Our 10 Tips for Good Lighting
...what he said! Lighting is so important for any new project we take on. Between making adjustments to electrical plans, compiling the perfect fixture schedule, adding accent lighting, and adjusting those lumens and Kelvins, we've compiled our top 10 lighting tips below.
Stick to a lower Kelvin.
Many can lights these days can be adjusted between 2000-5000K. Anything in the 4000-5000 range is a yikes from us! We like to stick right around 2500 for soft, cozy light that is bright enough when needed. If you're still not getting the right warmth and glowi-ness, try incandescent instead of LED.
Ideally, homes are well lit during the day with natural light. In the evenings, really bright light is rarely necessary - and not ideal for winding down at the end of the day. Dimmers to the rescue! They give you the ability to have bright light if needed, but more often than not, large light fixtures will be dimmed when on at night.
Under Cabinet Lighting? Tough to Pull Off
People often like the idea of under cabinet lighting but we've rarely seen it done well. If you have an ultra modern style kitchen - it may work great! If you're more traditional or transitional, stick to sconce lighting, dimmers, or a small lamp. If you have glass upper cabinets, try accent lighting there instead.
Bump up the Budget
We know it's not what you want to hear. But, we often see $5,000 lighting budgets in proposals for new homes which just isn't going to get you much past a lot of can lights and some really basic fixtures that are probably too small for your space. If you're building, whether it's a custom home or builder grade home, you likely need to take a hard look at the amount assigned to lighting. Even if you just choose a few fixtures to invest in, they'll be your favorites and will really add personality to your home.
Upgrade Your Flush Mounts
In case you missed our post earlier this week...the boob light really has no place in a well designed home. If these are in your new construction or remodel plan and you don't want to invest in a fixture, please use a can light instead. If you have a boob light in your home now, this is your permission to make the upgrade to a stylish flush mount.
We talk a lot about scale because it's so important in good design! The most common mistake we see with lighting is going too small. If you're looking at island pendants and tempted by something with a 10" diameter...keep looking. Depending on your island size, number of pendants, and ceiling height - you're probably going to want something at least 14" around. If you have a massive great room or double height ceiling, you'll likely need something at least 40" in diameter.
Sconce lighting is a great way to instantly elevate your space and make it feel more "designer"! Sconce lights make any room look great and come in lots of fun shapes and finishes. We prefer sconce lighting to overhead lighting in bathrooms to avoid harsh overhead shadows especially where makeup and skincare application is happening.
If your space is a feeling a bit "flat" - consider the light sources. If you only have can lighting or a central ceiling fixture, layer table or floor lamps, sconces, and accent lighting to add tons of dimension and interest to the room.
Mix it Up with Finishes
Most builder grade light fixtures will be satin nickel or black. We think the more classic, timeless options look and feel more like real metal. Think polished nickel instead of satin nickel. Unlacquered or antique brass instead of gold. Bronze instead of black. Don't be afraid to use fixtures of different finishes in your home, either!
Don't Forget a Floor Outlet
Save yourself the headache of dealing with lamp cords later on by adding a floor outlet to your living spaces. Even better if you know where the lamp will be ahead of time!
If you still need help with your lighting plan - give us a call!