Lighting your home the right way involves a lot of decision-making, and it's not all about style, according to the experts. There are right ways to light every room, and doing it well hinges on factors that go beyond the appearance of the fixtures or the size of the bulbs, even though those are important as well.
Lighting professionals talk about overall effect, lumens and wattage, ambient and task lighting, recessed cans and pendants, special effects and low voltage lights, and whether or not a room's light should be subdued or powerful. By correctly lighting a home, it greatly increases the possibility of a quick home sale as well.
Many of the decisions are personal choice, but there are some basics about home lighting that can affect health, safety and mood. In order to light a home to best advantage, designers recommend some specifics.
Influences on Lighting Decisions
Among the variables to be considered, according to a post in Forbes by Houzz contributor Pam Lazanik, are:
- Ceiling height of each room;
- Available natural light;
- Room function: Is is meant for daytime or nighttime use?
- Safety and mobility considerations;
- The purpose of lighting: Over a table, to spotlight art, or to provide general illumination;
- Need for wall washers or uplights in addition to light aimed downward;
- Alternatives types of lighting and bulbs: Low voltage, strip lighting, halogen, LED, and colored light.
Those are not the only considerations however, and Lazanik and other designers are quick to point out that decorative effects and unusual solutions are very much a part of today's lighting scene.
Formulate a Plan
Light designers stress the importance of working from a comprehensive and coordinated plan prior to choosing lights for a new home or remodel. Actual light fixture decisions are the frosting on the cake, they insist. The basic flavor and appeal of a home's lighting depends entirely on getting the wiring right. That can only be accomplished, they say, by taking the time to plan electrical requirements and placing fixtures on paper in advance of actual Hermitage new home construction.
There are some creative ways to deal with inadequate wiring, including the ability to swag pendants or chandeliers to more appropriate locations if necessary. But, for example, if an owner chooses to hang three matching pendants over a dining table or a kitchen counter, there is no way to do that right except during the electrical rough-in stage. The same is true for floor plugs or safety lighting in a stairwell. Planning ahead is the way to assure that a room's lighting is exactly what is needed, whether it's functional or dramatic. Planning also saves time and money.
Know the Different Lighting Options
Today, it is common knowledge that there are three basic types of lighting necessary to optimize every room's function. General, or ambient, illumination, task lighting for specific purposes, and accent lighting.
Specific types of lighting include recessed cans, surface-mounted fixtures, pendants, chandeliers, track lights, table lamps, spots or directed lighting, wall sconces and specialty lights for furniture, closets, sloped surfaces and wet or damp areas. There are also outdoor lights, motion or voice-activated lighting and lights that can be controlled by home technology or mobile devices.
With the multitude of options available, one would think the choices might become more difficult, but most designers would say that the myriad possibilities simply make choosing room lighting more fun. If a new home or planned renovations are a part of your home's future, begin early to think about the options that are available. Designing a room's lighting to meet the specific needs of function and to reflect personal style gives new meaning to making a house a home!