Timber Home Living - - Beauty & Purpose -

Light is light, right? Ac­tu­ally, no. A va­ri­ety of light sources are needed for safety, liv­abil­ity and am­biance. It can help you ac­com­plish a task or set a mood. It can come from above, the side or even below. It can be bright white and shad­ow­less or it can be am­ber and sooth­ing.

As you’re lay­ing out the light­ing game plan in your tim­ber home, con­sider how the four pri­mary types of light can play their part to help you achieve your goals.

Am­bi­ent Light­ing. Sim­ply put, am­bi­ent light­ing is the gen­eral mood light­ing, or overall il­lu­mi­na­tion, of a given room. Ceil­ing fix­tures, re­cessed cans, sconces or torch-style fix­tures all pro­vide good am­bi­ent light­ing. To fig­ure out ex­actly how much am­bi­ent light is needed, fol­low this ba­sic rule of thumb: Mul­ti­ply the room’s di­men­sions, and then mul­ti­ply that num­ber by 1.5 to come up with the to­tal num­ber of watts needed. You also may want to con­sider a dim­ming switch that can help you al­ter the gen­eral mood of the room at any given mo­ment.

Task Light­ing. When it’s time to cook, read or en­joy your hob­bies, you’ll want more than just am­bi­ent light­ing. This is where task light­ing comes into play. Aim for a pool of light that is dou­ble the room’s am­bi­ent light­ing. Hang­ing fix­tures and lamps work well, and in kitchens, think re­cessed can light­ing or un­der-cab­i­net mounts that will project am­ple light onto the counter where you’re work­ing. In the bed­room, wall-mounted swing-arm lamps are per­fect for read­ing and keep floor space un­clut­tered.

Ac­cent Light­ing. More dec­o­ra­tive than functional, ac­cent light­ing is used to high­light spe­cific ar­chi­tec­tural elements or other fea­tures of a room. In a tim­ber home, ac­cent lights of­ten show­case the beauty of the struc­tural frame or beams. Track lights, di­rec­tional can lights or spot­lights all can be used to draw at­ten­tion to beau­ti­ful de­tails such as wood­work, paint­ings, tex­tures or an­gles. Up­light­ing draws the eye up to­ward a par­tic­u­lar fea­ture.

Nat­u­ral Light. Don’t un­der­es­ti­mate the power of nat­u­ral light in your tim­ber home. By strate­gi­cally plac­ing your home to take ad­van­tage of day­light, you’ll save some money on day­time light­ing needs while also en­joy­ing a setting awash in the beauty of sun­light. Plus, count­less stud­ies have shown that peo­ple ex­posed to a gen­er­ous dose of nat­u­ral light are gen­er­ally hap­pier and health­ier. How’s that for look­ing on the bright side?

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