Many homeowners buy lights on the spur of the moment with no plan. This can result in dimly lit areas, high-energy bills, or electrical malfunction. In this article, an electrician lists some of the most common lighting mistakes and how to avoid them in your home.
Creating the Wrong Ambiance
A pendant light that illuminates the kitchen may not be suited for the dining area. Cool white light is perfect for kitchens and bathrooms, while warm light lends itself to living rooms, dining areas, and bedrooms. When shopping for light bulbs, check for the amount of Kelvin temperatures on the package. The higher the rating, the cooler the light is.
Obsessing Over Recessed Lights
Recessed lights are so popular you can find them in almost every home. Their modern, minimalistic look makes them a preferred choice in hallways and where a hanging light could be in the way. Because recessed lights are relatively cheap, homeowners decide to install them everywhere in a grid-like fashion.
However, these fixtures focus their beam downward and do not adequately illuminate corners and walls. Having too many recessed cans can be a waste of energy. Installing them on a high ceiling, for example, won’t light up the area below, and you’ll need to get additional lights.
Another area where recessed lights are often misplaced is the bathroom. A downlight over the vanity can exaggerate facial features and cast unflattering shadows. Instead, have your electrician install sconces on the sides of the mirror.
Disregarding the Smart
You may not like smart home trends, but lighting controls are more than a passing fancy. Dimmer switches help you save energy and expand the lifespan of a bulb. Have an electrician install a separate switch for each type of light. Smart lighting systems let you control the lights from anywhere in the world.
When you are on vacation, you can program the lights at a specific time to give the impression that someone is at home. Your electrician can help you find a system that is simple yet effective.
Failing to Use Different Types of Lighting
Lighting can be divided into the following categories:
Ambient lighting illuminates a room from one focal point. It lights a path and provides general illumination. It includes pendants, chandeliers, and recessed lights.
Task lighting helps you do a task by providing light to a specific area. These lights include table lamps and under-cabinet lights.
Accent lighting highlights decor, art pieces, or other features you want to draw attention to. Directional lights, wall sconces, and spotlights can all be used to make a piece stand out.
You want to layer these types to give you enough light all the time. In a living room, for example, you can have a big central pendant for general light, a floor lamp beside the sofa to read by, and wall sconces for some extra pop. For maximum efficiency, hire an interior designer or experienced electrician to create a lighting plan for you.
Wasting Energy with Fancy Pieces
Homeowners sometimes choose a lamp that is more decorative than functional. Buying a lighting fixture just because it looks nice will end up cluttering your home and not provide you with the light you need. Make a plan before you start your purchase.
You want to know what exactly you need your light for. Once you’ve decided on the purpose, you can look for a functional and eye-catching fixture.
Floor and table lamps can provide light where wall-mounted fixtures come short. Be it a reading lamp on a desk or a light placed in a dark corner, portable lamps can give a room the extra warmth it needs. Place the lights close to the receptacle they are using to avoid tripping over cords. Use them with plug-in dimmer switches for more energy savings.
Forgetting the Exterior
Your lighting design should include outdoor lights, not just to beautify your yard at night but also to keep your home safe. Like the interior, you want to use different lights, for example, small solar lights to light a pathway, bright light to flood your front yard, and motion sensors that go on when they detect movement. Adding a surveillance system and smart lighting controls can further deter any trespassers.
Neglecting to Hire a Professional
The web is flooded with DIY tutorials on almost anything – much to the dismay of electricians. As a homeowner, you should be able to handle a thing or two. Electrical wiring, however, should be left to the professionals. The National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) estimates lighting and electrical distributions cause more than 30,000 electrical home fires each year.
Avoid using bulbs with a higher wattage than the fixture allows. Better yet, use LED bulbs that use 75 percent less energy than incandescents. If you are planning a major lighting upgrade, hire a professional. The electrician will help you make an efficient plan that saves you energy and gives you as much light as you need.
The technician will also determine if your upgrade needs a new circuit, how many switches you should have on that circuit, and ensure the wiring is done correctly and up to code.
We Will Light Up Your Life
Mister Sparky of Wilmington is here for all interior and exterior lighting needs. If you are planning a remodel, want to upgrade to energy-efficient light fixtures, or want to add character to your yard, we are here to help. Our expert electricians will also handle any other electrical issue to ensure you won’t be in the dark. Call us today to book your slot.
Many of the above mistakes are design choices that you can easily fix. With a few adjustments here and there, you can make your home warmer and more inviting. Whether tackling a big project or not, you should hire a reputable electrician from Mister Sparky of Wilmington to help you make the most efficient light choices in your home.
See our previous blog on this topic here.