How to Design Practical Room Lighting

It can be exciting to update a room with new lighting fixtures and electrical outlets. There are a variety of options, including recessed lighting and floor lighting. Plus, updating an older home allows you to put electrical outlets where you’ll use them. A lighting and electrical system update can make a room feel more modern and work better for your needs. Here are some practical considerations you’ll want to keep in mind:

How much lighting is necessary? It can be so much fun to add new lighting fixtures that some people go overboard. Over-lighting is a common problem. The right amount of lighting will take your needs into account. If the room is primarily for watching TV, overhead lighting could be glaring and distracting. A reading corner, however, could benefit from an abundance of lamps. Many designers recommend having a variety of different lighting sources. A living room that accommodates a TV and reading area could have different lighting for each, matching the lighting to the activity.

Where should light switches be located? While newer homes often have convenient light switches, many older homes would benefit from an update. For example, many older homes have light switches on the outside of the bathroom. Guests walk into the bathroom and leave in confusion, trying to find the light. Installing light switches near doors and entryways can be more convenient. Even lamps can be installed on switches by connecting the outlet to the switch. A flick will turn the outlet on (and the lamps). Another alternative is to use motion-sensitive lighting. The lights will turn on wherever you go!

Should the lights have dimmers? Adding dimmer switches is a way to save power and add more variety to your lighting options. Bright overhead lights can be used on full power to complete tasks like writing and drawing. Then, they can be dimmed to enjoy a glass of wine or a new episode of House of Cards. Dimmer switches essentially allow homeowners to install multiple types of lighting with one fixture.

It’s easy to get caught up in the aesthetics of light fixtures, but it benefits homeowners to take into account the practical needs of each room. Some rooms may require more light (and therefore more fixtures) than others. Areas that can benefit from a little dim light, like hallways, require less. Locating switches in convenient places also makes the room feel more comfortable. Dimmers add variety without the additional cost of new fixtures. Homeowners should keep these practical considerations in mind as they evaluate lighting in their homes.

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