Lighting Improvement Projects? Tips To Get You Started

Posted On Friday, 31 July 2020 02:19

Good lighting can create moods, highlights the best parts of rooms, and illuminates areas. Unfortunately, many homeowners overlook or neglect lighting as a critical aspect of indoor and outdoor design. Remember, home improvement needs harmony to create aesthetically pleasing and functional décor, and proper lighting is one of those elements that help achieve such an effect.

Here are five tips to help get you started in this project:

Make A Plan

A good lighting structure begins with a plan. Placing lights in different areas of the property may lead to cluttered and unappealing designs. 

Whip out a pen and paper and draw a lighting strategy before you install fixtures around the property. Go around different locations within the vicinity and take notes. 

Perhaps, the first thing you want to start drawing or jotting down is how the space will look after installing the lights. Think about the potential uses of different lights placed in different rooms. For example, an office pantry may also double as a small meeting room. Consequently, your children might need to use the dining area to do their homework.

Another element to consider is the people in the space. A 70-year-old person may require more light for reading than a 20-year-old adult. 

Now that you have these ideas to consider, it’s time to put those thoughts into writing. Start drawing a floor plan and mark all immovable fixtures, such as alcoves, doors, and windows. Next, highlight the directions where people will most likely be facing while staying in a particular spot in the room. 

Don’t forget to mark the number of possible lights that a room may need. Consider stating the potential costs for buying these lighting fixtures. If you think that you’re about to spend a fortune on lights, perhaps, you can purchase lights from wholesalers. 

As per Electrical Wholesale Supply Co., Inc., trusted retailers of wholesale lights could cater to different markets, including establishments in electrical, industrial, commercial, and residential neighborhoods. 

After acquiring a rough estimate on the costs, mark all existing sockets in rooms. This way, you’ll know if you might need to install additional sockets to cater to the electrical needs of each space.  

Know Your Lighting Options

After devising a floor plan with the new lighting setup, it’s time to choose appropriate fixtures that’ll go into specific rooms. 

Many property owners might believe that all lights are the same. Hence, several individuals will have no choice but to deal with the all too common overhead lighting. 

Bear in mind that lighting works well when used in layers (more on that topic further into the article). In other words, you don’t have to limit yourself to using anything but overhead lights. 

Although your options are seemingly infinite, it’s possible to group different lighting fixtures into general categories. So here are some lighting options to consider for your residential or commercial establishment:

• Ambient Lighting

Ambient lights create soft glows that envelop spaces without providing harsh glares. These lighting fixtures can be ideal for photography or videography scenarios. It’s because ambient light can be close to natural light.

However, in interior décor, ambient lights can be ideal for indoor reading or to help create certain moods. But, these lighting fixtures work better when individuals or objects are relatively close to these devices. 

If used correctly, ambient lighting delivers soft glows to help people relax from their stressful workdays. These fixtures can also capture the soft curves of the face, while allowing the pupils to dilate slightly to help you see the beauty in other people’s eyes.  

• Task Lighting

Task lights produce smaller, more concentrated beams as opposed to ambient lighting. As its name implies, task lighting is excellent for working spaces. Some people might even call it ‘office lighting.’

These lighting fixtures are ideal for helping you see the projects you're doing. Consider installing these lights in locations, like the kitchen, home office, or reading room. 

You can also add task lights to a room with ambient lighting. The former will serve as a contrast to the soft glow, allowing the eyes to adjust within the space to prevent eyestrain.

• Accent Lighting

Although accent lights have a relatively similar name to ambient lights, their beams may lean more toward task lights. Despite their similarities to other lighting categories, accent lights help the eyes concentrate to a focal point. 

Use accent lighting to illuminate display pieces, such as artwork, bookcase, and general architecture. You may also use this type of lighting fixture to highlight exterior parts of the property, which can especially be useful during holidays, like Christmas or Halloween. 

If you want to see some examples of accent lighting, you may check out local museums or art shows. 

• Track Lighting

Track lights are ideal for modern spaces. But, these lights can do more than boost the aesthetics of different locations.

These lights can seamlessly streamline designs that can complement modern décor. Moreover, these fixtures are excellent for small rooms since you won't need to use a lot of space for the installation. 

Other examples of lighting options to consider are chandelier, ceiling, and pendant lighting. Each light category has its unique advantages and drawbacks. Use the properties given by each lighting structure appropriately, and you should have spaces glowing with beautiful and functional lights. 

Layer Your Lighting

Proper light layering can help bring life to relatively any room. You don’t need to use just one type of lighting fixture in a single space, as one light might not be enough to illuminate the entire area properly. 

Use multiple light sources to create smooth transitions, depending on factors, like the time of day or the current purpose. Remember that people can use rooms in different ways. For example, a living room can also double as a play area for the children. 

With that in mind, light layering allows users to use the different lighting fixtures as they see fit. Here are some quick tips to help you layer lights correctly:

• Ambient Lighting

Layer this type of lighting with chandelier, pendant, or flush mount lights. These options help illuminate areas that the glow from the ambient lights can’t reach. Another option is to stick with natural daylight coming from atriums and windows. 

• Task Lighting

You can combine task and ambient lighting to fill the general space with functional lighting elements. It’s also possible to call on the help of accent lighting if the ambient and task lighting combination seems boring. 

• Accent Lighting

Combine the different types of accent lighting to produce adequate light to illuminate different rooms. If done appropriately, accent lights may also double as ambient lighting in individual rooms. 

Scale With The Area

Although lights should illuminate spaces, the fixtures you choose shouldn’t temporarily blind the people upon entering the space. Moreover, the lighting shouldn’t be too dim that you’d still need to use your hands to avoid bumping into objects. 

Remember, scale matters as you’re choosing the best lights for different locations. Consider the dimensions of the area while shopping for appropriate lighting fixtures. For example, if you have a 10x10-foot bedroom, an overhead light shouldn’t exceed 20 inches in diameter.

Still, it doesn’t mean that you can adhere to that general rule. Some cases allow you to go larger or smaller than the standard choices. For instance, you can use a massive chandelier for a hotel lobby or a small outdoor light near swimming pools. 

Don’t Forget About the Bulb

The design of the lighting fixture shouldn’t only be the primary factor in choosing the right light. Don’t forget about the bulb to help you and other room users enjoy the correct lighting environment. 

Start by checking the bulb base size and shape from your chosen fixture. Note that different light bulbs come in a broad range of sizes and shapes. For example, several households use an A19 bulb connected to an E26 base. The A refers to the shape, whereas the E for the base means it connects with an Edison screw. 

Choosing the wrong bulb might mean wasting money on an item that you can’t use. Consider contacting an electrician to help you determine the correct bulb size and shape. Also, choose the level of brightness you need. Note that manufacturers tend to use lumens to measure the brightness of their bulbs. A high lumen count should mean a bright bulb. 

Moreover, consider the location and use of the room when choosing your bulb’s level of brightness. For example, a kitchen light might need light bulbs with high lumens as compared to bedroom lights. It’s because you might need the extra brightness to ensure that you won’t cut your hand while chopping ingredients in the kitchen. 

Conclusion

Take the time in considering your options for your lighting improvement project, especially if you’re not in a hurry. Making mistakes in choosing lighting fixtures can be costly and time-consuming. Remember to take note of the aesthetics, location, and bulb as you search for appropriate lights for specific spaces. Do it correctly, and you should have a beautiful and functional area with proper lighting. 

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