One of the primary aspects of any room is the lighting. After all, the lights and their fixtures set the tone for the room and can increase or decrease the room's usability and mood. Consequently, knowing what type of lights work best in an environment can make a difference- whether you merely see your home as a place to unwind or you love to entertain. As you walk through your home, you may be thinking, “The light I have here is okay, but what can I do to really make it noteworthy?” To help you answer that question, here are some room by room lighting tips.
- The foyer of a home is the first impression of things to come. If you have a high ceiling, consider a chandelier to add warmth and elegance. Or, for a more modern look or when there is a stairway right off of the foyer, you may want to have a transitional close to the ceiling fixture that will illuminate the hallway/stairway as well. This will provide a well lit, welcoming atmosphere. In special regard to hallways and stairways, be sure that staircases are well lit with light switches at the top and bottom of the stairs. Long hallways should have a light fixture every 8 to 10 feet. For added ambiance, use decorative wall sconces.
- Depending the room's use-game playing, reading, entertaining, etc. the lighting needs can change throughout the day. As such, you want to have lighting that is attractive yet functions as you need. Also, if you have artwork or architectural elements that you wish to emphasize then recessed lighting or track lighting is the best way to spotlight those elements. If a room is used frequently for games and reading then close-to-ceiling, wall sconces or interior lamps are great choices. Of course, any room with a high or vaulted ceiling will look great with a chandelier!
- In dining rooms, the decorative focal point is the lighting fixtures, so they should be both beautiful and functional. For general lighting, it is recommended that you use a chandelier that is 6 to 12 inches smaller than the narrowest side of the table, or pendant lighting that is at least 30 inches above the table area; recessed lighting can add an illusion of a bigger room.
- Due to the many uses of the kitchen you may need several types of lights. For example, if you have an area used primarily for food prep then use recessed lighting or track lights so you can easily see what you are prepping. Often, recessed lights are installed under the cabinets to help prevent shadows on the countertops or a fluorescent light will be used over the sink.
- Baths are beautiful with well-placed recess lighting, though it is critical to have good lighting over the mirror(s). Supplemental lighting choices are close-to-ceiling lights, or decorative wall sconces. Over the shower, recessed lights or a ceiling mounted plastic unit is best.