Top Ten Lighting Tips
By Randall Whitehead
1. There is no single light fixture that can perform all lighting needs. Light Layering is our special design methodology, in which a number of light sources are blended together to create a successful design.
2. Do your furniture layout before attempting to create a lighting system. The lighting should relate to the way each room is going to be used.
3. Always try to include some exterior lighting in your overall design. It not only keeps windows from becoming "black mirrors" at night, it also visually expands your interior spaces.
4. Get all the players (homeowners, architects, interior designers, landscape designers, lighting designers, and contractors) working together as soon as possible on your project. The team approach produces a cohesive result, where all the design elements work together because all the design professionals work together.
5. Choose one adjustable recessed ceiling fixture that can serve as a downlight, accent light or wall wash and use it throughout the house. Don't mix trims - it draws too much attention to the recessed fixtures themselves.
6. Put interior lights on dimmers whenever possible. This will allow an unlimited number of light levels for all people living in the house.
7. Do not put exterior lights on dimmers. Incandescent light, when dimmed, becomes more amber in color. Green plants look sickly under yellow light.
8. Check all the door swings in the house. Make sure that switches do not end up behind any of the doors.
9. Locate a panic switch for security lights in the master bedroom. It's no fun running to the front door in the middle of the night to turn on the outside lights.
10. Don't just put light switches for the main rooms and landscaping at the front door. Most people enter their homes from the garage. This is where a second set of switches should be located.