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The Importance of Lighting – for your sake and for the people you love (and the ones you don't), do it right, the first time. Trust us when we ask you not to wait until the very end of your design process to start thinking about lighting,…

At first, lighting your home or place of business sounds easy, like screwing in a light bulb or flicking on a switch. But, as in most things we do in life, there is a right way and a wrong way to do things. Properly designing your space with the right lighting can make all the difference in the world.

Let us explain; in design, lighting is the only product that has a direct effect on every other design element in the space or application. It also impacts our mood and feelings, which is the reason someone may or may not enter a room, shop at store or dine at a restaurant again.

Lighting reaches out beyond the context of the fixture and touches (sometimes designed not to) all products and design elements in the space. Lighting also touches us, the people occupying the space. Lighting done right; it can make colors truer, allow us to see better and perform tasks more easily. It can make a small room look open and airy, and large rooms appear comfortable and inviting. Lighting has the power to make people stand out and look their best. Done wrong; colors can look dull, unwanted shadows will appear, rooms look too small or too big, depression sinks in (we're only kidding, but you and your guests may feel uncomfortable and not know why, often it's do to poor lighting – too little or too much).

Think of a lighting fixture as a piece of functional art. Lighting fixtures are an ideal accessory to create or supplement the design theme of the interior or exterior of your home or business. With an unlimited range of styles, shapes, colors, sizes, and lamping technologies, lighting fixtures can be used as a stand out piece of art or a complimenting design element. With the inherent sparkle nature of a light fixture, it's usually the first thing someone sees when he or she enters into a space.

In so many ways, lighting can make a difference. Whether it's a new project, new construction a remodel or new look, make sure lighting is at the top of your design to-do list. LuxuryLightingDirect has created an online venue to assist you and the professional design and decorating community in finding the right fixture to meet your design goals. We are available online and offline to assist, and we are happy to work with you on your current or next design project.

Determining Your Needs – Lighting should be planned to supplement your lifestyle. To accomplish a comprehensive and successful lighting solution, it is best to develop a home or business lighting plan that meets your individual, family, guests or customers needs. Think design and function at the same time.

When planning your lighting:

  • Identify the activities that occur in each room (dinning, food preparation, reading, grooming, working, etc)
  • Determine the mood or ambiance that you want to create
  • Establish your overall design style and goals and establish the decorative elements you want to highlight.
  • Understand the effects and benefits of different lighting types (chandeliers, sconces, lamps etc) and keep in mind the concept of layering the light
  • Note: dark colors absorb much light, it is important to provide supplementary light in applications with dark wall colors and finishes.
  • Be aware of new or existing electrical locations such as ceiling and wall J-boxes and wall outlets.
  • Consider local and state energy codes and short and long term operating energy consumption and costs to select the best lamping options (also research the upside and downside of different types of lamps; incandescent, fluorescent and LED).
  • Considering using dimming controls on most of your light fixtures.

Three Basic Types of Lighting – For residential or commercial applications, a good lighting plan combines all three types of light to an area:

Ambient lighting or referred to as general lighting, is the overall illumination of an area. Examples of ambient light fixtures include (but not limited to): dining room chandelier, kitchen flush mount, recessed lighting, touchier floor lamp and exterior light fixtures.

Task lighting is the source of light used to illuminate the areas used for performing certain tasks, such as reading, cooking, working, etc. These light sources are used to highlight specific areas and reduce eye strain. Examples of task lighting fixtures include (but not limited to): table and floor lamps, pendants, under cabinet lights, recessed and track lighting.

Accent lighting is used to add drama and to target interest to design elements throughout the space. This type of lighting is sometimes hidden and is used to illuminate pieces of art, interior and exterior wall facades, coves, under bars and upwards toward ceilings.