Anyone who has undertaken a do-it-yourself decorating project knows that the devil is definitely in the details. Whether you are working on a major do-over or just one element to improve your home, the attention to details makes all the difference in the outcome. Lighting is just one of the details that have to be carefully thought out before the project starts.
If your focus is on which light bulbs need to be replaced instead of which fixtures, that is an indication that the lighting system has been well-thought out. You don’t have to think about it; you just enjoy it. The system complements the home decor and satisfies the specific purpose in any given area of the home. Before you start your do-it-yourself project, you need to make choices about which lighting fixtures will accomplish the goals you have in mind. Before you do that, it is important to become an “expert” in lighting design and purpose.
The two major categories of light fixtures are interior and exterior lighting. The former is all the lighting installed inside the home in enclosed rooms. Exterior lights consist of any light fixtures used outside of the house. While that sounds too obvious for words, it is really just the beginning. For example, exterior lighting includes a wide variety of fixtures. Choosing the right fixtures depends on the purpose for the lighting. For sure you will want entry lighting that provides both safety and security. You may want lights along the walks and pathways leading to the entrances as well. Your family and guests will probably not be thrilled if they have to stumble around in the dark to get to the front door. A lantern or similar fixture at the driveway entrance should also be considered. Do you have a deck or a porch? If so, you’ll want appropriate lights for those areas as well.
If you think that covers all the bases, think again. Depending on the size and scope of the property, you may need to consider other lighting as well, including garden lights, landscape enhancing lights, flood lights and pool lights. And don’t forget provisions for holidays, such as Christmas, if that is your thing.
Finished yet? Maybe not. What about security lighting? You may want to consider motion sensors, which also fall under the heading of lighting, in certain areas of the yard. Then there is emergency lighting. That can range from full-scale generator backups to adequate flashlights and a good supply of batteries. Are you looking for ways to lessen your carbon footprint? Perhaps you want to consider solar lighting, both indoors and outdoors. And that takes you to your other lighting consideration: interior choices.
A quick mental survey of the rooms to light up will give you an idea of the many varieties of lights and lighting fixtures that you can choose from. Kitchens, family rooms, media rooms, home offices, foyers, bedrooms, bathrooms, children’s rooms, laundry rooms, garages, utility or storage rooms, pantries, dining rooms and living rooms. Not everyone’s do-it-yourself project includes all of these rooms, but almost everyone must consider the variety of lighting fixtures available for interior lighting and decide which best suits their needs.
Available options include hanging lights, recessed lights, track lighting, chandeliers, ceiling fans with lights, table lamps, floor lamps, sconces, pendant lights, task lights, hall lights, night lites, area lights and mirror lights. You also have to consider which type of lighting best suits a particular area: halogen, incandescent, fluorescent or even fiber optic lighting. Do you want dimmer switches or regular wall switches?
You may want to consider full spectrum lighting. Full spectrum lighting is a system that creates lighting throughout the house that comes as close to natural or day light as possible. Don’t forget solar options.
As you can see, a do-it-yourself decorating project that involves exterior and interior lighting means making an array of choices. The more you know about what is available and what specific purpose they serve, the better your choices are likely to be. It’s all in the details, and the details are what your family and guests will talk about when you have finished your DIY decorating project.