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Friday, February 25, 2011

Light Up Your Life

You have just completed your latest redecorating project, but something isn’t right and you can’t identify the problem. What else might you consider to make your space shine?

The area in which DIY design projects most often fail is lighting. Good lighting is essential to everyday function and should be your first consideration after the placement of furniture and functional elements. Without good lighting our living spaces can’t work for us. Educated, experienced professionals know how to calculate the necessary lighting levels and distribution for a given space, but the following can help the average homeowner find comfortable, functional, general illumination needed for everyday use.

Have you ever been in a space that has only one central light fixture? It can be miserable. That’s especially true if the fixture has a high light output or, worse, exposed light bulbs. Interrogation room lighting is annoying, if not blinding, yet people install it every day.

Here’s what happens with a single central ceiling fixture. Facing away from the light, you are working in your own shadow. Facing toward the light, your pupils are constricted and you vision is reduced. The corners of the room are inevitably in shadow and therefore rendered useless. Your eyes simply can’t adjust to the extremes of light and dark.

Have you already recognized that the light bulb itself shouldn’t be exposed? Good.  It shouldn’t, for all the reasons just noted.

Multiple sources of moderate output light, properly shaded and placed around the room, create even lighting and better visibility. For best effect, lighting should be near eye level. Next, make sure good lighting is placed next to any area where people will be reading or doing detailed work. The larger the space and the darker the walls the more these steps are necessary.

Lighting is one of the most complex and important elements of our living spaces. Without going into a detailed, custom lighting plan, these steps should help to make the general lighting in your home more comfortable and functional. Good lighting will light up your life!

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