Old habits die hard, so they say. Unfortunately, the same goes true for some of the common home improvement practices or, should I say, blunders, which get in the way of a home makeover mission’s success.
There are several home improvement elements that you can work on, and lighting is one of them. Keep in mind, though, that if you’re to get it right, you’ll need to change the way you see and think about light, and start kissing these old, stubborn, dark lighting habits goodbye.
Five Bad Lighting Habits
BLOCKING NATURAL LIGHT
Unless you’re a vampire who dreads sunlight, there’s no good reason not to let natural light into your home. When laying out a solar orientation plan for your house, consider the source and direction of the sunlight, the placement of your fixtures and furniture, as well as the type of window treatment that would not just complement your home’s overall design but, more importantly, would allow you to regulate the amount of sunlight coming through any given time of the day.
USING ONLY ONE LIGHT SOURCE AND TYPE
While too much of a good thing can be bad, not having enough light source and the right type light for certain tasks is not, in any way, better.
Don’t lose your home’s warmth or character by using too much ambient or overhead light that can make a room inconveniently bright. Use task lights for your kitchen, bathroom and bedroom so you can cook, put make up on, and read a book without straining your eyes. Install accent lights if you want to highlight a piece of artwork, a display cabinet’s interior, an architectural feature or any interesting element in the room.
Lack of dimmers is one of the popular pet peeves of interior designers. Different moods and occasions call for different levels of brightness and this is where dimmers come in handy. They allow you to control your lighting so you can party or feel cozy any time you want to.
CASTING SHADOWS ON THE WRONG PLACES
Using the right type of light is one thing. Putting in in the right place is another.
If you want to maximize your light’s aesthetic and functional values, you will have to think about where shadows might fall. This is particularly important for your bathroom and kitchen lights as you wouldn’t
want shadows to plague your face when you put on your make-up or your cutting board when you’re chopping onions. Consider installing sconces on one side of your bathroom mirror or under-cabinet lighting for your kitchen counter instead of having one single overhead light above.
PLACING LIGHT SWITCHES WHERE THEY SHOULDN’T BE
Ideally, light switches should be placed about 36” above the floor or 1.5 to 2” from the side of the door casing. This is to keep the switches out of your wall art’s way, and also for purposes of convenience as you could easily reach and find them.
Now that we’ve shed light on these lighting mistakes, you can go brighten up your home the right way, and with newfound wisdom on healthy lighting habits.