How To Choose Correct Lighting for Your Home?

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Answered by: Jennifer, An Expert in the Home Décor - Decorating Challenges Category
How To Choose Correct Lighting For Your Home?

Lighting your home can alter an interior, for better or for worse. American author, James Thurber, once wrote, There are two kinds of light- the glow that illumines, and the glare that obscures’. Creating an ambiance for your home will be different than lighting a sterile hospital ward. Both require unique solutions for differing purposes. In fact, lighting is one of the most important factors in making your house a home. A home's interior needs to be warm, cozy and inviting, yet purposeful in order to perform tasks unimpeded. Discover how properly lighting your home with these tips below can literally light up your world.

Types of Lighting

Strategically designed rooms utilize a variety of lighting. A bold mixture of ambient, task and accent lighting help create a welcoming interior. Ambient lighting is the overhead lighting used for general purposes. Task lighting provides concentrated light for a specific purpose, such as a floor lamp by a chair, recessed down lights over kitchen counter, or mirror sconces for shaving. Accent lighting highlights artwork or architectural features.

Determine the Function

What is the purpose of the light you need in a room? Does the room need to be lit overhead? If so, consider a chandelier. Be sure to balance the chandelier in scale with the room's proportions. Do you need light to read by in a chair, or to perform a task in the kitchen? A lamp with downlight works well for reading, and track lighting or hanging sconces serve the purpose for kitchen lighting. Also take into consideration the amount of light and type of light a room receives. Does the space seem bright with intense morning light or is it brightest in the late afternoon with warm sunset tones? Incorporating table lamps and wall sconces for brightly lit spaces will soften the bright light and installing large overhead chandelier or track lighting can brighten a dimly lit room.

Avoid Recess Lights

Recessed down lights are most commonly used by builders. This is one of the most common lighting errors which designers see. The optics of these inexpensive can lights allow a little more than half of the lumen output for lighting. This is a huge waste of almost half the watt of a fixture. In addition to the poor energy use, the illumined area is a smaller radial amount onto a limited horizontal surface. The eye perceives light on vertical surfaces. Installing overhead light which reflects onto wall surfaces allows for greater optimization of a fixture.

Create Ambiance

Secondary to function is the ambiance of a room. The ambiance is the mood which lighting creates. Variation in lighting creates ambiance. Each light source should be controlled independently to create different atmospheres, from drama to romance. Dimmers reduce the voltage of a lamp, saving energy. For maximum efficiency, incandescent, halogen and LED lights should be dimmed. Multiple light switches may not appeal to certain homeowners, so more sophisticated methods of turning on the light exist. Programmable wallbox systems have been created for single room control with preset settings. These wireless controls generate their own power and can be used from a laptop or phone.

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