Lighting the Way to a Fresh New Room
The highlights of today’s post include:
- Lighting can change the mood of a room
- Lighting can emphaisize artwork
- Lighting can illuminate work areas
- Installing new lights is easier than you may think
Today’s topic is, obviously, lighting and how it can change a room. If you have already painted your room, you probably already know what sort of feel you are going for. If you want a modern room, choose a lighting style that has sleek, clean lines, probably with a bright, shiny metal or even a modern floating style. My style leans toward anything Old World, Tuscan, or Italian Countryside. This means that I prefer the darker metal fixtures such as wrought iron or even oil rubbed bronze. Do a search for lighting on a website such as www.homedepot.com or www.lowes.com and look up the style of lighting that appeals to you. Another funtion of light fixtures is to illuminate a specific treasured work of art in order to attract the eye and bring the focus to the colors of the artwork. Caution: Be sure that the light you use is acceptable for use with artwork, sometimes extended amounts of light can cause art to fade or become damaged. Many framing stores sell lights for artwork that are specifically made to be safe for extended amounts of time. In addition to illuminating artwork, task lighting is useful when you need light for a specific area. For example, in my sewing room, I have a light that hangs over my cutting table in addition to the regular light that is attached to the fan. I also use a special sewing light to illuminate my work area when I sew with the machine, because I like to sew in the evenings and the overhead light just doesn’t quite do the trick. My sewing light has a bulb that is made to simulate daylight which is easier on the eyes to help avoid eye strain. Task lighting has also been used to create work zones in a space such as a kitchen. My biggest pet peeve right now is that even when I turn on the overhead florescent light in my kitchen, I always feel like I am in the shadows when I am standing at the counter. I plan to eventually get some sort of under the cabinet lighting to help illuminate my workspace. Also consider the type of lighting you use, do you want to put the lighting on a dimmer switch to create a soft illumination while you watch movies or eat dinner? We always have one light on when we watch movies, it helps if we want to get up to make popcorn (so we don’t trip over something) and I think it prevents eye strain as well. And finally, there are a variety of new lighting products on the market today that are actually incredibly easy to install. If you are just replacing an existing light you will already have the wiring in place, it’s usually just a matter of connecting the wires according to the manufacturer’s instructions. ALWAYS TURN OFF THE ELECTRICITY before beginning a project with lighting. In my previous house, we replaced almost all of the light fixtures in the three years that we lived there, including the outdoor lights. The hardest part, I think, was having the arm strength to hold the light up long enough for someone to connect the wires. The lighting I have purchased from a home improvement store is easy to install and really quite affordable. If you just purchase a different fixture every month or every other month, you can quickly replace all the lights in your home and the difference it makes will be worth the time to install it. If you don’t feel comfortable installing the lighting yourself, many home stores offer installation for a small fee. They might not mind if you observe while they install it and then you may feel more confident about installing the next one. Also, I would recommend checking out the DIY network website www.diynetwork.com because they have many step by step guides about these types of home improvement projects and sometimes even videos. By the way, lighting doesn’t necessarily need to mean installing something with electrical wiring, adding a floor or table lamp can create a decorative, and useful solution to your lighting dilemma. If you do decide to try any of these idea, please let me know how it turned out by posting a comment below.