8 Lighting Décor Faux Pas and How to Avoid Them
It’s not quite true that a light is just a light. Many homeowners seem content to use the same type of light for every job when this usually leads to poor lighting. Other mistakes occur when homeowners choose the wrong types of fixtures. Here are 8 lighting mistakes that homeowners commonly make when choosing decor for their spaces.
1. Dimly-lit Kitchens
Home chefs quickly realize that it takes ample light to really see what you’re doing in the kitchen. Merely placing a pendant light over the kitchen island and having a single bulb under the range hood is not even adequate for preparing instant ramen noodles. If you’re cooking an elaborate dish like a multi-course family dinner, then you need much better lighting. Try placing some overhead track lights that have controllable lamps. You could also install strip lighting under the cabinets for additional light on your prep surface. If your cooking has not been successful, maybe it was lighting that was to blame rather than your knowledge of ingredients or your palate.
2. Improper Mood in the Dining Area
It’s a shame to prepare a wonderful meal if it’s not properly lit in the dining room. Usually, the culprit in this scenario is the lighting fixtures. A safe bet for a dining table is to place a pendant fixture directly over the table. About 30 inches from the table top to the bottom of the pendant fixture should be an ideal height for the fixture. As for the bulb, a soft white bulb usually provides a better mood than a bright or cool bulb. In this case, a dimmer switch provides a great way to set the mood exactly right for various occasions.
3. Inadequate Ambient Lighting
It’s tempting to rely on recessed can lights in the living or recreational areas because they create a more spacious environment that is devoid of hanging fixtures or ceiling fans. When these lights are turned on, they create a cone-shaped spotlight that doesn’t quite reach across the room. For more light, consider adding some pendant lights or wall sconces to brighten the space.
4. Unflattering Bathroom Light
You have to look at yourself in the bathroom mirror every day, so you don’t want to look at yourself in unflattering light. For example, if you have a single light hanging over the sink, it will create exaggerated shadows on your face that increase the prominence of lines and sagging in your face. The solution is to install wall sconces closer to eye level so that light is not beaming directly down and creating deep shadows on your face. Another common lighting effect for mirrors is to place lighting strips along the perimeter of the vanity mirror.
5. Poorly Lit Treasures
If you acquire a beautiful work of art or a rare collectible that you want to proudly display in your home, it’s a shame to disregard lighting the wonderful object. No one will notice it if it is in a darker corner of the room. Try picture lights that utilize LED bulbs or fluorescent light strips to accent your art collection. Avoid using halogen type lights for artwork because they can cause damage over time like overexposure to sunlight.
6. Style Over Function
When choosing a light fixture, you can’t choose solely on how it looks. The main purpose of the fixture is to provide the right kind of light. Before you purchase a fixture, make sure you know the light level that you need for your room, and make sure the fixture can be equipped with the type of bulb you need, and it will project light in the right way. For example, if you need more ambient light in a room, choose lighting that creates a wide swath of illumination. If you need better light for reading, make sure the fixture can direct light directly at your lap.
7. Don’t Forget that it’s the 21st Century
We have many technologies today that make every aspect of life better. Try upgrading your home with a smart lighting system that replaces traditional switches with ones that can be controlled via your computer or mobile devices.
8. Don’t Neglect the Exterior
Lighting not only sets the right mood and improves aesthetics, but it also provides more security for your home. This is especially the case for the exterior of your home. A dark house is a more inviting target for burglars or other criminals. You don’t need lights shining all night if you install motion-activated fixtures. Solar-powered yard lights can add beauty to your landscaping at night.