ABOVE A good lighting plan
includes general illumination, task lighting over work areas, and accent
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. Install several
different lighting circuits, controlled by different switches, and you can
change your room’s atmosphere easily. Start designing a lighting plan by
determining the type of lighting you need within a given room.
For living rooms, dining rooms, and family rooms, consider ceiling-mounted
fixtures or recessed lighting to provide general illumination throughout the
space. But you may want to also include table lamps or some type of focused
lighting, called task lighting, to make the space cozy and comfortable to
promote conversation or provide illumination for activities.
For an effective lighting scheme, plan a mix of light levels within a room.
(See Recommended Ranges of Light Levels,” BELOW.) Bear in mind,
though, that several factors affect how much general and task lighting a
given room needs. Dark surfaces absorb more light than lighter ones. Glossy
surfaces reflect more light (and glare) than matte finishes. And different
fixture types do different lighting jobs.
ABOVE When used correctly, lighting becomes an important design element in
any room, especially a kitchen.