Lighting can make a big difference in how you feel about your home. It helps you perform tasks more easily, makes you feel safer and more comfortable, and allows you to enjoy your home to its full potential. Lighting adds beauty and drama to a room. It can make a small room look open and airy, and a large room appear cozy and inviting. It can create a stimulating atmosphere for a night of entertaining, or a quiet feeling of relaxation after a long, tiring day. In so many ways, lighting can make a difference. And, it does so inexpensively compared to other home decorating or remodeling options.
The fundamentals. There are three basic types of lighting that work together to light your home: General, Task and Accent. A good lighting plan combines all three types to light an area, according to function and style.
Please view our different areas of lighting tips below to learn more about a particular room or light style.
In the bathroom, you need plenty of even, shadow-free lighting for shaving, grooming, and applying makeup. In small bathrooms, mirror lights will illuminate the entire room, but in larger bathrooms, an additional ceiling fixture is needed for general lighting.
Wall-Mounted Fixtures can furnish general, task, and accent lighting. Many are designed to match and supplement dining room chandeliers, or to provide hallway, bedroom, or living room lighting. Wall brackets are often used for task lighting at the bathroom mirror. They are available with a choice of incandescent, tungsten-halogen, and energy-efficient compact fluorescent bulbs.
When lighting a bedroom, you will want to create an overall atmosphere of quiet relaxation, while providing some bright spots for reading and other activities. A combination of general and task lighting that takes into account the age and lifestyle of the occupant(s) is needed. Remember, dimming controls give you the flexibility to vary the light to suit different moods and activities.
Wall-Mounted Fixtures can furnish general, task, and accent lighting. Today's choices of wall-mounted fixtures is vast. You can select a decorative theme that can be carried throughout the home or a look designed to blend into your bedroom decor.
Semi Flush or Ceiling Fixtures provide general lighting. They are practical in areas such as foyers, hallways, bedrooms, kitchens, baths, laundry rooms, playrooms, and dens. They are available with incandescent, fluorescent, halogen, xenon, and energy-efficient compact fluorescent bulbs.
Dining room lighting should be both beautiful and functional. This requires a mix of general, task, and accent lighting that can set the mood for a number of functions, including a formal dinner, a family get-together, and other activities such as homework, hobbies, or family bookkeeping. Dimming controls will enable you to vary the light for each occasion.
Chandeliers can add sparkle and style to your dining room while giving you the general lighting you need for dining and entertaining. Chandeliers can have either direct or indirect light. From traditional to contemporary, the choices of finish, light source and style make it easy to find the perfect fixture for your decor. The addition of a dimmer control lets you alter the intensity of light to suit the mood and activity.
The kitchen is primarily a work area, but it is also a gathering place for family and friends. Lighting that is comfortable as well as functional is required.
Undercabinet/ Undershelf Fixtures offer both task and accent lighting. Under kitchen cabinets are designed to light a countertop. In a display cabinet they show off prized possessions. They're used in a workshop or anywhere you need lighting right at hand. They include slim, energy-efficient fluorescents, miniature track lighting, and slim low-voltage mini-lights.
Pendants can provide both task and general lighting. They can be either standard, incandescent, xenon, halogen indirect or direct lighting with shades or globes to avoid glare, and they are suspended from the ceiling over dinette tables, game tables, kitchen counters, or other work areas. The use of a dimmer control gives you the flexibility to vary the light to suit the occasion. The use of mini pendants has become very popular from both a good lighting perspective, as well as to bring together the rest of the room.
When designing a lighting plan for a living room or family room, you need to consider the variety of activities that occur there. You'll want to include general lighting for entertaining and watching television, task lighting for reading or sewing, and accent lighting for artwork, plants, and interesting architectural features. Dimming controls are ideal for the living room because they allow you to design the lighting to suit each mood and activity
Portable Lamps can deliver general, task, and accent lighting, while giving you the flexibility to move the light whenever you want. Table lamps, floor lamps, and torchiers are available in a variety of styles to complement any decor. Small specialty lamps, such as clip-on lights, uplight cans, adjustable task lights, mini-reflector spotlights, desk and piano lamps fill a variety of task and accent light needs. These lamps are available with incandescent, tungsten-halogen, and energy-efficient compact fluorescent bulbs.
Outdoor lighting enhances the beauty of your property, makes your home safer and more secure, and increases the number of pleasurable hours you spend outdoors. And it is an investment that pays off handsomely in the value it adds to your home.
For added security, illuminate any side of the house that would otherwise be in shadow. To conserve energy, install a motion or heat-sensitive control that will switch on the light only if someone approaches that side of the house. An automatic timer can control a portion of your outdoor lights to turn off at a certain hour, while basic security lights can be left on through the night. Another proven safety measure is to use timers on interior lights to make your home look occupied when you're away.
Dark-Sky Friendly Lighting Tip
In order to prevent unwanted glare from your outdoor lighting, use bulbs with reasonable illumination levels. You may also use full cut-off fixtures to direct the light down towards the ground, where it is needed, rather than being cast to the side or up towards the sky, where it is wasted.