Lighting Tips for Your Home – Part 2

How should I light my Living Room or Family Room?

Living rooms and family rooms benefit from the layered approach perhaps more than any other areas of the home.

If a television is present be sure to have soft ambient light to make the viewing experience pleasurable. These rooms are perhaps the most used rooms in a home so remember to avoid glare off of reflective surfaces. Task lighting may also be important in parts of these rooms so think about everything that goes on in these rooms when planning your lighting.

Once I have the right size chandelier, my dining room is complete, correct?

Not quite. The chandelier should not be your only light source in the room. Wall sconces, and buffet lamps are some examples of fixtures that can help balance this room. Also, don’t forget light by candle, or possibly by fire when planning your dining area.

The Kitchen and the Bathroom seem to be the place where lighting is most important – how do I get the right lighting in these areas?

Kitchens and Bathrooms require both task and ambient light. Focus light on work areas such as over an island or sink. Add ambient light to the task lighting under separate controls for different looks as well as function. Ample lighting is needed in both areas. Be aware of shadows and dark areas that can be caused by furniture, doors, etc. Don’t scrimp on light in either of these important areas of your home.

How do I provide transition light from my rooms to my hallways and staircases?
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Hallways and stairs need ample and pleasant lighting, as they are the passageways of the home. Try to make the transition between rooms and passageways as even as possible. Uneven lighting provides a harsh transition. Hall lights should be kept simple, as they are generally narrower areas. Using larger, ornate pieces in passageways can clutter or appear to reduce the size of the passageway. Do not under light these areas however, especially the staircases for safety sake as well as the look.

What general rules should I follow to light the master bedroom?

Bedrooms need the same layering of light as all other living spaces. Reading, television viewing, dressing, makeup application can all take place in the bedroom. Give enough options to have soft lighting to full bright light available in the appropriate areas of the room. Balance is also important but matching both sides of the bed is not always critical. This is often a personal space for more than one person. Each of their tastes can be reflected with complimentary, rather than matching pieces.

I have a home office… how should I light it?

All workspaces must be functional but do not need to look utilitarian or cold. In other words a home office need not look like an office. Make sure to have the proper task lighting in place and again be mindful of the glare factor. Computer screens and shiny desktops can make work areas uncomfortable if glare or shadows abound. Light should come from the side not behind or in front of the worker. Again two sources are better than one to avoid eyestrain.

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