How to Perfectly Light Your New Home
When building a new home, many people gloss over the importance of quality lighting. A well lit home can make a huge difference to a home and the best lighting needs to be meticulously planned.
Planning and design must take into account the function of each room and where objects are going to be placed in the house.
To perfect the lighting scheme of your new home, use layers to satisfy the three basic functions of light:
- Ambient light for overall illumination.
- Task lighting for work areas.
- Accent lights that highlight objects or spaces.
Where you place lights, what types of fixtures you use and how they illuminate an area are individual choices that complement your decorating style.
Work With an Electrician
Do-it-yourself renovators should work closely with their electrician to plan where lights and lighting controls should be placed and decide what types of lighting work well in each of the three layers.
If you’re working with an interior designer, discuss your habits and lifestyle so that lighting is placed appropriately to support your activities.
1. Ambient Lighting
Sunlight is natural ambient light. During the daytime, sunlight can often be used as a primary source of indoor illumination.
However, it cannot always serve as the sole source of light. Some rooms do not get enough natural light and some seasons require more interior light for comfort.
If your home has ample windows and natural light, work with your electrician to place lighting to augment and complement natural daytime light.
Although ambient light is important, too much can make people feel they’re under a spotlight.
There are countless ways to place ambient lighting without overwhelming your space.
Recessed ceiling lights, canned lights, chandeliers, pendant lights, wall sconces and track lighting are just a few options.
Select fixtures that complement the scale and design of the room. A simple way to modulate light without having too many fixtures is to use dimmers. You can also choose luminaires that soften or diffuse light.
Make sure the lighting doesn’t create shadows which will affect the way you use and feel about a space.
2. Task Lighting
Task lighting adds a layer of light to specific areas and work zones.
It also complements ambient light by balancing the sources of light in a room and illuminating corners.
Bathroom vanities, reading nooks, office spaces, craft areas and kitchens are a few places where task lighting works well. There are many types of luminaires that can be used for task lighting including vanity lights, desk lamps, floor lamps, track lights and under-counter lighting.
Task lighting usually requires 6 to 10 times more wattage than ambient light.
Your electrician and architect or designer can recommend fixtures that will properly illuminate the workspace and complement the décor and ambience of a room.
3. Accent Lighting
Accent lights can be used to focus light and attention on a space or object.
This can separate areas or accentuate specific features in a room.
Often referred to as mood lighting, it’s an important element of illumination in a space.
By focusing light on a specific area, it can direct the eye away from less attractive features.
Dependant on the subject, accent lights can be 3 to 5 times brighter than ambient light.
Both task and accent lighting help smooth out shadows and glare.
Fixtures used for accent lighting include LED strip lighting, wall sconces, table lamps, recessed lights or spotlights aimed at a particular object such as a work of art. They can also be used to accent a wall niche and cabinetry.
Accent lighting can also be used as perimeter lighting around a ceiling with architectural detailing.
It draws the eye up and accentuates interesting features, complementing ambient light that illuminates the lower spaces.
Dimmers complement accent lighting, allowing the control of the intensity of light.
As you start to think about lighting in your new home or renovation, work with your electrician to find luminaires and fixtures that complement your decor and create the mood you would like to set in each room.
Although there are many types of lights that can be used in almost all settings, not all are dimmable. Energy-saving LED’s are available in both dimming an non-dimming versions.
Never underestimate the importance of a quality lighting scheme for your home. With good planning and professional advice, you can achieve perfect lighting for your home.
To discuss the lighting in your home, call AMP’D Electrical and Solar on (07) 5522 5222 to discuss your requirements.