In most cases, when people mention interior design and decoration, one thinks of furniture, shapes and colours, materials and texture. Very often lighting design doesn’t get enough attention and credit for its contribution to the overall appearance.
One increasingly popular method to utilise lighting in homes is to install recessed lights (a.k.a. can lights or downlights). They can emphasise the best feature in a room, or provide illumination we need to complete a task. Still, there are some tips you should follow if you wish to get the most out of them.
Establish your needs
The first thing you should do is to calculate the total area of the room by multiplying the length by the width of the room. The number you get should be further multiplied by 1.5 and you’ll get the total wattage necessary to light the room.
Next, determine the right number of fixtures. This shouldn’t be too difficult once you know the total number of watts needed. All you have to do is divide that number with the wattage of the bulb you wish to use. The number you get is the number of recessed lights you need in the room.
Naturally, it’s not a good idea to group all fixtures in one corner or on one side of the room only, but you need to distribute them as evenly as possible. The idea is to have at least two feet between each fixture and two feet between any fixture and a wall.
Of course, this is sometimes impossible to achieve, but it might be used as a guideline. At this stage, you need to concentrate on achieving balance throughout the room. Most people are nowadays opting for quality recessed LED downlights since they consume very little energy, but you need to be careful about the wattage. Look at the packaging for an explanation regarding the difference in the light output between LEDs and incandescent bulbs.
Adding dimming switches
This feature can make a world of difference when it comes to the atmosphere inside any room. Such switches are an excellent way to control the amount of light produced, thus helping you save money on electricity bills and extending the life of bulbs.
What you need to be careful about is installing separate dimmer switches for different zones. This will give you an opportunity to better control the amount of light you wish to have.
Tackling the trickiest issue
It has to be your bathroom, since many different activities take place there, requiring completely different lighting solutions. Therefore, most people go for several types of lighting. For example, recessed lighting is great for vanity area, while gimbal lights are fantastic when fitted close to the mirror.
Other tips to consider
If there is a work of art you’d like to emphasise, you may wish to use gimbal lights, since they rotate and swivel, thus helping you focus the light. On the other hand, if you have a porch or a veranda, you have to think about weather conditions and use damp-rated fixtures and bulbs, which are resistant to rain and snow.
If you live in a building with concrete walls, no reputable electrician would agree to install new ceiling lighting, since it may affect the structural integrity of the whole building, but you might explore other options in that case, such as wall sconces.
Finally, you might want to hire a professional to design or install your lights, unless you’re absolutely sure you can do it yourself. An expert is bound to have more experience in such matters and would most definitely require less time to complete the job. Also, if you don’t have all the necessary tools, you might need to purchase some equipment, thus spending more money and tons of your free time to do something that a professional will do for less money, much faster.
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