The light fixtures you choose and how you position them have a large effect on how the rooms in your home feel and function. Dimension Design-Build-Remodel’s room lighting ideas will help you determine the best ways to illuminate rooms based on their different purposes.
Tastes and trends change, as does the technology for the fixtures and bulbs. Interior and exterior lighting is one of the many things home automation can control. And manufacturers frequently come out with new, energy-saving, longer-lasting bulbs.
What doesn’t change is the value of layering different sources of light in a room. By stepping beyond one basic light, layering makes a room much more aesthetically pleasing and better serves the room’s purposes.
Main Types of Lighting
- This is the foundation layer that turns on with the flip of a switch to illuminate enough of the room for basic use. This includes recessed lighting, fixtures that are flush to the ceiling, and ceiling fans with lights.
- This work-oriented second layer fulfills a different role in every room. In kitchens, it’s the undercabinet LED light. It’s the bathroom vanity light, the bedroom reading lamp, and the office desk lamp. This layer fills in dark corners and shadows while brightening work areas. The preferred brightness and color tone depend on the room and task.
- Accent. This last layer provides more feel than function, adding the glimmer and style that changes the room’s atmosphere. Chandeliers are beautiful in their own right. Wall sconces and tall torchieres direct light toward the ceiling to give the room a subtle glow. Accent lighting is also used to illuminate wall décor and architectural details; in this instance, it needs to be brighter than the surrounding ambient lighting.
Warm vs. Cool Lighting
Color temperature is measured in kelvins (K), which is the relative “blueness” of light. Bulbs range from warm yellow (4600K) to cool blue (6500K). The sun’s color temperature is 5600K, which is what you’ll find in “daylight bulbs.”
In bedrooms, living rooms, and rec rooms, it’s best to avoid cool white and blue light, which can give you energy and disrupt sleep patterns. Choose soft white bulbs with fewer lumens and a warm yellow glow for these rooms.
In kitchens and bathrooms, bright bulbs are needed in cool white for an energetic feel and the necessary light for tasks. This is true for other spaces that require attention to detail, such as task lighting in an office or crafting room.
Over the dining room table, a dimmable chandelier with warmer lighting is preferable. For countertop and bar seating areas, a row of hanging pendant lights serves as task lighting if cool and bright, or accent lighting if soft and warm.
Main Types of Bulbs for Home Lighting
- Compact Fluorescent (CFL). These versatile, energy-saving bulbs have a spiral shape and are commonly used for general, ambient lighting.
- They’re more than holiday lights! LED continues to gain popularity. These bulbs may cost more up front but have longer lifespans and consume less power. LED is most commonly used for task lighting, from traditional bulbs to under-cabinet lighting strips.
- These bulbs are not preferred because they waste energy and emit carbon dioxide. If you have incandescent bulbs to use up, they’re best for low traffic areas. Similarly, halogen lighting has also lost favor.
The Impact of Natural Light
Daylight is our favorite source for the first layer of ambient light in a room. When building a home or addition, window placement is crucial to how the room will feel and function. Using sunlight means using less energy, and offers the personal benefits of boosting vitamin D and improving vision, mood, productivity, and even sleep quality.
We can introduce more natural light into your home by remodeling with bigger windows, changing the direction your windows face, or replacing the front door with one that features windows. However, even a home with small windows can maximize sunlight.
Choosing high-gloss, light paint colors and decorating with mirrors, glass, and other reflective surfaces can take advantage of the sunlight you have. Keep the windows clean and the window treatments minimal.
To pull in the most consistent natural light, consider skylights or solar tubes.
In the end, it is the combination of natural light, overhead ambient light, and task and accent lighting that will create the beauty, mood, and performance you desire for your rooms.
Are you ready to illuminate your home? For room lighting ideas customized to your home and budget, set up an appointment with Dimension Design-Build-Remodel.