EXPERT VIEW CHOOSING LIGHTING
Making the exterior of a rural home feel welcoming at night is difficult if all you have is a decorative lantern or security floodlight, as your eye is drawn to the light source, making everything else around appear darker. Adding uplights to the walls surrounding the house will provide a soft, reflected light, decreasing the contrast and creating a warmer, more inviting ambiance.
In the case of an urban setting, think of uplighting the front door and potentially the windows instead of using a wall light on either side of the entrance. Floor washers can also be used to add another layer of light to provide a focus down the path.
Halls and staircases are the spine of the home as they link all the rooms together, so layers of light are very important here. Think about combining wall lights, lamps and lanterns with discreet miniature architectural lights for a variety of visual effects.
Stairs can be challenging to light, but this does invite a creative approach. A pendant suspended down the centre of a light well will add drama, while miniature step lights can be used as night lights on the stairs. If there are flowers on a table beneath key pieces of artwork, then low-glare recessed narrow-beam LED downlights will lend brightness to the space during the day and create a focal point at night.