Home lighting plays a critical role in how we live day-to-day. In addition to having a tremendous impact on the atmosphere it creates from room to room (and from garden area to garden area), good lighting enables us to perform tasks with more ease, helps us to feel more safe and secure, and plays on the level of comfort of a room when entertaining guests.
When designed properly, lighting can draw out the features of a room or area, whether you’re looking to add drama to a wall, make a small room look open and airy, or a large room feel cozy and inviting.
When choosing dining room lighting, start with a chandelier in the middle of the room, then add accent lights. When selecting a chandelier, don’t worry about the fixture’s quality of light so much as its beauty and scale. Finish is the most important factor today and it should compliment surrounding furnishings and accessories, not match or starkly contrast with them.
Accent lights, either in the form of recessed lighting or track lighting, can be placed on either side of a chandelier or on the perimeter of the room to add a festive sparkle to china, crystal and table arrangements. Space them so they are not close to the chandelier to avoid creating shadows.
Types and styles of bedroom lighting depend on the occupants. Couples need individually controlled reading swing-arm wall lights on each side of the bed. Children and teens need extra light from desk lamps for homework areas. The baby’s nursery requires an installed dimmer or subdued lamp that allows parents to check on their child without waking him up.
To update an existing bedroom, replace a flush-mount ceiling fixture with a newer design or a ceiling fan with a light kit. You can also change or add table lamps for quick, inexpensive face lift. Avoid lamp shades on lamps or lights that are too opaque, otherwise your bedroom will appear too dark
Outdoor lighting enhances the beauty of your property, makes your home safer and more secure, and increases the number of hours you can spend outdoors. It’s an investment that pays off handsomely in the value it adds to your home.
A simple rule-of-thumb to keep in mind when purchasing new outdoor wall fixtures is that the height of your lantern or outdoor fixture should be based on the height of the door or opening. If a single side lantern is used, the piece should be approximately one third the height of the door. If two lights are used on either side of a door, the pieces used can be slightly smaller, say one quarter the height of the entryway.
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