Lighting is an essential element in any home. It serves a basic function—it brightens a room. But it can also set a mood or tone. While many new homebuyers look at lighting as an afterthought, designers are shedding new light on its importance. There are many benefits of getting the lighting right in your home. Adding value is one of them but it can also be aesthetically pleasing to look at as well.
In today’s homes lighting is a prominent design element. An oversized chandelier in a front entrance way can say a lot to guests as they enter your home. Just as a simple pendant light can do the same. Whether you want to project elegance, create a casual feeling, or add a bit of dazzle you’ll want to have your home shine. Here’s how.
The Types of Lighting Defined
Many homes today are comprised of three different types of lighting fixtures. Having a plan that incorporates all three is a basic design principle. Before you begin you’ll need to understand the difference between them. They are ambient, task and accent. Let’s take a look at what they are and how they are used.
- Ambient lighting – This type of lighting is all encompassing. Most often it is used to create a subconscious reaction or mood. In its simplest form it is overhead lighting. Examples include natural window light, tracked lighting, recessed lighting, chandeliers and the lighting from ceiling fans. Interior design gurus agree that the foundation of any good lighting design plan starts with ambient light.
- Task lighting – The definition of the word task says it all. It’s used in areas in your home that allow you to be able to execute tasks seamlessly. Whether on the computer, reading, cooking, or crafting most likely you’ll need one or two of them in every room. Examples include desk and table lamps, pendants, floor lamps, and under counter and bathroom vanity fixtures. Basically, the light is focused on the task you’re doing. In the kitchen pendant lights above the center island allows tedious tasks to be accomplished. Plus, the extra light is a great source for entertaining.
- Accent lighting – Not only does it set the mood, accent lighting can also accentuate special features and objects in a room such as a family heirloom or piece of artwork. Two great examples are chandeliers and wall sconces. When used together properly in a front hallway it can look absolutely stunning. Other examples include picture lights, bookcase lights, cabinet lights and can lights, to name a few.
5 Tips to Getting it Right
Know the heights of your ceilings
There is an actual formula to follow to ensure you don’t hang your lights either too low or too high. If you aren’t sure, ask the salesperson that sold you the fixtures. Lighting fixtures with long ropes or chains can be a bit tricky to install.
Create a plan
For a new construction home most likely the amount of ambient lighting has already been determined by the contractor. All you have to do is decide on the style. The design center staff will assist you by explaining the types of fixtures and also walk you through several different packages. If you’re replacing lighting in your current home, it’s necessary to identify the types that will work best in each room. During a major renovation such as a kitchen it’s advisable to consider your options before you begin. For example determine the number of lights you want above the center island and dining table. Also, what about cabinet lighting?
Make sure to size the fixture to the space
When decorating it’s important to ensure that both scaling and proportion are correct. An oversized pendant above a small kitchen table just won’t work. Same goes for a small pendant hanging in the corner of a large den. In both cases you’ll want to make sure the size of the fixture is proportionate to the amount of lighting required for the room.
Consider the inner glow
While a light fixture can make all the difference in a room, so can the type of lightbulb you choose. There are a multitude of energy-efficient options to choose from. The most popular bulbs sold today include halogen, compact fluorescent, LED and incandescent. But they also come in a variety of colors. They include light color, soft white, warm white, bright white and daylight. Choosing the type of glow is usually a personal decision. However, the Light Bulb Buying Guide published by Lowe’s assists homeowners in purchasing the perfect glow for the type of room.
Don’t Forget About the Exterior
Equally important, exterior lighting serves two purposes. It provides safety and enhances a home’s overall appearance. Coach lights, wall lights and street lanterns are just some examples. Other ways to enhance your home’s exterior is to focus on special areas such as a rose garden, a magnolia tree, or the front door. With just the right mix of lighting, you’ll create ambiance, curb appeal and charm to your home’s exterior.
Searching for Your Dream Home?
Check out Travisso’s current list of move-in ready available homes today. Specifically built for today’s busy lifestyles they offer open concept floor plans, media and game rooms, and large gourmet kitchens and gathering areas that make entertaining super easy. In addition, Travisso offers gorgeous Texas Hill Country views, a family-friendly neighborhood and endless recreational possibilities for the entire family. For additional information call 512-243-8583.