layers of lighting
We go goo and gahhhhh over lighting, and there are so many things to talk about… so let’s get a movin’!
Layers of lighting is something we get pretty lit about! Picking out the lighting is the jewelry of a space. It set’s a first impression, has a function behind its form and provides the perfect ambiance to cater to everyone needs. You can also use lighting in very unique ways like to show a house number.
Ambiance is the amazement that light creates when we are in spaces. Ambiance makes us want to eat more or drink more, it makes us love where we live and gives us all the feels for the moment. Think of how it would have changed the scene when Arial in the little mermaid was under the tree in the boat with Eric. If it was bright and full of light, it wouldn’t have had the same effect. Middle school dances always were more fun with the lights off or dimmed. At Weddings the confidence goes up when the lights go low.
Lighting is just plain old fun and pretty too! It might take the cake for being our favorite thing to shop for our clients. So many different shapes and sizes, colors and designs.
When planning out a home and designing the specific space you will never regret having too many different lighting options. Making them all dimmable and able to be controlled just to the right perfected setting is key.
The bulb is also something to consider. If you have a modern home then you might want a cleaner crisp white, and if you are at your home and want a cozy feeling you might gravitate to the incandescent or yellow light more. LED doesn’t mean it has to be bright white. You can find LED in almost any color (aka kelvins). As visual people, this image shows best what lighting can look like. We tend to find ourselves in the 3000-4000 kelvin range as its not too yellow, not too white, but just right!
Start with the overall main lighting - typically your recessed cans. Determine (with an electrician and designer’s suggestions) the perfect layout to have enough everyday overall lighting output.
Move to the areas you want to highlight; may that be an island or over a sink or inset in a bookcase. Add the lighting with the right bulb and dimmable switch to turn on and off when you wish. These areas tend to have a more expensive and exposed bulb, so you want to make sure you don’t skimp on these ones and get the right yet appealing bulb.
Don’t forget about under cabinet lighting. Strip LED lighting is a great way to add another layer of lighting, reduces the heat output and easy to change if needed. With LED under cabinet lighting they need to have a space to house the transformer. It is small but each ‘break’ in the line requires its own transformer. A suggestion is to put it up on the top shelf inside the cabinet, or in a mechanical room if nearby.
From there you can put lighting anywhere. We always love a good floor lamp, end table lamp, fireplace eyeball cans, stair lighting, etc. There are even really cool bathroom vanity mirror lights that are integrated for cleaning and helping provide the best lighting option there is!
Lighting doesn’t have to be expensive either. We have a solution for everyone’s budget once we can scale the right lighting to the right space. However, lighting can be an overwhelming task to take on. We like to guide our clients in the home shopping trips to make sure we have all the right selections in one trip.
A very important thing to think about how to turn those lights on. You don’t want to have to walk through a dark room to turn on a light but yet you don’t want a bank of 5 switches in one spot. This is where keeping it simple is key! Allow a designer to help with switch placement and walking you through the terms like 3 way switch, etc. to determine the best electrical layout.
One of our favorite times of the year is Christmas for all the layered lighting. There is some so magical about sitting in a room that is dark with the lights twinkling from the stair bannister, garland and tree. As we near this time of year, start thinking about your lighting and how you could add to your layers of lighting!
To sum our layers of lighting up, mix it up and go for it! We promise, it will brighten your day!