Simply Perfect Lighting Tips
Many homeowners have their own ideas about how light or dark their home interiors should be. Some folks love nothing more than sunny, light-filled rooms. Other people adore their comforting, softly-lit spaces.
While light levels can be a matter of personal preference, lighting can also be a powerful tool for shaping the mood, emotional tone and usage of every room. In fact, lighting is just as important as furnishings.
1. Stay Warm
Cool light looks brighter to the eye and can seem more like daylight. It can also make your home feel like a hospital or grocery store, which is not what we’re going for. Warm light is softer and creates a more relaxed mood. That’s what you want in your home.
2. Yes, You Can
We’re big fans of can lighting. These in-ceiling lights draw zero attention to themselves while creating a foundation for excellent interior lighting. We add lamps for emphasis and mood in particular areas and put everything on a dimmer switch (see #3). This formula gives you maximum flexibility.
3. The Great Dimmer
What did people do before the dimmer switch was invented? We suspect they shielded their eyes or huddled together in the dark because there was nothing in between. We use dimmer switches everywhere except the bathroom. Controlling the level of every light in your home allows you to create the right mood for the moment every time.
4. Beam Me Up
We’re head over heels in love with this stunning raw wood beam wrapped with light bulbs on cords. Flip one dimmer switch and all the lights go on, at the exact intensity level you choose. The can lights in the ceiling gently illuminate the room, so this fabulous fixture can serve its true purpose—which is to create an irresistibly inviting space and a found-object, vintage vibe.
5. Open Bulb Policy
Many of our light fixtures feature exposed bulbs. Once upon a time, light bulbs might have been ugly, but clear Edison bulbs, showing the filaments within, are themselves works of art. In a chandelier with an open, orb structure, candelabra bulbs are reminiscent of candle flames. A small lamp with a square metal base and a single bulb takes the open concept one step further.
6. Double Up
Above a long dining table or bar, consider using multiple light fixtures. Especially with hanging light fixtures, we tend to think of putting just one in the middle. But lighting only the center of a long table would leave some of your dinner guests in the dark while others take the spotlight.
Reflections off mirrors, glass and tile bring a secondary light source into play and add a soft, beautiful touch. Candles create particularly compelling reflections.
8. Looking Up
In high, open spaces, a light fixture can help balance the space, bringing the eye downward and helping make the area less cavernous and more inviting.
9. Looking Out
Lighting is also a safety issue. Make sure you can turn on the stair lights at the top and the bottom of the stairs. Incorporate the flexibility to light up the room you’re entering before you get there, so you aren’t stumbling around in the dark, trying to find the switch.
10. How Low Can You Go?
While low light may be flattering, people tend to err on the side of too little light, rather than too much. Turn up that dimmer a notch more than you would normally and you may like what you see. Having sufficient light is particularly important in areas such as basements, where there may be little to no natural light.