(StatePoint) If you’re building or remodeling your home, as more Americans are doing these days, consider a fresh approach to your lighting both inside and out.
“Lighting sets the mood for a space and illuminates daily activities, “says Jeff Dross, trends expert at Kichler, a manufacturer of decorative lighting, landscape lighting and ceiling fans. “A good lighting design will balance form and function for beauty, safety and convenience.”
To maximize the appearance and functionality of your rooms and outdoor spaces, there are several things you should know before getting started:
• Style: Consider your taste and how your lighting will interact with your décor and architecture. Is your style contemporary, traditional or transitional?
If you have heavily ornamented furniture, wallpaper or window dressings, consider lighting that’s cleaner and simpler for a balanced contrast.
“The trend today is cleaner and simpler designs, regardless of your style preference,” says Dross. “Keep it simple.”
Finish: Today’s most popular fixtures feature lighter colors like polished nickel or chrome, and textured or distressed finishes such as aged bronze.
Layers: Multiple light sources can minimize glare and shadows, while adding depth and dimension, so layer spaces with ambient (overhead), task and accent lighting. Ceiling fans are a favorite source of ambient lighting for a great room or family room.
• Functionality: Think about how you plan to use each space you’re lighting. For example, if your dining room serves more as a homework and hobby station than a formal place to gather, you`ll want to install a maximum amount of light. If you entertain there, be sure to install a dimmer.
Take advantage of the experience and expertise of a designer, contractor or lighting professional to help you determine how your lighting can accommodate your daily life.
• Dimensions: Pick appropriately sized lighting fixtures for the size of your rooms. A good rule of thumb for chandeliers is to add the two dimensions of your room to arrive at a minimum diameter. So a 12x12 room should have a fixture with a minimum diameter of 24 inches and be no larger than the width of the dining room table.
• Energy-efficiency: Consider new lighting technologies such as LED lighting, which can save you money on electric bills.
• Wiring: Know where the outlets and electrical boxes are. This is especially important for new construction or large remodeling jobs.
• Sunlight: Natural light plays a large role in the type of lighting you need. Look at where the windows are and how much light they let in. Pay attention to plants or trees that may partially block the sun’s rays.
It’s important to consider both daytime and nighttime lighting when choosing lighting.
• Accents: Light the cove, add sconces and fill the tray ceiling with light. Accent lighting is the jewelry of the home and can make a huge difference to your home’s appeal. For more lighting ideas, visit www.Kichler.com.
If you haven’t given lighting careful consideration in the past, now is the perfect opportunity -- whether you’re remodeling or building your home.