Common mistakes to avoid when lighting your home
It may seem easy to light a room by tossing in a couple lamps, a pendant light, and some sconces, because lo and behold, all the darkness is gone with the flip of a switch. However, there are a number of mistakes in your lighting that can make your space feel less than cozy. Here are the five most common lighting problems we see and how to fix them:
It is simple to put in a bunch of overhead can lights or recessed lights in a room and leave it at that, but not only will this strategy fall flat, it will suck all the warmth and character out of your room. Most homeowners try to light their living room or kitchen like this, but the intensity of the downlights leaves the place feeling like a high school gymnasium or an operating room.
1. You try to light a room with overhead light only.
Overhead lighting is a great solution in many spaces, so don't throw the baby out with the bath water, but it's often not enough. If you ignore lamps, for instance, then reading and writing could strain your eyes because there is no task lighting. And if you only install recessed lighting in your bedroom, you will miss out on the warm, inviting glow that only lamps can provide.
So mix it up a bit with a variety of light sources, which will also make your rooms more flexible.
2. You leave out the dimmer.
One of the best ways to get your lighting design right is to install some dimmer switches. They allow you to control the light in any room depending on your mood. It is hard to have a movie night with eight can lights blazing down upon you, and it is equally difficult to host friends for dinner on a rainy day if you're not able to adjust the intensity of your lighting. Dimmers are a great way to adjust the vibe of a room, and they're a lighting designer's best kept secret.
3. You aren't aware of the shadows.
If you put a light in the wrong spot, the shadows it creates will be a problem.
For instance, don't put a bathroom mirror light above the mirror, where it creates an unflattering shadow on your face. Instead, place lighting on either side of the mirror so that your face is illuminated properly. This is especially true in your guest bathroom...your guests will thank you. The same is true for your kitchen. Be aware that under-cabinet lighting can shed some important light on cooking and cutting surfaces so that you can cook safely instead of like a caveman in the dark.
4. You chose to install the wrong lighting fixture.
Is that chandelier too small for that dining table? What about that enormous lamp that you have beside your couch? If the lighting isn't appropriate, it will make the rest of the room look...off. Sometimes lighting fixtures look different in showrooms, so you really want to get measurements, and then decide what size is right for your room instead of guessing.
5. You place your lights at the wrong height.
Every light should be hung or installed at a different height. For instance, pendant lights, should be approximately one yard above your kitchen's island. However, lights above your dining room table should be slightly above 5 feet from the floor. If you don't have a reading lamp at about shoulder height, you'll either be blinded by the glare, or you won't have enough light on your book.
We hope these quick tips help you to get your lighting right in every room. Of course, you don't just want light for the sake of light, you also want style. We'd like to think that our vintage nautical lighting is a great choice for adding a touch of class to any home. To learn more about our pieces, give us a ring today, we'll be glad to help you discover the right lighting for your home or business.