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How to Choose the Right Lighting for Your Home

As your new house is going through the design process, you may be wondering how to choose the right lighting for your home.

While lighting may not be the first or most urgent thing that comes to mind when you’re planning to move into a newly built home, it’s certainly one of the most important.

To make sure you get the ambience, function, and mood that you want from your home, you need a well-designed lighting plan. In this article, we’ll explain how to choose lighting for your home and the main priorities to consider in the process.

When Do You Choose the Lighting in Your Home?

If you’re ordering custom lighting and need fittings to be shipped and installed, it’s best to arrange for delivery at least a month before your lights are scheduled for installation. Getting in early allows for delays due to availability and shipping and helps ensure you get what you want, when you want.

So, what does that mean for the home-building timeline? Pretty much as soon as construction gets underway, we recommend getting in touch with your builder and inquiring about lighting installation. Once they give you a date, aim to choose and order your light fixtures and fittings as soon as possible so they arrive in time for installation.

How to Choose Lighting for Your Home

Choosing lighting for your home isn’t just about looks. When done well, a good lighting layout can add value to your home. To conceive your lighting plan, we recommend considering:

The Type of Lighting You Need 

Each type of lighting serves a different purpose. It’s worth getting to know these three types:

  • Ambient lighting is intended to illuminate the space so you can move around safely.
  • Task lighting lights up a specific part of the room, like a desk or chair.
  • Accent lighting provides mood lighting for specific areas or purposes, such as led strip lighting.

When planning your lighting layout, we recommend having at least one of each type of light source in every room, especially the living room.

The Warmth and Colour of the Light Bulb

Luckily, this part is easy to swap out later. Measured in Kelvin (K), light bulb warmth and colour play a significant role in the mood of your home.

  • Warm bulbs (2700K–3000K) create a cosy, inviting atmosphere, best used in living rooms, bedrooms, and dining rooms.
  • Cool bulbs (3100K–4500K) feel clean and modern and are best used in kitchens, bathrooms, and work areas.
  • Daylight bulbs (5000K–6500K) offer bright natural light, perfect for study areas and home office

The Type of Fittings

The type of fitting you choose for each room depends on the type of lighting you need, the atmosphere you want, and the functionality and convenience you require.

  • Sconces are small, mostly decorative light fixtures mounted directly to the wall.
  • Flush and semi-flush mounts are ambient lights embedded in the ceiling or joinery.
  • Pendants are task lights that hang from the ceiling by a cord or chain.
  • Chandeliers are large lighting systems that hang from the ceiling and use more than one light source.
  • Lamps — whether for the floor or table — are good task lights, as they are easy to move around to different locations. 

The Ceiling Height

When you think about floor plans, it’s usually the width and length you look at. But don’t forget about height! Ceiling height will affect the dimensions of the space that needs to be illuminated, so it’s an important consideration for lighting plans.

We recommend recessed lighting, table lamps, track lighting, and wall sconces if you have low ceilings. Meanwhile, high ceilings may be best off with lights that provide good illumination and visual interest. We recommend floor lamps, pendant lights, and chandeliers.

Don’t Forget About Natural Light

When you’re choosing the type and warmth of bulbs and thinking about electricity costs, it can be easy to forget that natural lighting plays a huge role in your home’s ambience. Ask yourself: where are your windows located? How big are they, and what direction are they facing?

Some tips to utilise natural light (and save energy) are:

  • Use well-placed mirrors to reflect the light coming through the window
  • Install a skylight
  • Use light-filtering curtains and window treatments

Utilising natural light contributes to sustainability and energy savings, so making the most of it is well worth your efforts.

General Lighting Tips

  • Don’t neglect lighting outdoor areas like pathways and driveways when choosing lighting for your home.
  • Use LED bulbs. They last longer than other bulb types and use up to 80% less energy.
  • Stick to one style throughout the house but alternate between fittings, i.e., combine flush mounts with floor lamps.
  • Don’t get Kelvin and Lumens mixed up — Kelvin measures the colour temperature and Lumens the brightness of a light bulb. 

Final Thoughts

Choosing the right lighting for your home is a task that takes careful calculation, patience, and advice from trusted friends and unbiased professionals.

At John Munro Builder, we can provide the latter. As we build your house from a catalogue of stylish, modern home designs, we’ll be happy to have a conversation about how to choose the lighting for your home. Once that’s all sorted, we’ll install your lighting plan, and you’ll enjoy your newly-built, well-lit home!

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