If you want a comfortable and functional home that also looks great, getting your lighting right is very important. Choosing the right lights will generally transform the way your home looks and feels.
Subtle lighting is best
In most settings, subtle lighting works best. You only really need bright lights when you are working or carrying out a task. Harsh halogen lights are really only for workshops and garages. You will need good lighting to read and to work by in your kitchen, and that lighting needs to be quite bright to be functional. However, you can use occasional lighting fixtures for this, which can be turned on as and when you need them. This allows you to fit out all other rooms with a range of soft, more subtle lighting that will give the rooms in your home a warm, comfortable, restful and relaxing feel.
When choosing lighting for your home it is important to look for something versatile. We have already mentioned the need to install two types of lighting in some areas to allow you to choose between hard, bright light to work by and soft lighting to create a relaxing ambience. However, it is also worth fitting dimmer lighting in some areas. This allows you to adjust the amount of light that either a set of fixtures or individual fixtures emit.
It is also worth installing fixtures that can be adjusted height wise. Behind a sofa you normally read on, a tall stand-alone lamp with a height adjustable light is a good idea. Whoever sits on the couch can adjust the height of the light to suit what they are doing at the time. Over a table a lamp that can be pulled down or pushed further away is great for creating a different mood or focus.
One thing many people forget when choosing lighting for their home is how much maintenance is required. There is no point in having a fixture installed that looks great, but is out of reach when the time comes to change the bulb. Ceiling spotlights look fantastic, but if you are not good on a ladder they may not be suitable for you. In some rooms there will be dozens of bulbs that will need changing; something that may not be practical for elderly homeowners who still do their own home maintenance.
Whilst an individual light does not consume much power, the cost of running all of the lights in your home can soon add up. Therefore, it makes sense to choose light fittings that are capable of using low energy bulbs. The cost of LED light fixtures and bulbs are always coming down. They are also the most economical form of lighting to run, so this is the kind of lighting you should look for first. If you cannot find LED lighting to suit your needs consider buying CFL fixtures, which takes Compact Fluorescent Lamps and are also extremely cheap to run.