There are many factors to consider when thinking about lighting for your new home, which is why we give our homebuyers the opportunity to meet with our electrician to develop a comprehensive and customized plan. Here are a few of our favorite tips, whether you're starting from scratch or simply looking to make the most of what you have.
Start Au Natural
The most forgiving and flattering light is natural light. Let your windows do the heavy lifting - layer versatile window coverings (curtains and blinds, for example) to allow light in during the day without giving up privacy at night. Utilizing natural light will help keep your daytime hours more energy-efficient, too.
Layer, Layer, Layer
A mix of light sources - from table lamps to sconces - will help highlight features of a space and enable a multitude of uses. While chandeliers, pendants and cans provide abundant light, overhead lighting can also be direct and harsh. Bring in light at multiple heights and locations to create a well-lit and welcoming space. In a living room, for example, create a variety of lighting "scenes" by including a floor lamp behind your reading chair, a table lamp on your console, and overhead cans that you can utilize depending on the time of day and mood.
Consider the technology you'll be using in each room, such as televisions and computers, when planning for lighting. While directed can lighting is a great choice for art, it can create glare and reflection on televisions. Ambient, undirected light (i.e table and floor lamps) may be a better choice. In tech-centered work spaces like home offices, give yourself ample light to avoid eye fatigue (and overall drowsiness) without adding screen glare by layering task, overhead and ambient lighting.
BRIGHT IS (USUALLY) BETTER
Two areas that are notoriously poorly lit: laundry rooms and vanities. In the laundry room, turn your lighting output up a notch so you can see those stains. And at bathroom vanities, consider a combination of sconces and overhead lighting (i.e. light from multiple angles) to avoid shadows on your face when applying makeup. For spaces that beckon moodier lighting, read on...
Don't Forget Dimmers
They're every designer's best friend - within seconds, you can adjust the light intensity and set any mood with a dimmer. They're easy to install (here's how) and will make a world of difference. You'll have bright light when you need it (while cleaning, for example) without giving up the option for a perfectly-lit dinner for two (or ten).