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How to Choose the Best Lighting for Every Room

Posted Wednesday, January 11th, 2017

Making Michigan January a bit brighter.

When you move into a home many of the choices about general lighting have already been made for you. The builder or landlord has installed overhead lighting in each room that provides each room’s ‘natural’ light. However, most of us want something to make the room feel more inviting, and that will make the room work better. In our forty years of experience of home care and repair, we at Modernistic have learned some design secrets. Here’s our short guide to picking the best task lighting for every room.

Focus on counter space in the kitchen.

The counters are where all the work gets done. It’s important to see well while you chop and mix. Also, under-cabinet lighting illuminates the shadowy space above the countertops, which makes the whole room feel more spacious and clean. There are many permanent and temporary solutions for under cabinet lighting. You can have a contractor install a hardwired system, or mount the plug-in variety, which are a great option for renters.

Living rooms follow the rule of three.

The lighting design team at Real Simple recommends lighting three out of four corners of the living room. You’ll get the best effect if you use lights at different levels, and which vary between casting light upwards and downwards. Try for a mix of floor lamps and table lamps, and choose bulbs with a warm tone. Light as much of your seating as possible. This will make it easy to relax and read or converse in the evening.

Light your office space for productivity.

It goes without saying that you’ll want a bright focused lamp at your desk. However, make sure that the rest of the room is well-lit with alternative work spaces. Set a floor lamp by a comfortable armchair, or a table lamp by a couch. This is also a fun place to experiment with bookshelf lighting. Like under cabinet lighting, there are several affordable plug-in systems that make it easy to get a custom look.

Bathroom light should be flattering.

A common mistake in bathrooms is to make all the lighting overhead lighting. A ceiling fixture and an overhead vanity lamp will cast unflattering shadows on your face. If you have the option as a homeowner, consider installing two lights on the side of the mirror, which will give the most flattering illumination, and be functional for applying makeup or shaving. If you can’t, consider buying an illuminated makeup mirror. Some of these can even be mounted on extendable arms by the sink, for easy use.

Hallways can be more than walkways.

With the right lighting you can turn your hallway into a mini home gallery. You can angle a row of track lights on the ceiling to accent favorite art pieces, or, if a permanent change isn’t an option, add a framed piece with one of these LED wireless picture lights. You can easily mount it above a favorite print, and remove it just as easily later.

Bedroom light should help you wind down.

At the end of the day you do not want to be laying on your back staring up at a glaring ceiling light. If you have the space for nightstands, set up two beside lamps. These can be in any style, but make sure that the light is not angled to shine directly on your pillow, since a soft glow is more soothing than a spotlight. If you don’t have room for nightstands, think about mounting two sconces on either side of the bed, so that you’ll have good light for bedtime reading.

Different sorts of light need different kinds of bulbs.

Different tasks require different kinds of lighting. In the bedroom and living room look for a package that says “Soft White/Warm White,” which will cast a cozy glow. You could also experiment with pink bulbs in these places. For bathrooms, especially dim ones, look for packaging that reads “Daylight.” It creates the most contrast between colors, making it the ideal lighting for applying makeup.  These bulbs are also the better choice for the kitchen, which should look bright and natural.

Light Therapy for SAD

Since Michigan’s gloomy months often lead to seasonal affective disorder, you might want to purchase a light box for your home as well. These therapy lights provide light exposure while filtering out harmful UV rays, and are said to reduce the symptoms of SAD. Since these lights should be used first thing every morning, think about where you’re most likely to be thirty minutes after waking up. In the kitchen drinking coffee? At your desk catching up on last night’s emails? Put the light in the room where you’re most likely to use it.

Are your new lights showing up your dirty carpets?

Now that you’ve clearly illuminated every room, you might see your carpets are looking a bit dingy. If so, schedule an appointment with our easy online scheduling tool today. Together we can make 2017 your home’s best year yet.

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