A well lit home provides a thoughtfully designed mix of natural and artificial light. Effective lighting can provide not only illumination but also accents and drama.
Your lighting needs in the evening will be different than in the day. For daytime lighting, windows and skylights add a brightness and warmth that’s difficult to match with artificial light in the evening and on cloudy Oregon days.
First determine where you need light, then consider the type of light that’s best for each location. Typically, general ambient lighting is provided by overhead fixtures. Task lighting is effective in kitchens, baths and study areas. Accent lighting highlights a particular feature or adds a special touch. Each type of lighting can be put on separate switches or dimmers to create different moods.
Select the right type of bulb for each purpose. Incandescent lights such as the standard ones used in most households work well in overhead fixtures. They produce warm, yellow-white light that is flattering to faces. Fluorescent lamps are the most energy-efficient and are particularly good for task lighting. They produce diffuse light from cool to warm. Halogen bulbs are ideal as accenting lights since they produce whiter light and render objects in their true colors.
In bathrooms, position flattering light around the mirror, and diffused or reflected light overhead. Consider bringing natural light and fresh air into a windowless interior bathroom by installing an operable skylight.
Keep in mind that your goal is to effectively use natural and artificial lighting to draw the eye through your home in a way that’s both pleasing and functional.