Light Up Your Life: Home Lighting How-To
Decorating a home can be a labor of love. While we spend hours trying to establish that perfect blend of a comfortable, sophisticated and welcoming environment, one thing we might not consider is how bad lighting can make even the most beautifully furnished room feel bland, uncomfortable and unattractive.
Luckily, lighting doesn’t have to be complicated. Well-placed and high-quality lights can improve the design and ambiance of your home, making your home environment not only more relaxing and productive, but also more welcoming to guests. The following room-by-room design lighting tips help ensure your home is lit with possibilities.
The look: The concept of ambient lighting (illumination that comes from all directions) is particularly important in the living room, an area of the house where people tend to gather.
How to get it: Stay away from downward-facing recessed lights, and instead use lights that bounce off the ceiling. Use soffit lighting (light under a hanging structure) or valance lighting (light on a wall, shielded by horizontal panels), recessed or track lighting that is directed toward the walls, or even plug-in floor lamps that have upward-facing bulbs.
The look: With its dual purpose of being a spot for food prep and entertaining, the kitchen requires consideration of both task (directional) and ambient lighting.
How to get it: Use a ceiling-mounted or recessed fixture above the sink. Under-cabinet lighting is a great way to illuminate countertop work surfaces without relying on an overhead light that will cast shadows on the person working at the counters. You don’t need lights in the middle of the kitchen. Instead, make use of directional lights for countertops and kitchen islands.
The look: With its emphasis on personal grooming, bathroom lighting should be more task oriented.
How to get it: A perfect light scheme includes lights above and on both sides of the mirror to help fill in shadows.
The look: The primary focus of dining room lighting is the table. Fixtures placed directly above it will provide both ambient and task lighting for this room.
How to get it: Dimmers and dimmable light bulbs are particularly desirable, as they provide flexibility in establishing a relaxing atmosphere. But don’t forget to light the walls, especially in dining rooms with decorative paint treatments or wallpaper.
Jake Peterson, Manager
2419 El Cajon Blvd.,
San Diego, CA 92104