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Q: Dear Ed: We moved into a house with a recently remodeled bathroom. Only complaint is the lighting. We need more light, especially over the sink and mirror area. Aside from installing extra lighting fixtures that may look out of place, do you have any pro suggestions?

— Annie, Kentucky

A: The solution may be staring you in the face.

New lighted mirrors are now available that feature built-in flat technology lighted frames. These trendy mirrors come in different shapes and sizes to match most bathrooms.

The lighted frames are compatible with dimmers and switches and can be used for mood and secondary lighting, plus it’s a beautiful mirror. Many units feature a plug-in electrical connection and easy-install mounting bracket.

You’ll need a licensed electrician to install switches and a recessed outlet to meet local codes.

But, as far as a multifunctional lighting upgrade, installing a lighted mirror can be a bright idea.

Q: Dear Ed: I’m having my kitchen remodeled and last year read an article you wrote about kitchen accessories. Some good ideas were mentioned like a foaming soap dispenser and other classy kitchen items. Anything new to add since then?

— Ruth, Iowa

A: Funny you should ask, since I had my first look recently at a kitchen accessory that some plumbing manufacturers are now offering to coordinate with their fixtures.

Accessories that perfectly match up with your kitchen sink and faucet also add to the decorative look of the kitchen. This new accessory is not only good-looking, it also performs the important task of recycling or storing kitchen waste.

It’s a high-end stainless steel waste bin that is foot-activated and can be placed flush against a wall or cabinet base. These units are made to work easily with standard trash bags and available in different sizes.

Finally, some even have quiet-close lids that add to the understated beauty of this new type of kitchen fixture accessory.

Q: Dear Ed: I’m thinking about switching my present toilet seat to a non-electric bidet seat. I don’t want to spend extra money on having a bidet seat connected to electricity for warm water rinsing. Can you please give me some information on these nonelectrical cleansing seats?

— Carol, Missouri

A: Manual cleansing seats require no electricity and can be easily installed on elongated or round-front toilets. They connect to the toilet cold water supply line, so the rinsing water temperature depends on your plumbing system. If you have chilly cold water lines, take that into consideration.

A side mounted on/off control lever adjusts the angle and the water pressure of the spray wand, giving the user a customized wash. The spray wand also has a self-rinsing feature.

I also recommend a manual cleansing seat with extras like a slow-close lid and nonslip seat bumpers to keep you on the right track.

Master Contractor/Plumber Ed Del Grande is author of the book “Ed Del Grande’s House Call,” the host of TV and Internet shows, and a LEED green associate. Visit eddelgrande.com or write eadelg@cs.com

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