Modern lighting provides many options for illuminating new residential
construction. In order to help understand how a comprehensive
lighting design is put together, we've prepared some basic information.
General Lighting - provides a modest amount of light over
a large area
In some rooms, one lighting fixture or a group of fixtures can
provide all illumination. These rooms tend to be closets, storage
rooms, utility rooms and garages, where (unlike in living spaces)
the style and appearance of the lighting takes a backseat to the
functionality of the fixtures.
Use compact fluorescent downlights for greatest efficiency. The
best performing systems use a 32-watt "triple tube"
downlight. They provide more light than a 100 watt incandescent
lamp and consume 1/3 the amount of energy.
Task Lighting - illuminates specific work areas like countertops
Task lights minimize reliance on overhead lighting and provide
better quality lighting for countertop work. In kitchens you can
highlight specific tasks with lighting pointed directly at the
work area. CFL recessed can lights or reflectorized CFLs are recommended
for this application. These lamps are energy efficient while producing
dramatic and intense lighting effects.
Ambient Lighting - provides specific highlights
Ambient lighting is used to set a mood within a living space,
be it dramatic or subtle. You can use ambient lights to illuminate
countertops, artwork, and architectural highlights in the home.
This approach to lighting uses less energy and is a very attractive
way to light a room, hallway or entryway. The nature and quality
of ambient lighting tends to determine the "ambience"
or mood of a room.
Decorative lighting includes permanent lighting fixtures like
chandeliers and sconces as well as portable lighting such as table
lamps. Decorative lighting is usually chosen based upon its style
and appearance, and as a result, can provide only some portion
of ambient or task lighting. However, many decorative lights produce
only modest amounts of illumination and are often more for "show",
with other lights serving to illuminate the task.
Focal, or display lighting illuminates art, architecture, collections
and other displays in the home.
See our 8 step guide