Good lighting plays a key role in efficient design--and goes a long way
toward defining the personality of the room. With the proper fixtures in the
proper places, lighting can help you avoid working in shadows or relaxing in
dimly lit rooms.
Use lighting the way an artist
uses a brush, to downplay or highlight elements in a room. Lighting focused
on an object will draw the eye to that object in contrast to its background.
For example, lighting the corners in a room makes it seem larger, as the eye
takes in its entirety. In comparison, a soft pool of light created around a
sofa will focus attention on the piece of furniture. The remainder of the
room recedes into shadow, making it seem smaller.
First cut a hole in the ceiling; then fish a power cable into this hole;
and install a retrofit ceiling box. Once both are in place, strip the
sheathing and wire insulation from the cable, and screw a hanging strap to
the box. Join the wires from the fixture and the box; then tighten the
fixture in place. Install the proper light bulb (or bulbs), and screw on the
Many chandeliers, especially
heavy ones, come with instructions that explain the support the fixture
needs. If your fixture doesn’t call for special support, then you can
probably replace your existing fixture with a chandelier as we show here.
If, on the other hand, extra support is called for, then you have two
options. One is to cut a hole in the ceiling and nail wooden support blocks
in place. The other is to install an electrical box support brace that has
the proper weight-limit specification.
If you’d like to try some track
lighting to change the look of your room or to direct more task lighting
where you reed it, then you’re in luck. Installing one of these systems is
not difficult, especially if you already have a switch-operated ceiling
fixture where you want the track to go. All you have to do is shut off the
power to the fixture, remove it, and start installing the tracks. Once they
are attached to the ceiling, install the light heads and turn on the power.