8 Tips For Lighting Up Your Home

Good lighting enhances the mood and desirability of your home while serving a critical function.  Here are a few tips to optimize your home’s lighting:

  • Plan how you want your room’s lighting to function.  How much natural light is available?  Will lighting be used for general illumination, performing a task or highlighting a design element?  How will different lighting functions work together?
  • Calculate how much light you will need in watts.  Multiply the room’s length by its width, in feet, and then multiply by 1.5, or 2.5 for work areas.  A 10ft by 10ft room requires at least 150 watts.  Disperse the wattage needed over several light fixtures.
  • Start with task lighting that is practical for the job and room.  Whether reading, preparing food or working at a desk, use directional lamps or spot lighting to reduce eye strain.  Direct light at the task and shield the source to reduce glare.
  • Choose accent lighting next.  Highlight a design or architectural feature to add interest.  An accent light over a painting brings attention to a cherished piece of art.  An upward floodlight in a front garden casts dramatic shadows against the exterior.
  • Fill in the blanks with ambient lighting for general illumination.  Spread lighting between ceiling, floor or wall mounted fixtures to vary intensity.  A dimmer is also helpful and can be used to create a relaxing mood from soaking in the bath to fine dining.
  • Keep in mind ceiling height.  For low ceilings or basements, pot lights or flush mounted fixtures are good choices.  If you have high ceilings or an area open to a second storey, then a chandelier or fixture that provides lighting on all sides is best.
  • Create a mood.  Kitchens, bathrooms and offices need brighter light.  Living, dining and bedrooms benefit from softer lighting.  Buy bulbs and shades accordingly.  Consider coloured or tinted bulbs and shades to bring about a warmer glow.
  • Select a lighting style that is in keeping with the rest of your décor.  Take into consideration the type of materials in the space, such as kitchen accents.  Match your lighting fixture to the stainless steel appliances or the pewter hinges and knobs.

Great lighting is essential to creating a welcoming atmosphere and complimenting your décor.  A home being offered for sale should be as well lit as possible, including natural light, without being harsh. Prospective buyers are attracted to bright and welcoming interiors.


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