The first thing you do when you walk into a room is “turn on the light,” yet only about 1 percent of the cost of average construction goes into lighting. It is best to spend time discussing lighting thoroughly with your builder or lighting designer when building a new home or renovating. It will be well worth your efforts.
As a homeowner you need to ask yourself a series of questions before you meet with a professional.
- What would you like highlighted in your room? Is there some aspect of your room, such as a mantel or architectural design that you want to be the focus?
- What do you want to be de–emphasized? Is there something that you would prefer not to be seen?
- What types of lights do you like? Is there a particular style of lighting that always grabs your attention?
- What kind of lighting do you not like? Do your best to keep you mind open to options, but if there is something you really do not like, let your professional know immediately.
When renovating, the age of your home will play a big factor in how to approach additional lighting. In some cases, when adding a lot of new lighting, it is easier to replace the entire ceiling. For newer homes with existing recessed lighting, your lighting improvements will likely require minimal planning. It could be as simple as switching out the type of fixture for more flexibility in light distribution.
- Make use of dimmers. This will save energy/money. Dimming down just 10 percent can double the life of your bulb. In addition, dimming 25 percent or more can change the mood of your room dramatically.
- Integrated lighting is the trend. This is where the source can be concealed (recessed, under cabinet etc).
- LED appears to be the way of the future as they have found a way to replicate the look of incandescent lights with significantly more energy efficiency. This can positively impact your pocketbook in the long term.
- When on a limited budget, lighting is probably the best thing you can do to for home improvement. Even though your budget might be limited, consult the professionals.
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