The lighting in your house’s interior is not only functional, allowing you to perform specific tasks in each room; it also plays a big role in the overall atmosphere of your home. Good lighting can create a warm, cozy and comfortable environment, where bad lighting can be obtrusive, unsafe, and even affect your mood negatively. From the living room, kitchen to the bedroom and up and down the halls it’s important to choose the right type of lighting for every part of your house.
Energy Efficient Lighting
Beyond setting the mood, being functional and providing light to safely navigate through your house, choosing the right lighting can help you reduce overall energy use and lower your power bill.
Still using incandescent light bulbs? Did you know that you could be using 75% less electricity by switching over to compact fluorescent (CFL) bulbs? They’re the most prevalent energy efficient bulb available on the market. Light emitting diode (LED) bulbs will give you an even greater electricity savings, but are a little more expensive. Researchers have also developed a more efficient incandescent bulb, which is a good option for those who prefer the kind of light given off by conventional bulbs. Using a high efficiency bulb will reduce your energy bill and your carbon footprint.
Planning your Lighting Room by Room
Your lighting should compliment your lifestyle. Consider the activities or tasks performed in each room, the atmosphere you want to create and how your lighting can help accent your favourite decorative items. You also want to make sure you have enough light to make each space safe while keeping efficiencies in mind. Here are some tips for choosing lighting for some of the main areas of your house.
Your living room lighting should create a comfortable ambience while accenting the design of the room and highlighting favourite decorative pieces. It should also create a functional space for entertaining, playing games, reading, watching TV and other activities.
Recessed lighting will illuminate a general area providing ample lighting with fixtures installed close to the ceiling, wall sconces or interior lamps. Recessed lighting fixtures can be decorative and functional. You can also accent artwork or textures on the wall by using track lighting. Use table lamps if you have plenty of table space available and wall fixtures if you don’t. Central lighting like a fixture or chandelier on the ceiling should shine bright when switched on, while decorative lighting like lamps in the corners of the room should be dimmer and softer.
The kitchen is the busiest place in the house and you’re going to need some good lighting! A well light kitchen will make preparing meals easier while providing a warm atmosphere for dining or family time. You could have multiple types of lighting in your kitchen allowing you to create the decorative ambience you desire without losing the functionality of your lighting for specific tasks.
Use a decorative light fixture over workspaces like an open counter or island, or as general lighting over the kitchen table. Get rid of shadows on your counters by installing under fluorescent cabinet lighting. This is also a cost efficient lighting source as it allows you to keep the big overhead lights low while properly illuminating your workspace.
Use recessed lighting to accent special architectural details, art or decorative features of your kitchen. Not only does it help create a functional workspace, it will also create a dramatic effect and help you navigate through your kitchen at night.
Bedrooms can also have multiple lighting sources. Use a pendulum light or other ceiling fixture in the centre of the room and smaller lamps on the bedside tables and dresser. In most cases, you’ll want to keep the lighting soft and low ensuring that the light sources are not too harsh and are always conducive to creating a comfortable and relaxing atmosphere.
Entrance Way and Hallways
Your entrance way is the first thing people see when they walk into your home. Make a good impression! If you have a large foyer, use an impressive chandelier or pendant lighting to your taste. Smaller entrance ways can use fixtures installed close to the ceiling, leading into the hallway to provide a welcoming atmosphere. Remember that not all entrance ways are big enough to boast a large chandelier so you have to make sure your fixture fits the space.
Your hallways and stairways need to have good general lighting for safe navigation. Stairways should have light switches at both the bottom and top of the stairs and hallways should have a light switch every 10 feet. Single ceiling fixtures or track lighting work well in hallways.
Save on Lighting with RenovationFind
RenovationFind Members will save up to 12% when they shop at our partners at Park Lighting. They’ve been in the business for over 30 years and can help you design your lighting, show you different types of fixtures that are available and give you advice on how to properly illuminate every room in your house. From design to installation, our friends at Park Lighting have been pre-screened and RenovationFind accredited to ensure you’ll get professional service, quality products and the results you want on every lighting project.
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