Lighting your homes better than the competition is common sense. Your buyers’ comfort, safety, and overall enjoyment is too important to leave to the electrician in the field. But sadly, bad lighting is the norm because code requires only bare minimums. Conforming to that poor standard, however, is a mistake.
What’s the first thing a real estate agent does when showing a home? Turns on the lights. By its nature, light attracts, and that’s an opportunity for you. What’s more, new lighting technology makes it easier than ever to increase light levels in your homes. The arrival of LED lighting is a boon for both builders and buyers. LEDs use 20 percent of the energy used by halogens, put out far less heat, and last at least two decades. Their longevity and low operating cost pay dividends for years, and they’re part of a green story you can sell to your buyers.
A Necessity, Not an Amenity
You know the numbers: Nearly 80 million Baby Boomers are nearing retirement age. That number will continue to rise for the next 35 years. For home builders, the implications are huge. requires three times as much light as a 20-year-old.
Older folks need more light to see: A 60-year-old The good news is that, with added illumination, a senior’s visual acuity can almost equal their grandchildren’s. Good lighting benefits everyone.
There are four types of lighting: ambient, task, decorative, and accent, and one fixture can serve several functions. A dining room chandelier is decorative but also supplies ambient light to the dining room and task lighting to illuminate the table. A recessed can light can be task, ambient, or accent, depending on its location. The best lighting schemes use several, if not all four, types of lighting, taking a layered approach.
Lighting in the Kitchen
No room is more critical for good lighting—and none is more neglected—than the kitchen. The International Residential Code says that one overhead light is enough. Too many kitchens are poorly lit because of a misunderstanding of where recessed can lights need to be placed for effective task lighting on countertops. To deliver enough light, cans must be directly above the counters 8 to 12 inches out from upper-cabinet faces. If they are placed farther out, the cook will block the light and the 50 fc you measured without anyone in the way will drop to single digits.
Better Lighting in the Bathroom
Daylight is a boon in the bath because it helps set circadian rhythms, which get you up and going in the morning. Use as many windows, skylights, and solar tubes as possible.
Cross-lighting works best for grooming. Sconces to either side of the bathroom mirror for each user provide the best lighting; linear LEDs are ideal. This cross-lighting ensures there are no shadows, much like actors’ makeup mirrors, but without the exposed bulbs and glare. Overhead lights cast shadows, which isn’t helpful for grooming, but overheads are fine if used in addition to sconces at the sink.
Light the tub or shower
You can use open LED trims that are rated for wet use and put out many times the illumination you’d once have gotten from a lensed 60-watt incandescent.
Lighting in the Living and Family Rooms
Warm, soft ambient lighting is ideal here, with the ability to use task lighting for reading, sewing, and other needs. Close-to-ceiling fixtures, such as drums, which offer uplighting, are good ambient and decorative sources, as are wall sconces and lamps that the owners will supply. Recessed cans aren’t recommended here, but they can provide accent and ambient lighting of walls and corners.
Indirect lighting is ideal in living and family rooms. Some examples: on top of exposed beams in a vaulted ceiling, at the top of drapery valances, or on top of built-ins. Indirect lighting bounced off the ceiling is almost the perfect light because there’s no glare.
If you have any questions about our products, feel free to call us at 02 888 10 333 and we will be happy to assist you.