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Lighting options


ABOVE A good lighting plan includes general illumination, task lighting over work areas, and accent lighting.

 

 

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.

 

RECOMMENDED RANGES OF LIGHT LEVELS

 

Activity

Dining
Entertaining
Grooming
Craftwork
Kitchen/laundry chores
Reading
Studying
TV viewing
Computer work
Workbench *
Tabletop games
Writing
  Easy or Short Duration

Low
Low to high
Moderate
Moderate
Low to moderate
Low to moderate
Moderate
Low to moderate
Moderate
Moderate
Low to moderate
Low to moderate
  Critical or Prolonged

Low
Low to high
High
High
High
High
High
Low to moderate
High
High
Moderate to high
High
 

 

 

 

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