Optimizing Light in Your Home

Filed under Lighting, Skylight, Sun Tunnel, VELUX
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When done correctly, your home’s lighting fixtures should complement and blend into their surroundings.  As you select lighting for your home, it’s imperative to understand that what works in one room may not work in another.  Consider the function of the lighting and the statement you wish for it to make.  It’s important to use more than one light source, installed at different levels, to give your room character.  Below are our suggestions for each room in your home.

Bathroom:  Make the bathroom the optimum place to apply make-up with the correct lighting.  Light coming from multiple directions will illuminate your entire face and eliminate any shadows.  To achieve this, a light above the mirror and on both sides of the mirror (sconces are an easy way to do this.)  If you have a larger bathroom, it’s also a good idea to have a light above or near the shower.  Oftentimes, bathrooms do not have outer facing walls which make them absent of natural light.  One way to work around this it to install a sun tunnel.  They are optically engineered to capture light through a high impact dome on the roof. The light rays travel through a highly reflective tunnel, transmitting a pure natural light with no color shift. The diffuser assembly at the ceiling distributes natural light evenly into the room while limiting bright spots and glare.  (Want to know more?  Visit: http://www.lindusconstruction.com/blog/2012/07/lighten-up-your-life-with-natural-light-through-skylights-and-sun-tunnels/)

Bedroom: Because sleep is the main purpose of this room, you should aim for lighting that creates a relaxing atmosphere.  Reading lamps and sconces are perfect for this room; just be sure to aim them away from the bed.  The ideal height for the bottom of the lamp shade is 1.5 feet above the top of your mattress which will provide ample reading light.  Low watt bulbs (40-60) work best in your sleeping area; in your dressing area it’s okay to increase wattage.

Dining Room: The focal point of this room is the table and because of this, you should select lighting that highlights it.  Drama can be added by installing a chandelier that hangs directly above the table.  Be mindful that the size and style of your fixture should not make it stand out from the rest of the room.  Chandeliers come in various styles; select a timeless look to extend its shelf life.   Be sure that your ceiling is high enough to accommodate a chandelier. Ideally, a chandelier’s bottom should hang about 30 inches above your table.  A dimmer switch is encouraged because it allows you to control the intensity of the lighting in the room.  Don’t limit yourself to just overhead sources, which can make the room feel less intimate.

Kitchen: Kitchens need lighting that encompasses the entire room.  A common mistake is thinking that one light can illuminate the entire space.  If you’re determined on having a single fixture, try track lighting which can be angled in multiple directions to shed light on the areas you desire.  Ideally, a kitchen should blend a few different types of lighting.  Some suggestions include: overhead lighting (complete with a dimmer that can be brightened when you are cooking), under cabinet lighting to illuminate work surfaces and lighting if you have a built in desk.  If you’re looking for a way to incorporate more natural light in your kitchen, it’s worth considering skylights.  They come in a variety of sizes including: square, triangle, oval, etc.  They are a great way to evenly distribute natural light, eliminate direct sunlight & hotspots and add aesthetic appeal to your home.

Living Room: Dimmers can work well in living rooms because the room often serves multiple purposes; there are times when full lighting is needed and others when limited lighting is better.  A table lamp sitting on an end table can be beneficial for those who use their living room for reading.  Just be sure to have the lamp close to a piece of furniture so it can be accessed easily.   Not a fan of end tables?  A floor lamp can easily work as a substitute.  The living room is a great place to have a piece of artwork displayed with a spotlight on it.

Check out our Light Fixtures board on Pinterest for more lighting ideas. 

Tune into AM 830 WCCO on Saturdays from 9:00-10:00am hosted by Denny Long and Andy Lindus to ask questions regarding your home improvement projects. Call us now at 1-800-873-1451 or check us out on the web at www.lindusconstruction.com to schedule a free in-home estimate. 

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