Posts Tagged ‘lighting’


medicine cabinet

Photos by Rona Lee, Construction by Ron Tostenson

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This bedroom was part of a recent full house remodel in Rockridge. I finally had a chance to publish a few photos. Due to the multicolor light, the colors are not perfect in these photos, but hopefully you can get the idea.  Photos are by Nancy Kalter-Dills.

This one shows the pair of colorful stained glass casement windows – A collaboration with Sabina Frank of Berkeley. It also shows the steel bed designed by myself to go with the windows and fabricated by Frank Trousil in Richmond.  Lights are from Metro Lighting in Berkeley and the flooring is ash.


The next few show the custom closet system fabricated by Martin Lee in Oakland.  My favorite part is the picture frames built into the doors. This gives the owner the opportunity to personalize the doors that they look at from the bed every day.


Hard to see in this photo, but Martin created crafty little wooden levers to hold in the picture and the glass on the inside of the door.


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The most important component of this project was rearranging things to make the most of various spaces in a small house. There had been several strange additions over the years that made for a lot of wasted space.

Looking east

Looking east in this spacious new kitchen with fir cabinets, vaulted ceiling, corner windows, LED lights,

We added about 65 SF and way more storage. The old kitchen was actually a hallway with constant traffic flow through the work area. Now traffic stays away from the main work area.

Kitchen before addition and remodel

Kitchen before addition and remodel

asbuilt   new plan     1) New closets in the master bedroom 2) More efficient laundry room by moving one door and adding shelves and counter 3) Water heater moved to exterior and utility room converted to pantry 4) Kitchen expanded to keep the traffic out of the work area 5) Easy attic storage created


Nice Big Pantry

Vaulted ceiling creates room for a large pendant light

We also added an attic access stair for even more storage!

Photo Credit – Nancy Kalter-Dills

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A while back I visited this cute little cottage in Oakland. The couple living there had been told by the landlord that it was designed by Julia Morgan. I couldn’t find any proof of this, so I delayed publishing my photos in hopes that I could find the proof. Now I just want to share some of the pictures regardless of who designed it.

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I just returned from a weekend at Yosemite National Park. We enjoyed the fall colors and the stunning natural beauty, but there are also some nice architectural details in the park. The Ahwahnee Hotel  is full of decoration and geometric designs. Painted decoration, upholstery, and patterns made of wood and steel are everywhere. The Wawona Hotel, at the other end of the park is a timepiece from the early 1900s with simple white-painted buildings and kitschy pine cone chandeliers in the dining room.

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  • 60 Watt GE frosted incandescent bulb: 820 Lumens (initial)=13.6 lumens/watt; dimmable; 2700 Kelvin (warm white, when dimmed the light is warmer, up to about 2000 Kelvin;) rated to last 1500 hours; $2.20 apiece (1000 bulbs.com)
  • 13 watt Philips Lighting spiral CFL (energy star rated): 900 lumens (initial)=69 lumens/watt; not dimmable; 2700 Kelvin (warm white;) rated to last 8000 hours; $5.26 apiece (1000 bulbs.com)
  • 12.5 watt Philips EnduraLED (I have one of these and can attest that it is a great bulb so far): 800 lumens (initial)=67 lumens/watt; dimmable; 2700 Kelvin (warm white); rated to last 25,000 hours; $42.89 apiece (1000 bulbs.com)

This quick snapshot reveals that the CFL is the best value, assuming you don’t want to dim the light, this mercury business is a racket,  and the light quality is equivalent.

These dimmable CFLs are a bit more pricy.  I have never used one so cannot comment:

  • 16 watt dimmable CFL (Neptun): 900 Lumens=56 lumens/watt; dimmable; 2750 Kelvin (warm white;) rated to last 8000 hours; $11.93 apiece (1000 bulbs.com)

There is some concern that the mercury in a CFL bulb is dangerous and ends up polluting the environment. The LED bulb might be a better choice for that reason.  Another reason to choose the LED over the CFL is if the fixture is hard to reach, the LED bulb should last more than four times as long as the CFL. The incandescent will help heat your house and certainly has the least embodied energy.

In order to make a complete comparison I need more information about the embodied energy of each bulb, the environmental impacts of manufacture and disposal, and how the luminous efficacy degrades over the life of each bulb.

Dimmer switches can save a lot of energy and extend bulb life, although the performance allegedly varies a bit with new technology (LEDs and CFLs.) The aforementioned Philips EnduraLED dims very nicely.

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