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Lighting Tips & Tricks for your Kitchen

What type of kitchen describes you best? Whether you’re into an open space design or can’t live without an island, here’s a variety of ideas for fresh kitchens worth entertaining in.

Since becoming internationally recognised as the heart of the house, many have grappled with how they can best deck out their kitchen to live up to this title. One technique for jazzing up a kitchen which is often sidelined is creating the perfect lighting plan.

Lighting in the kitchen has the power to transform it from a brilliant setting for a loud family dinner to the ultimate spot for a romantic evening for two. To help you stay in the know and make the most of this great room, here is a taste of the lighting trends you should capitalise on for the ultimate kitchen in 2014.

1. Pendant lighting
Decorative pendant fixtures above a bar or bench top are brilliant addition to any kitchen. Not only can they can they be very visually appealing on their own, they can complement your bar or bench top beautifully. Kitchen Lighting 3 Oversized pendants or lighting fixtures are also a growing trend, so don’t be afraid to choose fixtures that make a statement. Above the eating area, they can serve as a focal point and centrepiece for a modern kitchen.

2. Dimmers Dimmers are a must in 2014.
They can be adjusted according to the use of the room so you can set the mood to your liking. What’s not to love? Kitchen Lighting 1

3. Cabinet lighting
By including lights inside glass-front cabinets, it can put the spotlight on unique or special dishes and accessories. Under-cabinet lighting also works brilliantly. Kitchen Lighting 4

4. LED lighting
LED lights are not only more cost-effective than incandescent lights, they also give a whimsical feeling when installed under bench tops, to highlight cabinetry or to illuminate splashbacks. Kitchen-Lighting-Dimmers

5. Sconce lighting
The ongoing trend of fewer upper cabinets in the kitchen opens up more space for decorative task lighting, like sconces. These fixtures are often on adjustable arms, giving the option to have the light directed where you need it most. Look for decorative task fixtures in black, iron and aged brass finishes to really make a statement in your kitchen.


Images/Sources: Style at Home and HGTV

If you would like to design a new lighting plan for your kitchen, or any room in your home, give us a call.
Dan Carpenter Signature Dan

Dan the Sparky Man

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Govt Changes Solar Tariffs

News hit the press late last week that the solar feed-in tariff (FIT) is being cancelled come the 1st of July. For the benefit of our valued clients, I would like to take this opportunity to clarify who exactly will be affected and to stress that solar is still an excellent investment.

Currently, households with Solar are receiving an 8c FIT from the Government and then an additional amount from their retailer. The average amount retailers pay is also around 8c, giving homeowners a total of 16c for every kilowatt hour they generate and send back to the grid.

At this stage it is only the government that are cancelling their 8c FIT, retailer agreements remain unchanged.

This change will affect those who already have solar on the 8c FIT, and any new customers who sign up after the 1st of July. It will not affect those who have secured the 44c FIT – their arrangement remains unchanged.

While the announcement has sent some into panic mode, what many don’t realise is that the changes may in fact be very positive for home and business owners with solar power, due to the likelihood of increased competition among retailers. It is quite possible that the retailers will compete with each other for new customers and actually increase the FIT amount they are currently paying to solar owners.

Aside from this, Queenslanders will also have the chance to hunt for the best prices and negotiate with retailers.
Some things to consider are:

– If you use a majority of your power during the day, you won’t be feeding much back into the grid anyway, so these changes will hardly effect you. For example, businesses who operate during daylight hours, people who work from home, households with stay-at-home parents or retirees, etc. will barely notice the changes.

– If you don’t use a majority of your power during the day, it may just mean that a smaller system is more beneficial to you under these changes. For example, a 3kW system to cover the daytime running costs of your fridge (and possibly a hot water system or pool pump) may be more appropriate once the changes are introduced. This system size will not eradicate your power bill, but will certainly still provide you with quarterly savings.

Solar Return on Investment

For example:

If a home or business owner, that uses 90% of their power during the day, purchased a 5kW system for $6000 – they would still achieve a return on their investment in just over 2.5 years*

Although you might not be feeding much (if any) power back to the grid, you are utilising everything your system is generating. And that is providing a saving on your power bill of around $563 per quarter.

So in this example, it doesn’t matter what the Feed-In-Tariff is. It wouldn’t matter if the FIT was at 0 – the savings & ROI would still prove Solar to be an excellent investment.

What other purchase for your home or business can you make that provides you with a Return on your Investment?

*** Calculations based on current power usage being 25kW hour per day, with 90% daytime usage, at a rate of 29.4c per kW/h with the 5kW system producing 21kW per day

Overall, it is important to remember that despite these changes, the advantages of installing solar panels far outweigh the costs. If you are still concerned and want to know more about how these changes will affect you, please don’t hesitate to contact us on (07) 5578 3481 or at

Dan Carpenter

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