Article: How to Avoid 4 Lighting Blunders in your Custom Home

Your Northern Virginia custom home architects know that lighting is a key component of any space and an efficient and inexpensive way to make a huge impact on the overall design and feel of your home. In fact, the right lighting can make your home actually appear larger. And consider this: if you want to you’re your kitchen look better, new lighting can make your cabinets, countertops, walls and finishes look like new for a fraction of the price!

While painting is the fastest and cheapest way to spruce up a room, changing the lighting is a close second and shouldn’t be ignored as an afterthought when creating your dream home. But if you think creating great lighting for your home is as easy as flipping a switch – think again! Here are 4 common lighting mistakes that can leave your design in the dark.

4 Lighting Blunders to Avoid

  1. Floor Lamp Fail – Some homes don’t have sufficient lighting or only have overhead lighting and homeowners use floor lamps to make up for the loss of light. But floor lamps tend to light up the ceiling, not the room. They also take up precious floor space and are often obtrusive and unattractive.

  2. Light on Quality – Stay away from inexpensive lighting products. When it comes to lighting, you get what you pay for. Try using more LED products. Although they are more expensive, they are much better lights and go a long way to making your home look and feel the way you want it to. If budget constraints allow you to use higher quality fixtures in only a few rooms, then choose the rooms where it matters most like the kitchen, dining areas, heavily used living areas and outdoor areas.

  3. Recessed Mess – One of the biggest weaknesses we see in cookie-cutter homes is that the lighting is generic. Recessed lights are either randomly placed or placed similarly in each room. Each space should be treated differently and recessed lights should be place with a well thought out plan in mind. Also, when it comes to recessed lights, bigger isn’t always better. Stay away from the 7-inch recessed lights, which will make your home look too commercial. Opt instead for the 4-inch lights.

  4. One Switch Does Not Fit All – When contractors install lighting they usually do so on a grid and place all the lights on one switch. Wrong! This takes away a homeowners control over how to best use the space. (HINT: Dimmer switches are not the answer!) Lighting – and the ability to turn it on and off – should be broken down into three categories: General (lights the majority of the room), Ambient (creates a mood), and Task Lighting (for cooking, reading, etc.). All three are used very differently and should have their own switches.