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How to Choose Window Shades For Your Home

Did you know Connecticut Lighting has window shades? Our Hartford and Southington showrooms carry a wide selection of motorized and manual shades. Creating the perfect ambiance goes beyond the artificial light in a room. Window shades allow homeowners to control the amount of sunlight that enters a living area. Are motorized or manually-operated shades the right choice for your home?

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Benefits of Manual Shades

motorized window shadesFrom traditional roller and Honeycomb shades to Venetian blinds, manual window coverings have adorned homes for decades. In addition to their easy operation and maintenance, what are the pros of manual window shades?

  • If you have a limited budget, manual shades are often the more affordable option. Motorized window shades that need to be hardwired require professional installation by an electrician.
  • You can choose from a variety of fabrics to match your existing decor – or bring your own!
  • Simple functionality with a pull chain or cord.

In rooms where your only goal is to reduce sun glare or completely block out natural light, manual shades are a great choice.

Benefits of Motorized Shades

Are you constantly getting up to adjust the window shades, whether it be in your kitchen, living room or home office? Motorized window shades take the work out of lifting and lowering the shades! Control the amount of sunshine from a remote or your smartphone – you can even enable a sun sensor that automatically reacts to the amount of sun filtering in. Beyond their convenience, what are some other advantages of motorized window shades?

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Is Your Home Ready For the Holidays?

Every year, the holidays arrive before we know it. Once summer ends and we dress up for Halloween, it’s time to give thanks and exchange gifts. As the calendar gets shorter, families often find they have been too busy to focus on their own needs. Yet ask yourself one question: Is your home ready for the holidays? Whether you’ve been meaning to update your lighting or home hardware, it’s the perfect time for home improvement. What upgrades can you make before 2019?

Start Your Holiday Makeover!

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Indoor & Outdoor Lighting

Holiday table When guests arrive at your house for a holiday gathering, how is the landscape lit? If your property lacks pathway lights or you have one porch light for general illumination, you risk slip and fall injuries. Now that Daylight Saving Time has ended, it gets darker earlier and our outdoor lighting needs to accommodate this shift. At Connecticut Lighting Centers, we have a variety of wall lanterns, flood lights, post lanterns and more to provide your guests with the exterior lighting needed to stay safe.

On the other hand, when your family and friends gather at the holiday table, everything should be well-lit. From the dinnerware down to the tablecloth details, a beautiful and functional light fixture can bring your dining room to life. We carry chandeliers, pendants, wall sconces and more in a variety of styles and finishes to complement your existing décor.

Decorative Accents

When was the last time you upgraded your dinnerware? Oftentimes, couples keep the dinner plates and serving sets they received as wedding gifts to pass onto their children. While this is a great tradition, you can also have dining sets and accessories you use for special occasions, like the holidays. At Connecticut Lighting Centers, many customers are surprised to know we carry tableware, including:

  • Ice Buckets
  • Cheese Boards
  • Serving Trays
  • Serving Bowls
  • Cocktail Shakers
  • Coasters

We also carry home accents that make great hostess gifts! Michael Aram, one of our trusted brand partners, has a beautiful line of handcrafted ornaments, wine stoppers, candleholders and more inspired by nature. We can order anything you want from their catalog!

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Connecticut Lighting Centers: More Than a Lighting Store!

Since 1972, Connecticut Lighting Centers has been known for its impressive inventory of indoor and outdoor lighting. While we do have one of the largest lighting displays in New England, we are so much more than a lighting store! Better Connecticut’s Kara Sundlun recently stopped by to have a look at our decorative hardware, home automation and home accents with Vice President, Todd Director.

Everything For Your Home

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Window Shade Installation

Connecticut Lighting Centers offers one-stop shopping for your home. In our window shade department, we carry everything from simple metal blinds to Roman, roller and honeycomb shades.

The experience is truly full-service; we’ll come to your house to take measurements, help you choose the perfect shades and install them for you for free.

You can also browse motorized window shades from Lutron, an international lighting control company. Lutron is the only company in the world that makes all the components for motorized window shades – including the remote control!

Mirror, Mirror On the Wall

We have hundreds of mirrors on display throughout our stores, from vanity to accent. One of our most popular-selling models is the LED-lit mirror.

Do you ever feel the fluorescent or halogen light bulbs in your bathroom get too hot when standing by the mirror? LED-lit mirrors are a great solution, regardless if you have power by the sink or vanity. Simply turn the lights on and off with a tap of your finger on the mirror!

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How to Light Open Floor Plans

Homes with open floor designs are perfect for families. The interconnected spaces make it easy to interact with guests or keep an eye on the kids in the living room, while you cook in the kitchen. However, it can be a challenge to properly light these expansive areas. We have 3 tips to help you choose the best lighting for functionality and comfort.

Open Floor Plan Lighting

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Establish Focal Points

Open floor plan We often talk about layered lighting: Ambient, task and accent. In open-air spaces that combine kitchen and living areas, this can be a difficult task, as you don’t want the whole space to be under or over-lit. We recommend marking each area with a statement fixture to provide general illumination. For instance:

  • Pendant lighting over the kitchen island
  • An oversized fixture in the living room
  • A unique chandelier above the dining room table

From there, you can sprinkle in task lighting and accent fixtures without overpowering the area. For example, undercabinet lighting in the kitchen for food prep or table lamps in the family room for reading.

Match Lighting & Decor

The different spaces of an open floor plan should complement one another. When viewed as a whole, you don’t want any elements to clash with others. If you’ve chosen a vintage design scheme, balance that style preference with antique light fixtures from our sister store, Restoration Lighting Gallery!

Similarly, if your living spaces feature modern patterns, build upon those designs with contemporary light fixtures – perhaps featuring bold geometric elements or mixed metals.

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Guide to Using Light Dimmers

Lighting is often the key to good design – too much light can make guests uncomfortable and too little can make it hard to see much of anything. If you find yourself in this limbo of excessive or insufficient lighting, installing dimmers could be the solution. Dimmers allow homeowners to control the amount of light in a room and extend the life expectancy of their bulbs. To make the transition to dimmer switches, where do you begin?

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How Do Dimmers Work?

All dimmers include an electronic component called a “triac” that controls light brightness. When a light is dimmed, this switch provides less electrical energy to the bulb; when it’s at higher brightness, the triac emits more energy. A light bulb that outputs less light can save you money on your utility bills. In fact, a bulb can last up to 20 times longer at 25 percent light level!

Know the 6 Types of Dimmers

Not every dimmer is compatible with every light source. To avoid inconsistent lighting or flickering illumination, it’s important to understand how to correctly pair the two. What are the different options available?

  • Universal: Controls all bulb types, including incandescent, halogen, dimmable LEDs and CFLs.
  • Incandescent/Halogen: Can be safely used with incandescent and halogen light bulbs.
  • ELV: Electronic Low Voltage dimmers are commonly used to control ELV track, undercabinet and LED strip lighting.
  • MLV: Magnetic Low Voltage dimmers are best used for recessed lighting.
  • High Wattage: Recommended for fixtures that use multiple bulbs, but do not exceed 600 watts, like a large chandelier.
  • Dimming Sensor: Best used outdoors, a dimming sensor is compatible with dimmable LED, CFL and incandescent or halogen light bulbs.
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