Lighting Tips For Every Room

Lighting Tips For Every Room

Posted by Best Access Doors on 4th Nov 2020

When talking about the lighting in your home, “one light fits all” doesn’t apply to all areas. Light changes the style and taste of a home. Depending on where and how you install and the lampshade's material, light sources that have the same parameters will eventually produce different lighting effects that create an entirely different atmosphere. Hence, when choosing proper lighting, it is essential to consider each room's functional and aesthetic needs.

Like an ecosystem, each room plays a unique role in how you, your family, and your guests live and interact. For this reason, each room has highly specific lighting requirements, which you should consider. More often than not, each room in a house requires layered lighting just like a cake-- each surface builds on top of the other to create a look that’s both appealing and functional. Best Access Doors is here to give you a closer look at how you can improve lighting for every room.

1. Living Rooms / Family Rooms

Living rooms or family rooms are places where you, your family, and your guests typically spend a lot of time engaging in activities such as watching TV, reading, hanging out, or even using laptops. That’s why the concept of layered lighting is critical here. Ambient light bouncing off the ceiling suits the tendency for the eye to perceive vertical planes. It is particularly essential to apply the concept of layering light in the living room. In rooms where people spend most of their time, it would be best to avoid recessed downlights instead of using lights that bounce off the ceiling to achieve ambient illumination.

If you want to accomplish ambient lighting that bounces off the ceiling in a living room, it is recommendable to integrate cove or valance lighting into the room’s architecture. Bookcases or entertainment units that don't go all the way to the ceiling also provide the perfect opportunity to add a piece of millwork and also put a linear fluorescent behind it. Another way of providing ambient lighting is to wash the walls with light. You can accomplish this with the use of recessed or track lighting directed towards the walls, or even plug-in floor lamp torchieres. Moreover, if you use a pendant light as the main light, you can place it a little low directly above the coffee table to make it the focal point of the sofa area.

2. Kitchen

More than any other area in your home, the kitchen needs a balance of layered task and ambient lighting since the focus on the functions of food prep, cleanup, and serving as a gathering spot is in this area. You might want to consider a central ceiling-mounted fixture providing ambient light and task lighting for counters and over sinks where you do your kitchen work as a primary lighting plan for your kitchen. It would be best if you thought, in particular, the task lighting for the counters and over sinks, where most of the work occurs.

This is why you'll find most sinks are beside windows-- to take advantage of natural light. It is recommended by lighting experts to augment the natural light with a ceiling-mounted or recessed fixture above your sink. Undercabinet lighting is also a good way of illuminating the countertop work surfaces without relying on the overhead light. This kind of traditional lighting plan is sufficient for many kitchens and can even be improved simply by putting all of the lights on a dimmer and energy-efficient light bulbs.

3. Bathrooms

Just as bathrooms matter in any other building, this is even more so for bathrooms in houses. The bathroom requires careful planning of lighting placement. There are so many bathrooms that feature a central ceiling-mounted fixture casting shadows on someone standing in front of the mirror. Improving bathroom lighting may entail lighting both sides of the mirror. On the other hand, for older bathrooms, a conventional lighting design may feature a central ceiling-mounted fixture plus a fixture above the mirror. For an improved lighting plan, you would have to eliminate those fixtures and replace them with three wall sconces-- one on an opposing wall to offset mirror position and two on either side of the mirror.

4. Outdoors

Outdoor lighting matters because they serve several purposes, including safety on pathways, pure aesthetics, and security. One piece of advice for landscape lighting is to opt for quality fixtures for durability. When planning landscape lighting, it is better to light something close to the house, something midrange in the yard, and another in a far corner. With this strategy, you will be able to create interesting focal points when viewed from inside the house at night.

However, it would help if you kept in mind to avoid the mistake of using too many outdoor lights. Creating super-bright areas means you also create incredibly dark areas, and it can be unsafe. An exception to this is the front door, one of the few outdoor areas where a brighter light can be acceptable with a traditional lighting plan that calls for two wall-mounted fixtures that flank the door.

5. Dining Rooms

For dining room lighting, the primary focus is the table-- and fixtures placed directly above the counter may provide both ambient and task lighting for the entire room. Dimmers are also ideal since they provide flexibility in establishing a relaxing atmosphere when entertaining guests. Another thing to consider when lighting a dining room is the wall treatment. This is because dining rooms often have decorative paint treatments or wallpapers. Most people probably know the traditional lighting plan for a dining room consists of a chandelier above the table and a pair of wall sconces that flank a prominent breakfront or sideboard, with all lighting on a dimmer. For an upgraded lighting plan, you might want to include cove lighting on two opposing walls and a dimmable chandelier.

6. Bedrooms

When it comes to bedroom lighting, bedside reading and closet lighting are two of the primary concerns. If you want to improve bedside reading, most lighting experts suggest wall-mounted light fixtures with adjustable arms to redirect it onto the reading material. Keep in mind to have each bedside light operating on a switch, which can be either straight on the fixture or a wall switch within easy reach.

Architectural lighting, floor lamps, or a pair of sconces flanking a wall mirror can also provide ambient light. Since you would want the bedroom to be a relaxing, sympathetic atmosphere is welcomed, so you have to avoid central ceiling-mounted fixtures that might be harshly perceived when viewed from the bed. You also have to consider the paint color of bedroom walls when planning light output because dark-colored walls reflect less light.

7. Home Offices

Home offices are essential. When designing a lighting plan, identifying where particular tasks will take place in the home office. One key consideration is making sure the light fixture won't reflect on a computer screen, so it is vital to know the computer's position. For desk areas, you must position the task light well to minimize shadows and reflections. That’s why it is essential to place it to the right or left side of the occupant’s main work orientation. Also, if the room’s layout permits, it will also be useful to position a reading chair next to a window for natural light that you can use for reading during the day.

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