Re: lighting for Common House
From: Lynn Nadeau (welcomeolympus.net)
Date: Sat, 8 Apr 2006 08:58:14 -0700 (PDT)
Lighting is a real challenge. RoseWind Cohousing (Port Townsend WA) built our CH about 6 years ago. Our lighting is functional, but not wonderful. While not vaulted, our dining room ceiling is about 10 ft high, with a central coffer area that is about 12 ft high. We have a combination of lighting, with separate switches, so we can choose which we want. Wall sconces, ceiling inset "cans", ceiling "domes" (slightly raised, but shallow). All are compact fluorescents. A small light on the piano and an upright floor lamp in the corner are also used. The fluorescent light is "cool" and I don't like it. We had an energy budget to meet state code, which said we could only use x watts for lighting. It was irrational, as we could also have all the high-wattage electric resistance heaters in the world, but it was a given. The only way to have sufficient light was to use fluorescents (and they are better energy-wise). Because we use the space for meetings etc as well as dining, we couldn't have dropped lighting over tables, which is the coziest feeling arrangement. You speak of lots of windows. Include shades in your budget, as you will at times want to insulate all that glass against heat loss, and at times want to reduce the glare of bright light outdoors while you are trying to see, indoors.
Good luck.
Lynn Nadeau

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