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How To Buy a Floor Lamp

Connie Garrett

Floor lamps are great for spicing up specific areas of your home or office. They help provide a diverse skyline, add light to dark areas, and when positioned purposefully, they can do away with the need for overhead fixtures. Selecting the best type of lighting for your needs is the first step.

Incandescent lighting is inexpensive and widely available. It casts a warm, friendly light that flatters both the room and your complexion. These bulbs come in a large range of types and colors. They are however, the least energy-efficient, around 90% of energy is converted to heat, not light. Be sure to look at the wattage before making your selection. A 40 watt bulb will not give off enough light for reading but is great for accent lighting. Reading lamps provide the best light when harboring 100 or 150 watt 3 way bulbs.

Halogen lights emit a bright white light that is good for task lighting. They range from tubes to spots. The lower voltage generates less heat and generally they last much longer. Halogens, when overused, can result in a retail lighting ambience rather than home lighting . The bulb can be obtrusive and may need hiding.

Next, you must decide on what kind of shade you would like on your floor lamp. Knowing the type of lighting you want is very important when considering the shade. Dark, heavy fabric, paper cone-shaped, and drum shades tend to let very little light come through but are essential when looking for accent lighting. A torchiere shoots the light upwards for vivid effects. When the need calls for task lighting, such as reading, shades that direct light downward should be selected.

The height of the lamp is also an important factor to consider. Will the lamp be positioned next to a sofa or chair? Will it be used for accent or task lighting? Many floor lamps are available with special features like step switches and come in a wide range of prices and styles.

After weighing your needs with the many options offered, you will be able to make an informed and wise decision about which type of floor lamp will most meet your needs and style.

She`s got the beat - Ava Du Vernay, entrepreneur - Brief Article

Black Enterprise , Sept, 2001 by Ann Brown

Entrepreneur plays the drums as a hobby

AVA Du Vernay has been fascinated by the drums ever since she can remember. "I was always in love with the sound of the drums and always wanted to learn to play," says Los Angeles-based Ava. A year ago, this owner of a 2-year-old entertainment public relations firm, the Du Vernay Agency, who`s clients include Miramax Films` Scary Movie and Spy Kids, Sony`s The brothers, and Disney`s L.A. stage presentation of The Lion King, finally picked up her first pair of drumstick. "I sing in my church choir I mentioned to the choir`s drummer, how much I loved the percussions." recalls Ava, age 28.

Mark gave Ava an old spare drum set he had and some free lessons. After Ava had the basics down, her sisters strongly suggested she play in public. "Their point was that it didn`t do any good for me to just play for myself in my garage; I have to go out and share it and learn to play in front of an audience." explains Ava, who teamed up with two other musician friends to form a trio that performs jazz, R&B, and gospel. The trio plays once or twice a month at small gatherings. Ava says jazz drumming is a hard form to master. "You have to be very flexible and able to improvise."

Ava says she`s ready to advance her studies. She plans to buy a new set of drums, which costs around $2.000. "Jazz drummers tend to use vintage drum sets such as Gretsch, Ludwig, and Slinger-land." advises Mark Contento, drum specialist at Sam Ash Music in Los Angeles. "They run $1,500 to $3,000). Some of the newer drum makers such as Yamaha make vintage-sounding drums, which cost about the same. To start out, I`d suggest [you] get a less expensive set for about

For Ava, making music is only part of the reason she swaps beats during her downtime. Playing the drums is also the way she unwinds after a hard day`s work; it, lets her concentrate on a skill that, is beyond the business world. "Owning a new company requires that I work a lot of hours," Ava states. "When I can go out to my garage and play, I can pound out my aggression and make music. It`s great."

Getting started

* TAKE YOUR PICK. Decide what kind of drums/percussion instrument you want to play and in what style: jazz, R&B, rock, African, Afro-Cuban, and find an ideal location to practice. "Drumming in fear of being too loud is awful," Ava says.

* SIGN UP. Call your local high school, college, or music store for classes or attend a music teacher`s conference. For example, the Harlem School of the Arts (212-926-4100; www.harlemschooloft hearts.org) in New York has percussion lessons for adults--14 weeks of group lessons cost $120. Private lessons are $230 (14 classes for 30 minutes), $350 (14 lessons for 45 minutes), and $460 (14 hourly lessons). Search the Net for other options.

* SET A BUDGET. Drum sets range from about $500 to $3,000. Drumsticks start at around

* READ UP. Check out The Complete Idiot`s Guide to Playing Drums by Michael Miller and Greg Bissonette (Alpha Books, $16.95) and Absolute Beginner: Drums (Ominbus Press,

COPYRIGHT 2001 Earl G. Graves Publishing Co., Inc.

COPYRIGHT 2001 Gale Group

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