Home renovation doesn’t necessarily require thousands of dollars to make major changes in its look. A home can be transformed quite affordably simply by using lighting techniques correctly. By changing and/or adding various fixtures and types of bulbs, you can accomplish brand new looks in drab and dreary rooms making them more attractive and inviting.
Light is the key ingredient that brings out color, patterns, and textures as well as creating moods and supplying illumination for activities. When you know how to properly utilize and layer light, you can create new and beautiful spaces within your home that are accentuated and appreciated.
Following are some tips for renovating your home inexpensively with light. For additional lighting tips and information, “Like” the Facebook page of Brodwax Lighting (https://www.facebook.com/Brodwax), your best energy-saving lighting source since 1947.
Know the Layers of Lighting
Creating a beautiful presentation with light is much like painting a masterpiece… various layers are utilized to build the desired effect. It is important to both know what the lighting layers are and how they are used together to produce results.
Ambient Light – Ambient light is general illumination that covers the entire room or area and is the foundation of lighting design. Ambient light is usually produced from a central overhead light fixture, but can also be achieved through such fixtures as track lights, chandeliers, Torchiere lamps or any source that radiates a soft and embracing light over large areas.
Task Light – This layer is a brighter and more direct form of light that effectively illuminates an area where tasks are being completed. Desk or table lamps, overhead puck lights, and under cabinet lights are examples of task lighting sources that provide proper lighting for reading, sewing, cooking, etc. The objective of task lighting is to minimize shadows and glare that cause eyestrain.
Accent Lighting – As its name implies, this form of lighting layer is used to accent specific objects or spaces. In order for accent lighting to work, it needs to be brighter than the ambient light source and, therefore, higher wattages of bulbs are normally used. Accent light can be used to highlight paintings and photographs, rockwork on a fireplace, colorful wall paper, decorative outdoor shrubs, etc. Examples of accent lighting fixtures are wall sconces, spotlights, and small under cabinet lights.
Create a Lighting Plan
Before you can effectively create positive lighting changes in your home, you need to come up with a lighting plan. Grab a pen and paper and walk through each room creating a list of what lighting fixture changes you would like to make.
Coming up with the right lighting techniques will take some imagination and your list will probably change as you research the multitude of lighting products available, but a basic plan is essential. It may help to walk through each room both during the day and at night. Daytime provides sources of natural light which can be enhanced, lessening the need for artificial light. However, when the sun goes down, artificial light will be the source of any illumination and both natural and artificial lighting play different roles in renovating the atmosphere of your home.
Update Wiring and Switches
Once you have a good idea of the kinds of lighting fixtures you want to change or install, you should update your wiring and switches – with the help of a qualified professional. Perhaps you require adding additional outlets, new wiring, fixture bases, etc.
You can utilize fancy switch boards that are metallic, have unique designs, or are colored to match your walls. Consider ways to conceal wiring either within walls or by running them under baseboards. Small details like these will help add to the attractiveness of your home.
Purchase Your Light Fixtures
When everything is prepared, it’s time to shop for your new lighting fixtures. Either visit a local lighting store or, if you prefer, browse and buy on the internet from the comfort of your home.
Wherever you decide to shop for light fixtures and bulbs, you will discover that there is a vast selection in today’s market. Not only are there numerous types of fixtures to utilize in your home renovation project, but they come in a wide variety of styles. To help with your decisions, following is a list of ten types of lighting fixtures available.
- Ceiling Lights – Normally placed in the center of rooms, foyers and hallways to provide ambient light.
- Chandeliers – Mainly used as ordinate lights in the centers of living and dining rooms to provide ambient light.
- Pendants or Drop Lights – Good additions to add more light to particular areas (over bars or kitchen tables/countertops). They can also serve as accent lights to draw attention to patterns and finishes (granite or antique wood bar tops)
- Table, Desk and Floor Lamps – Normally used to provide task lighting for reading and other activities. However, they can also be used for setting moods. Torchiere lamps provide a nice effect for lighting up dark corners and splashing ambient light off of walls and ceilings.
- Track Lights – Very versatile lighting solution as tracks can be run in endless patterns, light units can be added or removed, and lights can be moved along the tracks and positioned in various directions. Track lights can be used to meet ambient, task, and accent lighting needs separately or at the same time using different units.
- Under Cabinet Lights – Commonly used in kitchens underneath overhead cabinets to provide mainly task lighting for food preparation, etc. Small units can be used in curio cabinets or under bookshelves to provide accent lighting for collectibles.
- Spotlights – Spotlights can be used for either up lighting (placed at ground level and directed upwards) or for down lighting (placed above and directed downwards). Mainly used for accent lighting.
- Wall Sconces – Normally used in pairs to provide mood lighting in bathrooms, foyers, hallways and other small or narrow areas.
- Puck Lights – Shaped like hockey pucks, puck units can either be installed directly to a surface or recessed into the surface (most common). Some units are designed to swivel so that task and accent lighting can be achieved from different angles.
- Display Lights – These lights are used specifically to highlight artwork, collectibles, and other precious or interesting items.
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