Lighting Your New Home, In And Out

Lighting Your New Home, In And Out


This article is part of our ongoing home construction specification plan series.

Assembling a Home Construction Specification Plan — Spec Plan P: Home Lighting


Some of the final touches you will want to handle in your new home can wait until after you move in, but chances are that you’ll want to have all of your lighting needs completed before then. Chandeliers need to be ordered and installed, track lighting put in its place, ceiling fans chosen and corresponding lighting selected, sconces, overhead lighting, even exterior lighting put in place. It is so much easier to do these jobs before the furniture arrives and the home is occupied.

Finding the right balance of lighting without padding your electric bill every month can be a challenge, but we’ve identified some ways you can light your home without burning your budget:

  • Your kitchen is one of the central areas of your home, so plan on providing sufficient lighting for your guests. That big overheard light can cover the entire room, but you’ll want to consider undercounter lighting for areas where you prepare food and provide separate lighting above the sink. If you have a food preparation island in the middle of your kitchen, you may find having track lighting over that area to be the best way to get light.
  • Bathroom lighting typically includes one overhead light with a light over the shower/bath and sconces on either side of the vanity’s mirror. Investigate the different types of lighting for your bathrooms by visiting a home decor center to mix and match your lighting with your bath’s style.
  • Family rooms and living rooms are great places to install ceiling fans with a light included. However, most of your lighting can come from floor and table lamps as well as strategically placed track lighting, particularly if book shelves or display items are featured.
  • Your dining room needs just one type of light, a chandelier which can be as simple or ornate as your home decor tastes. For larger, darker dining rooms track lighting above a buffet or china closet can be an attractive option, even consider an elegant floor lamp to light the room when the chandelier is off.
  • Bedrooms usually have one overhead light with many homeowners choosing a ceiling fan with a light placed directly over the bed. A dimmer switch and remote control pad are nice additions especially when you don’t want to get out of bed to turn off lights or slow down the fan. Floor lamps and table lamps are a nice touches, allowing you to control the amount of lighting you want at any moment.
  • Workshops, garages, utlility rooms, closests, attics and basements have their own special lighting needs from a simple wall fixture all the way to ballasts with fluorescent bulbs. Provide adequate lighting especially in those areas where you plan on spending the most time as well as enough lighting to safely help you and your family walk down hallways, move up and down stairways, and to find what you need in dark recesses.
  • Outside lighting should provide both visual enhancement to your home and safety and security for you and your loved ones. Security lighting, if not already installed can be strategically placed around the home with driveway, walkway, and landscape lighting providing the right amount of illumination.

Finally, you can save on electricity by installing timers, dimmers, even room sensors that turn lights on and off as you move through the house. Select bulbs with the wattage you need and consider light emitting diode (LED) or compact fluorescent lightbulbs (CFL) as ways to use less energy while getting bulbs that will last much longer. Please note that the disposal of CFLs can be tricky as they do contain a highly toxic substance — mercury.


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Categories: Home Building

About Author

Matthew C. Keegan

Matt Keegan is a freelance writer and editor as well as publisher of "Matt's Musings", his personal blog. Matt covers campus, consumer, business and financial topics on various websites and blogs, and has been published in the "Houston Chronicle", "Sam's Club Magazine" and "Wisconsin Golfer".