Smart light­ing ideas when re­mod­el­ing or build­ing a home

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If you’re build­ing or re­mod­el­ing your home, as more Amer­i­cans are do­ing th­ese days, con­sider a fresh ap­proach to your light­ing both in­side and out.

“Light­ing sets the mood for a space and il­lu­mi­nates daily ac­tiv­i­ties, “says Jef f Dross, trends ex­pert at Kich­ler, a man­u­fac­turer of dec­o­ra­tive light­ing, land­scape light­ing and ceil­ing fans. “A good light­ing de­sign will bal­ance form and func­tion for beauty, safety and con­ve­nience.”

To max­i­mize the ap­pear­ance and func­tion­al­ity of your rooms and out­door spa­ces, there are sev­eral things you should know be­fore get­ting started:

• Style: Con­sider your taste and how your light­ing will in­ter­act with your dé­cor and ar­chi­tec­ture. Is your style con­tem­po­rary, tra­di­tional or tran­si­tional?

If you have heav­ily or­na­mented fur­ni­ture, wall­pa­per or win­dow dressings, con­sider light­ing that’s cleaner and sim­pler for a balanced con­trast.

“The trend to­day is cleaner and sim­pler de­signs, re­gard­less of your style pref­er­ence,” says Dross. “Keep it sim­ple.”

Fin­ish: To­day’s most pop­u­lar fix­tures fea­ture lighter col­ors like pol­ished nickel or chrome, and tex­tured or dis­tressed fin­ishes such as aged bronze.

Lay­ers: Mul­ti­ple light sources can min­i­mize glare and shad­ows, while adding depth and di­men­sion, so layer spa­ces with am­bi­ent (over­head), task and ac­cent light­ing. Ceil­ing fans are a fa­vorite source of am­bi­ent light­ing for a great room or fam­ily room.

• Func­tion­al­ity: Think about how you plan to use each space you’re light­ing. For ex­am­ple, if your din­ing room serves more as a home­work and hobby sta­tion than a for­mal place to gather, you`ll want to in­stall a max­i­mum amount of light. If you en­ter­tain there, be sure to in­stall a dim­mer.

Take ad­van­tage of the ex­pe­ri­ence and ex­per­tise of a de­signer, con­trac­tor or light­ing pro­fes­sional to help you de­ter­mine how your light­ing can ac­com­mo­date your daily life.

• Di­men­sions: Pick ap­pro­pri­ately sized light­ing fix­tures for the size of your rooms. A good rule of thumb for chan­de­liers is to add the two di­men­sions of your room to ar­rive at a min­i­mum di­am­e­ter. So a 12x12 room should have a fix­ture with a min­i­mum di­am­e­ter of 24 inches and be no larger than the width of the din­ing room ta­ble.

• En­ergy-ef­fi­ciency: Con­sider new light­ing tech­nolo­gies such as LED light­ing, which can save you money on elec­tric bills.

• Wiring: Know where the out- lets and elec­tri­cal boxes are. This is es­pe­cially im­por­tant for new con­struc­tion or large re­mod­el­ing jobs.

• Sun­light: Nat­u­ral light plays a large role in the type of light­ing you need. Look at where the win­dows are and how much light they let in. Pay at­ten­tion to plants or trees that may par­tially block the sun’s rays.

It’s im­por­tant to con­sider both day­time and night­time light­ing when choos­ing light­ing.

• Ac­cents: Light the cove, add sconces and fill the tray ceil­ing with light. Ac­cent light­ing is the jew­elry of the home and can make a huge dif­fer­ence to your home’s ap­peal. For more light­ing ideas, visit www.Kich­

If you haven’t given light­ing care­ful con­sid­er­a­tion in the past, now is the per­fect op­por­tu­nity -whether you’re re­mod­el­ing or build­ing your home.


A good light­ing de­sign will bal­ance form and func­tion for beauty, safety and con­ve­nience.

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