Have you ever walked into a home and although the furniture was beautiful, the room felt dull and uninviting? Have you prepared a meal in your kitchen and been frustrated because you can’t see what you are doing even though the light is on? The solution to both those scenarios is adequate, well-placed lighting.
Here are some tips and tricks to consider for effective home lighting:
Lights Have More Than One Function
Before planning where you want a light fixture installed, you need to decide what you are going to use the light for. Some reasons for needing light fixtures in certain areas are:
- For ambiance – This type of lighting will create the “mood” wherever it is installed. It is usually a dim and warm light.
- For tasks – This type of light is usually installed in an area where you will be performing a task and you need good lighting. Kitchen counters and reading areas normally require task lighting. Lights installed for security reasons would also be classified as task lighting.
- For accent – This type of lighting is used when a person wants to highlight a particular item of interest. You will often see these lights directed at a fireplace, bookshelf, plant, or work of art.
Tips And Tricks When Planning Home Lighting
Different rooms have different lighting requirements. If you want the lighting to have the desired effect, “one size fits all” is not the way to go.
The Living / Family Room
This room is usually the largest in the home and also where the family spends the most time performing an array of activities. Lighting requirements for this room will include ambiance, task, and accent lighting.
An expert electrician may recommend the following:
- Installing fixtures that cause light to bounce off the ceiling. This type of light can be bright without causing areas of dark shadow.
- An LED or incandescent table lamp near a reading chair or table is used for games or other activities that require good lighting.
- Valance, cove, recessed track, floor or bookshelf lights can be installed for ambiance.
- Accent lights can be placed to highlight areas of interest like a fireplace or bookshelf. An expert opinion is vital if the accent light is to be used for plants or paintings. The incorrect light can damage these items.
- For flexibility, most lights may be connected to a dimmer switch.
The kitchen, a medium-sized room often referred to as the heart of the home, no longer only has a bright fluorescent light in the center of the ceiling. Usually infused with natural light from big windows during the day, the ambiance at night is created by spreading the light fixtures evenly. Homeowners are now requesting shelf lights and strip lights that bounce off the ceiling for general lighting, and other light fixtures for tasks and accents.
- Task lighting – Required for food preparation and clean-up, task lighting does not cast shadows if installed under cabinets and countertops.
- Accent lighting – Directed at a place of interest or in a cabinet with glass doors is a very effective way to highlight your beautiful dinnerware.
Bathroom light placing needs to be carefully planned as it needs to strike a balance that provides adequate light for personal grooming without being too harsh. Bathrooms vary in size, but it is generally understood that:
- A center light fitting will cast unwanted shadows, so placing lights on both sides of the mirror will provide adequate light without casting any shadows.
- To prevent accidents, there needs to be adequate light around the tub or shower. Small wall mounted fittings on either side (or one light if it is a small shower) usually provide enough light for this purpose.
- A lot of homeowners are opting for wall mounted lights on a dimmer switch for those late-night bathroom visits.
Ambiance and practicality are what homeowners require from bedroom lighting. Here are some ways this can be achieved:
- Center light fittings tend to be quite harsh, so if they are installed, many homeowners are opting to put them on a dimmer switch.
- Wall-mounted lights with adjustable arms and separate, easily reached switches, on either side of the bed are the perfect solution for reading in bed.
- Walk-in closets usually have bright ceiling-mounted or recessed lights.
- If floor or valance lights are installed, it is usually only to enhance the ambiance.
Outdoor or landscape lighting is vital for safety and security, but can also be used to create a cozy yet functional ambiance in an outdoor entertainment area. Tips to remember when deciding on outdoor light placements:
- Only good quality, outdoor specific fixtures must be used. Fixtures not designed for outdoor use will not withstand the elements and are a fire hazard.
- Do not overdo outdoor lighting, direct it only to where you need it.
- On pathways and steps, so people can see where they are walking.
- Soft or zig-zag string lights in the entertainment area, to create a cozy ambiance.
- Spotlighting where you want to accent a feature or tree, or at the grill.
- Bright lights at the front door.
- Correctly positioned security lights.
- You need experts to advise when installing lights for security purposes. They need to be positioned correctly to be effective. Low-level lights all around are safer than a few bright lights that create dark spots where criminals can hide.
Art Plumbing, Air Conditioning & Electric – Your Trusted Electricians In South Florida
If you want your home lighting to serve its intended purpose, you need expert advice. Art Plumbing, Air Conditioning & Electric have been the trusted licensed and experienced electricians in South Florida and have served the public in Broward, Palm Beach, and Miami-Dade since 1983. For all your lighting requirements call us on 561-391-1048 Monday to Saturday 8 am to 8 pm and on Sundays for emergencies.