Summer Projects- Lighting makes all the difference
When we started this project we originally wanted to add can lights in the living room and the dining area. Unfortunately, we hit a financial snag and had to cut that from the project. This type of thing happens in projects and being able to regroup is my specialty.
Originally, we had a ceiling fan in the living room. This is a typical builder standard, and it looks good going in. However, if you are not a ceiling fan person and really want a pretty fixture, the way to go is a semi-flush mounted light. This type of fixture adds light at the ceiling and throughout the room, really allowing for double duty. But to complete a room, you need to look at all levels of lighting, not just overhead.
Of course, when it comes down to it, natural light is your best friend in a space. But unless you’re building from the ground up, there isn’t much you can do to control the amount of daylight coming into a room. So, not counting natural light, all rooms should have three types of lighting: whole room lighting or overhead lighting, task lighting like a table lamp, and ambient lighting for accents.
In our finished space we added a semi-flush mounted light, and two table lamps that are 29 “ tall. That height is really important! Your lamp should clear the height of your shoulder when you’re sitting so the light can pass across your body and fall onto whatever book or magazine you’re reading. This also positions light further up the wall so it clears furniture and other obstacles. Lamps under 20” are really not that useful.
The last type of light is ambient lighting. This is the accent light or soft light that finishes the space and gives it a cozy feeling. Think of uplights, candles and adding dimmers on switches. A dimmer can make all the difference in the overall feel of a room. Softening the intensity of the overhead light lets your ambient and task lighting really shine.