By Clarissa Allison | November 11th, 2016
1. Using only one source of light
Layering light at different heights is key to a balanced lighting scheme. To do this, mix a variety of overhead or ambient lighting, along with floor or table lamps. A pool of warm light can draw people in and create a sense of intimacy.
Ambient (or general) lighting is typically provided by ceiling-mounted luminaires (light fixtures), it provides light mainly for orientation and general vision. Examples of ambient lighting include recessed downlights, pendants, and flush/semi flush ceiling lights.
Ambient lighting alone can be unexciting and bland. Accent lighting comes in to highlight features in the space such as artwork, and interesting architecture. You are drawing attention through contrasts in brightness. Instances of accent lighting include directional picture lights, track lighting, wall sconces and more.
Task lighting is then used to provide functional illumination for specific activities requiring more light, like reading, working, personal grooming and preparing meals. It may be part of the general lighting system or portable lighting such as table lamps, floor lamps or adjustable desk lamps.
2. Too-Bright Lights Overhead
Whether you’re at home or in the office, you don’t want to feel like your’re on an airplane taxiway. We recommend purchasing lighting fixtures with light shades in materials like linen to help diffuse light. This ensures your lighting isn’t harsh and unflattering.
If you don’t know how far apart to space your recessed lights, divide the height of the ceiling by two. As a baseline, for an 8 foot ceiling, you should space your recessed lights approximately 4 feet apart. If the ceiling is 10 feet, you’ll want to put about 5 feet of space in between each fixture, etc.
Depending on the décor in the room, the type of fixture and their light output, you may want to space the lights either closer together or further apart. Dimmers, discussed below, can be a lifesaver in these instances, as you may control separate lights in the room to achieve the perfect balance.
3. No Dimmers
Set the right mood within the home by making sure lighting differs based on the area it is being used in. Dimmers come in handy for the kitchen where you may want one level of light during tasks like cooking meals, and another entirely for the dining area to set a different mood. If you don’t have light controls, look into getting them, as they allow you to create light “scenes” with the push of a button that illuminate only certain fixtures in designated areas, and turns them off again with one central controller.
4. OTT With Recessed Lighting
Many people fall into the trap of believing that the more recessed lights, the better. It often seems that installing recessed lights is a cure all, but they cannot properly wash light upon walls and all dark corners, which would bounce reflective light into the room. In fact, using too many recessed light may leave areas of your room dark and may even cost you more on your electric bill. Create a lighting plan. Work with a lighting specialist to map out the needs of your home or business. An expert can help you plan for the right number of lights based on the size of the space and the technical aspects of the light fixtures in question.
5. Light Switches Placed in the Wrong Place
Visualization can be very helpful when thinking about where to place new light switches. Walk through every (framed or unframed) doorway, and do your best to imagine the instinctual reach for a switch. Do the same when entering the kitchen area. It helps to run through the process several times and write down your findings. Then, get in touch with a certified electrician who thoroughly knows the National Electric Code standards.
6. Neglecting Your Closet
Don’t forget to light your closet. Solid recessed lighting is clearly going to help to distinguish between clothing and so will under-cabinet or led strip lighting on shelves. When you’re getting dressed in the morning and hesitate to awaken another person in the room, having a clear and crisp light sources in the closet will help you choose between materials and colors quickly when getting dressed.
Thanks for reading this week’s blog. Contact us with suggestions and questions at 1877 385 2104. The Louie Lighting team wishes you and yours a safe and happy Veteran’s Day weekend! Don’t forget to check out our massive holiday sales event HERE.