Welcome to your new home! You’ve painstakingly picked out the perfect flooring, paint colors, countertops…right down to the knobs on the cabinets. Now that everything is exactly the way you’ve envisioned your living space to be, don’t let poor lighting take away from your interior, and exterior, masterpiece.
Whether you pick light fixtures that make a bold statement or something more subtle and subdued, your choice of lighting sets the tone for the rest of the house. There are boundless options! Home lighting is very important because it can make your home look inviting and comfortable. So set an appropriate mood right at the front door by following these simple lighting tips:
Determine your lighting goals
To give every space in your home a particular mood and function, start with the basics. Direct or task lighting, such as these ceiling pendants, are great for a kitchen or bathroom. This type of lighting focuses illumination on a particular space.
Living rooms and bedrooms can be made comfortable with ambient or indirect lighting which provides overall lighting to a room. Once you have decided which one you need for a specific space, you can move on to choose lighting options.
Layers of light
There’s no such thing as a catch-all light fixture that does it all. Some fixtures will multi-task their lighting duties, but in order to choose wisely, the first step is to understand the four layers of light.
Task. This lighting illuminates work spaces, such as countertops where you are prepping food or inside a pantry closet so you can see what goods are stocked on those shelves.
Accent. This highlighting adds depth and dimension to the environment (recessed adjustable fixtures and track lights.)
Decorative. The purpose of decorative lighting, such as chandeliers and candlestick-type sconces) is to add interest to a space.
Ambient. This gentle light fills the room and bounces off the ceiling. You’ll get this effect from pendant-hung indirect fixtures, opaque wall sconces and torchieres.
Use lighting and decoration for a first impression
The foyer conveys the first impression of a home’s interior. Center a traditional chandelier, contemporary pendant, or transitional close-to-ceiling fixture in your hallway to provide basic illumination and create a welcoming atmosphere. Make your artwork come to life and illuminate it with halogen light from track or adjustable recessed down-lighting.
Exterior lighting can be functional and fashionable
Lighting for walkways, sidewalks, perimeter of your house, and the front entry safety provides security to the exterior of your home. Lighting that is too dim is a welcome sign for intruders while too bright is costly and disturbing to neighbors. Install motion-activated flood lights at the exterior corners of your home.
However, outdoor lighting doesn’t have to only be utilitarian. Wall and directional sconces can provide washes of light against the exterior walls to create ambiance or focus on architectural elements in the evening hours.
Choose the Right Bulbs
No matter which type of lighting you choose, the type of bulb you use determines what the light will look like. Different bulbs perform differently, and there are four basic types:
Incandescent: These are the traditional bulbs most of us have used for decades, and they’re starting to phase out in favor of more energy-efficient options. They produce a warm, glowing light.
Compact Florescent Bulbs (CFLs): These use 75% less energy than an incandescent bulb and last longer. They usually emit a cooler tone, but you can find them in a range of brightness levels and temperatures. It’s worth noting that CFLs do contain mercury, and while the amounts are small, they still require more careful handling and disposal.
LEDs: These are just as efficient as CFLs, but they can last up to three times longer. They used to be mostly used for task lighting, because they provided a harsh, direct light. However, they’ve come a long way. They now offer the same look as incandescents, but they’re efficient, less hot to the touch, and last a very long time. For these reasons, they can also be more expensive, but there are utility rebates available.
Halogen: These give off a bright, white light, similar to natural daylight. Great for task lighting. They also use 10-20% less energy than an incandescent bulb.
Turn the lights down low
Dimmers allow you to control the light quality in a room, low light to relax, ambient light to entertain, or brighter light to read and work. Installing dimmer switches on your lights not only lets you control a room’s mood, it also helps you control costs. Dimming your lights by 50 perent — even your energy efficient LEDS — can cut your energy cost in half. Plus, dimming makes lights run cooler, which extends their life.
More Helpful Lighting Resources for Homeowners
Seven Tips To Achieve the Perfect Lighting for Your Home AMLI Residential
How to Light Up Your Home — and Your Life Ana Connery, NewHomeSource
Expert Interior Lighting Tips Real Simple
7 Tips : Choosing the Perfect Lighting for your Home Ronique Gibson, freshome
How to Pick the Best Bulbs for Every Room in Your House Kristin Wong, lifehacker
Here at Michael Roberts Construction, we make people’s home dreams come true in the Coastal Georgia area. All it takes is a phone call to start the road to a custom home, addition, or remodel. (912) 663-3141
I offer helpful hints, tricks, and other information about the home industry, pictures to provide you with inspiration for your next project, large or small, indoors or out, as well as examples of my work on my Facebook Page, Pinterest and Google Plus!
Michael Roberts artfully combines the latest trends in home construction with classic elements to create an exquisite space for real families to enjoy. Licensed by the State of Georgia as a residential home builder, he thoroughly enjoys every aspect of the home building process. He offers an exemplary hands-on approach to his craft and insists upon working with his customers on a personal level to ensure complete satisfaction. Michael Roberts is a name synonymous with integrity, notable reliability, enthusiastic creativity, and award-winning design in the Coastal Georgia area. With high standards, and a detail oriented approach to home building, Roberts builds functional living spaces that make elegant southern opulence an affordable luxury.