Having good lighting in your house is important to so much more than being able to see when it gets dark. From how light can affect the mood and feel of a room, to helping you regulate your sleep patterns, it’s essential to set up your lights in the best way possible.
However, if you’re not careful, you can make lighting errors that will cost you a lot of time and money in the long run. So what can you do to avoid these?
We’re glad you asked. Here’s our guide to the common lighting mistakes you’ll want to avoid.
One of the biggest mistakes people make when installing lights has to do with light fixtures, You’ll want to make sure you’re using the proper fixture for each room.
Make sure the fixture will fit in the room where you want to place it.. This seems obvious, but if you don’t plan and estimate ahead, you can end up buying a hundred-dollar chandelier frame, only for it to be useless.
You can alleviate this by heading to your local provider and measuring the fixtures you want to buy ahead of time. Avoid estimating with your eye alone. This is because the composition of showrooms will often make fixtures appear smaller than they will in your house.
You’ll also want to estimate how much light that fixture will provide to a room. If it gives too much light, you risk the room having an artificial feel to it. Too little light, and you’re operating in dim conditions.
Make sure the frame gels with the aesthetic of the rest of the room. Try to look at different colors or material compositions of your lights to find the best match.
One Source is Not the Way
Another common lighting mistake to avoid is using only one light source in a room. The problem is that one light will not illuminate every corner of the room, leaving certain parts feeling discolored. Instead, try to mix a combination of lights to create a balance.
First take stock of the ambient light in the room (or the light the room gets before anything is added). When it comes to installing fixtures, ambient light also refers to standard overhead lighting.
Try to add some accent lighting to give the room more depth. For example, if you own a painting you love, adding accent lighting around the frame to draw the eye to it will help it feel like the highlight of a room.
Then scatter in task lighting (the lighting used to aid people in the room with reading, studying, etc.). Task lighting often gets accomplished through desk or table lamps.
Make sure not to go overboard on the task lights either. This can leave the room looking like a jumbled mess and lead to that dreaded artificial feeling of over-lighting.
Skipping Out on Light Control
Make sure when you install all the lights that you have some form of controller (like a dimmer) installed so you can adjust their brightness. This allows you to cultivate the mood of a room on-the-fly without having to swap your whole lighting system out. You can also purchase special switches that allow you to turn some lights on in an area without turning them all on.
This will also help reduce the cost of your electric bill. Dimmer lights mean less power is getting used. Swapping your bulbs out for LED ones will also assist in this department.
It’s also important to make sure your room meets the needs of your lights, as much as it is the other way around. For example, try not to crowd rooms with lots of furniture. Not only will this add to a jumbled aesthetic, but having a bunch of objects in a room means that light gets a lot of different things to bounce off of. As a result, you’re left with a lot of shadows and no way to balance them out.
The color of your walls is also important. Getting warm, bright colors (like yellow or white) for your walls is ideal if you want the room to stay bright, since these colors reflect most of the light that hits them. Darker colors will absorb the light, making them perfect fits for less bright rooms.
Of Diffusers and Placement
If you don’t want your living room to feel like your office hallway at night, make sure to buy filters to help diffuse the light coming from the top of your ceiling. This way, the light comes out softer and warmer.
Placement of your ceiling lights is also important in this regard. A good rule of thumb is to space your ceiling lights by half the distance of your ceiling. So if your ceiling is 16 feet long, put the lights 8 feet apart.
Working your lights around closed spaces (like closets or cabinets) is another thing to watch out for. If you don’t light them enough, you’ll have difficulty finding anything you store in them. Go too hard the other way, and you’ll draw eyes away from the elegant design of the rest of the room to something you don’t want highlighted.
Try to pay attention to where you put your light switches. It’s easy to place them anywhere, until you realize it’s inconvenient to fumble through half your kitchen at night to get to a light switch. To counter this, walk through your house and take note of any areas where placing a light switch feels natural.
Lighting Mistakes? Forget About Them
There you have it! Now that you have this guide on all the common lighting mistakes to avoid, you’re ready to get out there and light your house to wow everyone who visits. If you need help installing your lights, make sure to give us a shout and let us know how we can help.