By Clarissa Allison | March 17th, 2017
Most of us don’t think about lighting in laundry rooms, and yet we spend lots of time there, sorting, washing, drying, folding, and ironing. Recent trends have the utility and laundry rooms in a home being treated to a chic or even glamorous design scheme. As ever, illuminating this important work space is vital for visibility and functionality.
It’s preferable to add natural light to your laundry room–in truth, it’s a great idea to add natural light to any room if possible–but be sure to supplement it with electric fixtures for nighttime or overcast days. It’s not always possible to get natural light into a laundry room, but that’s where selecting ambient lighting comes in. Aim for a slightly cooler light in the laundry room, and make sure you have enough light to complete tasks.
Well-diffused overhead general lighting, also called ambient lighting, should be a staple of your room. This can be acheived with anything from a flush-mounted or semi-flush ceiling fixture, a pendant, or even a mini chandelier – provided your ceiling has sufficient height clearance. At Louie Lighting we have a plethora of fixtures in a multitude of styles and finishes to complement your space. You can view our vast selection HERE.
General, or ambient lighting, can be achieved through recessed lighting. The simple laundry room below is well balanced and bright, but still utilitarian and no-fuss. Balanced lighting, which may include directional spot or recessed lights, is especially necesssary for spaces that don’t have windows to receive natural light through.
If possible, add task lighting above the washer-dryer/work surface. If the appliances are stacked, then just add task lighting for the adjacent work surface, such as under the cabinents.
Lots of tasks take place in a laundry room. If you have a transitional space that includes counters and countertops, you can eliminate shadows with undercabinet LED lighting. Undercabinet lights add an extra dimension to the room. Combining cabinet lighting with ambient fixtures creates a beautifully layered laundry room you’ll love. You can also acheive undercabinet lighting with LED tape lights as well as popular and versatile puck lights. You can also place the under-cabinet lighting above the cabinet to get a cove lighting effect, with light washing the ceiling.
We recommend 1180 lumens for each ceiling mounted fixture in an 8×10 laundry room. This is the equivalent of 75 Watt worth of incandescent light. The LED or tape lighting should be in the 840-lumen range, which is the equivalent of 60 Watt bulb.
Wall Lamps are a great choice for detailed work like treating stains or sewing buttons on shirts. An adjustable wall lamp designed for reading, with a swing arm is a perfect addition to this area, but traditional wall lights can also serve the dual function of looking lovely while casting accent lighting and providing much needed light for your workspace.
LEDs are the ideal lighting solution in this space, provided the product selected has a Color Rendering Index or “CRI” of 90 and up. (Although incandescent light has a CRI of 100, with a color temperature of only 2700k they are far too weak at the blue end of the spectrum making it next to impossible to distiguish between various shades of blue). The color rendering quality in the illumination improves with a higer CRI. As mentioned above, color temperature of the light is important, which is measured in degrees Kelvin — 2700K is the color of incandescent light (the regular warm light we use in our living rooms), 3000K is cooler light. In the laundry room, opt for a slightly cooler color temperature so that you can more easily tell the difference between colors during clothing sorting.
We hope you enjoyed this week’s blog. Be sure to check back every Friday for new articles! The Louie Lighting Team wishes you and yours a Happy St. Patrick’s Day and a safe and healthy weekend.