Lighting your new space so you can comfortably see and work, is a important aspect of your remodeling project.
Lighting greatly affects the mood, aesthetics and functionality of your living spaces. Your lighting layout should never be an afterthought or haphazard decision. This is true whether you are remodeling your current home or building a new one. Lighting design is all about creating a plan.
To look its best and function well, a space must be properly lit — and that involves more than just specifying stylish fixtures. A good plan blends lighting into the architectural and decorative details of the room.
Plan for a Layered Look
No single light source can provide all the necessary light for a kitchen. A well-lit kitchen layers and blends four different types of light. Every kitchen remodel should include the following:
• Task Lighting. It is the workhorse of illumination and provides adequate light for tasks like chopping vegetables and reading recipes. Optimum placement of task lighting comes between a person’s head and the work surface, which makes lighting located below the upper cabinets so effective. If a kitchen remodel includes a pantry, make sure to specify task lighting there as well.
• Ambient lighting. It creates a warm glow that fills a room, softens shadows and helps to make people feel instantly welcome in a kitchen. If cabinets do not reach all the way to the ceiling, that space is a great spot for ambient light. Of the four types of lighting, ambient is most often overlooked.
• Accent lighting. It gives depth and dimension to a kitchen. Examples of accent lighting include fixtures placed inside glass-front cabinets to illuminate China, glassware, and other collections as well as recessed, adjustable low-voltage fixtures used to spotlight art.
• Decorative lighting. Whitehead likes to refer to this type of lighting as architectural jewelry. It adds sparkle to a space.
Consider these steps when developing the perfect home lighting plan:
1. Supply light where you need it. Consider the purpose of the room and place lights in areas that you will be using regularly.
2. Light your space in the right quantity and the right quality. The height of the ceilings, size of the room and tasks performed all affect the amount of lumens needed in a particular room.
3. Confirm that the lighting design meets the needs of the client. If this is not your own home, be sure to consider the age and special needs of the home’s inhabitants.
4. Select lights that define the form of the space. Your lighting should help further the design and style of your space, not hinder it. Lighting can serve as a beautiful focal point or aesthetic piece in residential applications.
5. Identify what each area will be used for, and how lighting will affect those activities.