How You Should Plan Your Home's Lighting

A less expensive and easy way to transform how a room looks is through lighting. With proper lighting, you can highlight the assets of a room and tone down its shortcomings, while also setting a mood and increasing function. There is a difference between bright lighting and good lighting. A room that is well-lit will provide illumination at various levels. Combining light and shadow in a good way can help maximize space and make a room more interesting and atmospheric. Follow the basic rules discussed below if you want to better utilize your home’s lighting.

Consider Function

First think about how you want to use the space before deciding to light a room. What activities hold in the room, and in what areas? Will many of the activities be done during the daytime or late in the night?
If for instance, you want to use the room mainly for reading, you’ll likely need to place lamps next to each reading spot. Also, if you plan to use the room for TV viewing, the overall illumination will have to be one you can adjust to different settings, and the light sources shouldn’t be reflecting on the television screen. Additionally, if that particular room is to be used by the elderly, or for circulation and tasks, you’ll need to go for lighting that’s uniform and bright. If the room is mainly meant for relaxation, you can boost the general atmosphere by turning the wattage down.

Consider Decor

The next thing to do is to consider the style of the room.  For contemporary decors, try to use fewer lamps while going for more regular built-in lighting, like overhead cans. For styles that are more traditional, it is advisable to use pendant lights, scones and lamps as they provide illumination and can boost the look of your decors.

The Principle Types of Lighting

In general, there are 3 main types of home lighting and they are:

Ambient light

This is basically a lighting that totally illuminates a room. Such light usually come from recessed cans, ceiling fixture, sconces or torchieres. An ambient light should fairly evenly illuminate the room and should also be sufficiently bright for vacuuming or other minor tasks. If you don't feel like installing sconces and recessed lights, there is another option. You can hire an electrician to help you make a wall switch that is connected to one or more of the outlets of the room, this way, you can turn on several lamps by just flipping a switch.

If you want to know the accurate amount of ambient light that you'll need, you'll first have to determine the total square footage by multiplying the dimensions of the room. After this, you'll have to multiply the number you get by 1.5. The answer you get is the exact number of wattage needed.

For example, a 10x10 ft room equals 100 square feet. 100 x 1.5 = 150, so the wattage of the ambient light must be 150. Whatever you do, try not stop at just ambient light. For instance, a bathroom with just one overhead fixture is very dreary, as it is unflattering and flat and the illumination it will provide will only be sufficient for very simple tasks. Also, you can follow this link to find out more about bathroom wall lights.

Task light

This is a lighting type that usually illuminates areas used for activities such as cooking or reading. Often times, it comes from a fixture that is hanging or from a lamp. The light casted by task lighting should be more than double of the light from the ambient light in the room. When you are performing a task, the light should be positioned in front of you, so that your body won't cast a shadow on the work space. When you're reading, the best thing is for the light source to be located beside you. A three-way light bulb with a total wattage of 150 is ideal. If you can't get that, go for a fixture that can accommodate two 60-watt bulbs or a 100-watt bulb. In order to avoid glare, the shade's bottom should be around eye level.

Accent light

This lighting type that highlights certain features in an area, features like an art or an architectural element. Usually, it is produced by a spotlight, track lights or a recessed can. Although it's not as important as the ones mentioned above, it however adds a lovely finishing touch. For example, highlighting a painting directly by mounting a light on the wall above it, or using a directional can light or track light to spotlight a nice, decorative mantel. You can showcase a masonry wall's texture by fixing recessed wall washers just above it. Also, you can cast pleasing shadows or accentuate the form of a plant by placing an uplight behind it. In an ideal setting, every room should have all three types of lighting, but you should be fine with only task and ambient lighting.


Dim and Dimmer

In your home, the public spaces should have two lighting levels at the least. There should be a bright lighting for festivities and tasks, and also a dimmer lighting for more subdued gatherings or relaxing. This variety can be achieved by using dimmers, or by varying the home lights you switch on.

A rheostat or wall dimmer doesn't usually cost up to $20, but the rewards will exceed the price by far. It allows you to set a nice mood by adjusting built-in lighting. You can even save on bulbs and electricity. If there are no dimmers on your lamps, you can easily add one to an electrical cord for a small price, usually a few dollars.