks in the Kitchen

New Technology and Ease of Use Provide Many Options to Enhance Lifestyle

Warrenton, VA - December 27, 2007 - - Over the past twenty years, kitchens have grown larger, grander and more lavish and in the process have evolved to become the focal point of many homes. No longer relegated to cooking and eating, kitchens are now the central gathering place for families to socialize and an ideal spot for entertaining as well. Along with deluxe cabinets and countertops, today's kitchen often features the latest technology too, including tv's, multi -room audio and of course the internet.

Cast in a new light, the single fluorescent lighting fixture hanging in the center of the kitchen of yesteryear can not possibly offer enough warmth, versatility and illumination to satisfy homeowner demands of today. Modern gourmet kitchens that incorporate a layered lighting design concept can easily include four or more separate light switches, each controlling a different set of lights. This leads to cluttered wall space where individual light switches are added haphazardly throughout the room, detracting from the room's goal of aesthetics, simplicity and functionality.

Builders and Designers today can create optimal plans to illuminate the kitchen utilizing the four main types of lighting options: utility, task, ambient and accent. However, only when these options are partnered with proper lighting control options for the desired lighting scheme, can homeowners not only enhance the beauty of their kitchen but also control the ambiance of the room and reap energy savings as well.

S&S Electric of Oldsmar, Florida, a family owned and operated company now in its 60th year, offers Home Builders a partnership opportunity wherein a builder can offer state -of -the -art home technology such as lighting control to satisfy buyers' lifestyle demands.

"Homebuyers today demand the latest in lighting design and control to easily create a certain desired atmosphere throughout the home," said Shawn Smith, President of S&S Electric and a member of the Home Lighting Control Alliance. "However, our greatest success with lighting control has been in the kitchen because homeowners want a simple and convenient way to control the vast number and types of lights in the kitchen. With the use of dimmers and one -touch keypads, lighting control becomes simple even for the technophobe. Keypads can even be personalized to read Breakfast, Cook, Dine, Clean, Late Night and Off making the recall of the right lighting scene simple."

Lightolier's Gary Meshberg, who also chairs the HLCA, added, "Lighting Control adds value to any home and one of the most important rooms in any home is the kitchen. A well -designed lighting control system will add warmth, style and functionality while saving energy. Among our members, we constantly hear that lighting control is the first home technology that their customers would do again in their next home."

The three main types of lighting design options available are: Ambient, Accent and Task.

Ambient Lighting - Ambient lighting creates the general lighting in the kitchen. Ambient lighting typically provides a flat, single layer of light and includes utilitarian lights such as recessed downlights or overhead fluorescents.

Accent Lighting - Accent lighting offers added elegance to the kitchen. These are often recessed fixtures that are adjustable and incorporate directional bulbs. Accent lighting is typically used to highlight pieces of artwork or a centerpiece.

Task Lighting - Task lighting creates adequate light for "tasks" such as chopping, dicing and reading recipes. Ideally, lighting fixtures for this type of option are slim and low profile and located underneath cabinets to brightly illuminate countertops for safety.

Whether it is for cooking, entertaining or family gatherings combining these three types of lighting with lighting control allows the homeowner to layer the lighting levels to create a warm glow and aura throughout the kitchen.

Simply introducing facets of each type of lighting design (task, ambient and accent), however, fails to fully address buyer lifestyle demands. The traditional "on/off" switches do not allow a homeowner to control the lights, to paint the room and furnishings with the desired amount of light or to change the level of light appropriate to the task at hand.

"A simple introduction to the concept of lighting control includes the use of dimmer switches," explained Mr. Smith. "With dimmers, homeowners can control the level, or amount, of light illumination from a single fixture to a group of fixtures which layers the lighting in the room."

Without control over the amount of light being shed by any one fixture in the kitchen, the purpose of lighting design is completely defeated. Through the use of dimmer switches, a homeowner gains the flexibility to determine how much light is needed for different activities, or to simply set a desired mood in the room. Dimmers can also be used to accent artwork, or collectibles. Additionally, using dimmers for lighting control saves energy while helping the environment through the use of reduced energy consumption and greatly extended bulb life.

"With the influx of environmentally responsible buyers into the marketplaces from retail shoppers to homebuyers, it is important to note that adding dimmers to a home increases its green value," added Smith. "Many people don't realize that dimming a light by 50% can reduce electricity use by 40%, resulting in lower monthly power bills!"

Fast Facts about Lighting Control in the Kitchen

The kitchen has become the central room in the home for family socialization, informal gatherings and entertaining
Lighting Control elegantly fades the lighting to create warmth and ambience
Use a keypad for simple recall of pre -set scenes for various tasks and settings
Eliminates wall clutter by replacing multiple switches with simpler controls
Lighting Control is green. Dimming saves energy and extends bulb life
Lighting Control enhances the value of the home

About the Home Lighting Control Alliance (HLCA)

The Home Lighting Control Alliance is a self -funded, member -driven consortium of leading lighting control manufacturers, systems integrators and industry support organizations. Its sole purpose is to promote the awareness, value and benefits of lighting control products for residential applications.

Current partners in the Home Lighting Control Alliance include: AHA Design, Automated Outlet, CEA, CentraLite Systems, Control4, Crestron, Echelon, EH Publishing, ETC, Exceptional Innovation, FulTech Solutions, Good News Electric, HAI, Home Logic, Integrated Concepts, Karen Proctor Electric, Leviton, Lightolier Controls, LiteTouch, Low Voltage Systems, Pass & Seymour, RL Johnson Construction, S&S Electric, Somfy Systems, Square D, SST, Vantage Controls, WattStopper and Worthington Distribution.

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