Effective lighting for every room in the home is a goal that can best be accomplished by starting with an overall plan for electrical service. Today, however, the preponderance of high-tech devices, low-voltage options, integrated smart technology and automation have created a whole new landscape of needs. Multiple lighting options encompass everything from 220 to 12 volt, as well as familiar 120-volt AC, LED bulbs and flexible lighting strips. The growing popularity of specialty lights and devices in the home might require low-voltage integrators, wireless integration, motion or voice activation and compatibility with home hubs and smart devices. Great lighting also may help sell homes for a higher prices.
Lighting specialists recommend looking at lighting needs on three levels: Overall or ambient light, task lighting and accent (or mood) lighting. By considering how natural light plays into the dynamic of each room, as well as the room's purpose and the time of day a space will have the most use, a homeowner can determine the specific needs.
It's only natural that kitchens, bathrooms and work spaces should be brighter than bedrooms or dens. But all rooms benefit from dimmer switches, particularly to soften overhead lightng. In the kitchen, a bright "laboratory" ambience is less than appealing. An effective combination for most kitchens includes recessed ceiling cans for overall illumination, with either directed spots or attractive fixtures over the sink.
If the kitchen features an island or eating bar, pendants are ideal; and undercabinet lighting is preferred to shed light on counters in food prep and clean-up areas. Kitchen hoods typically include directed task lighting over the cooktop, with additional lights to assure that there are no dark spots near the refrigerator, oven or pantry. Flexible toekick lighting strips can be welcome for midnight snackers.
Living Room Lighting
The same rules apply, but in comfortable living rooms, dens, home offices and specialty rooms, the need for ambient lighting might be adequately met by a central ceiling fan with a light kit or well-placed decorative ceiling-mounted fixtures. The lines between task lighting and accent lights are also somewhat blurred, but even in a room designed primarily for television viewing or quiet conversation, lighting is a key component of comfort.
Bear in mind that a chair and ottoman will require a dedicated reading light, and that sofas and conversation groupings should have lighting at a height that is comfortable for Laurier Heights homeowner who are seated. Wall sconces can be an elegant and serviceable addition, and lighting over a fireplace, near bookcases or directed at wall-hung art creates a pleasant ambience. A desk should always have an appropriate desk lamp.
The days of a single central ceiling light in a bedroom are long gone. While a ceiling fixture, recessed cans or even a lamp across the room can be operated by wall switch, the bedroom is a room that might benefit from voice activated lighting. Wall mounted or ceiling-hung fixtures can take the place of bedside lamps for a sleeker look. Lighting strips installed in ceiling moulding lends a soft glow and has high-style decorative impact. Lighting for children's rooms can be playful, colorful and age appropriate, but safety is also a primary concern, so switched fixtures and wall-mounted lighting can be ideal, particularly if they are dimmable.
Modern bathrooms multiple purposes, often as both adult retreats and wellness spas. In addition to overhead lighting for the room and for tub and shower areas, playful chandeliers, wall sconces and decorative fixtures have found a place in contemporary baths. Vanity lights, too, have come of age, and can be interated into mirrors or medicine cabinets, or surround a vanity to shed better light for shaving and make up application than old-fashioned downlights. Also consider built-in nightlights for safety, especially for children and guests, and modern colored neon lighting for drama.
Lighting design is a brand new way to express your individuality through the home.
By Justin Havre