It is probably the most common question asked when we first move into a new space, “What is the best way to use lighting in my home?” How we arrange our lighting will have a lasting influence on the use, the mood, and the time spent in each room. So it is important that we consider what mood we want to convey and how we intend to live in these spaces.
The best place to start is to be sure you are familiar with the standard types of home lighting and their application. Hundreds of articles and blogs have been written about lighting, so you may already have a working knowledge of the most common types of lighting we will cover here.
- Surface Mounted Lights –
These are the lights you are likely most familiar with; you see them in every home and most of the time you will hardly even realize they are present. At least until a light bulb burns out.
- Recessed Lights –
By their definition, these lights are typically inset so they will not be seen directly. A practical instance is the use of recessed lights under cabinets in the kitchen as a way to bring light to a countertop being utilized as a working surface.
- Track Lights –
Track lighting has waxed and waned in its popularity through the years. The primary benefit being that it is highly versatile. The biggest drawback is that the mountings are typically unsightly.
- Pendant Lights –
Pendant lights are most famously seen as a traditional chandelier, but over the years have evolved into a multitude of different light styles that can be used as an effective way to modernize your homes lighting by replacing surface mounted lights.
- Portable Lights –
Commonly known as lamps, portable lights offer a great way to direct light in specific parts of your room. A floor lamp can transform a dark corner into a reading nook, for example. In our efforts to create the right spaces, portable lighting is the most versatile tool we have available to do so.
A Word About Using Natural Light –
On an average, there are just over 3,000 hours a year of sunshine in any given place people live and build homes. Consider using this light to your advantage whenever you can. We will cover that more in our future blog on window treatments.
What’s in a Bulb?
The incandescent light bulb had been the standard for almost a century before the invention of the LED light. Over the last few decades however, LED’s have taken over as the superior light source in virtually every way. For the most part, any home built in the last 20 years can safely use LED bulbs. However, with older homes you may need to consider upgrading to newer fixtures to before making the switch to LED bulbs.
Making the Most of Your Smart Home Lighting –
Whether we ‘Ask Alexa’ or say ‘Hey Google’ the majority of homes today are either equipped with or retrofitted for smart home technology. This is an important factor to consider in the lighting scheme you design within your home.
A primary factor to consider is that most of the bulbs today come with options for dimmability. In addition, as the proliferation of multicolored lights becomes more common, we have the power to set the mood of a room with more than just shades of white. The entire color spectrum is now available for consideration when creating the mood for any room and occasion.
One of the benefits of smart light bulbs is the ease of installation. If you have a desire to change your outlets or wall switches, it is highly recommended that you consult a professional electrician for installation. Attempting this yourself can be extremely dangerous.
Beyond the ease of installation, we can utilize the variable lighting elements in a dimmable smart bulb to improve the use of any portable lighting source we use.
Making Light of Things
When it comes to the proper lighting for your home, every room has different needs. According to the size of the room, there may even be different needs for each specific area. At first glance, lighting seems like it should be as simple as “Do I want bright white or soft white bulbs?” It is easy to see that there are many more factors to assess when you choose how to light your home.
When we approach the arrangement of our room, we have to consider how to use our light to direct the attention to specific points of focus. Can we use a track light to illuminate a specific piece of art or does a portable light work more elegantly? If remodeling (or even doing simple renovations), is it time to update the light fixtures to a more modern pendant or surface mounted light? These are only a small sample of the questions we can ask as we design our rooms.