Choosing the Ideal and Most Suitable Lighting for Your Home

Nothing is more satisfying that entering a home that is well-lit and has a pleasant ambiance. Lighting is a very important element of every home. It is what makes a space functional and welcoming. Every room or space within a house deserves a suitable lighting in order for it to serve its purpose and create a good atmosphere.

Basically, there are different types of lighting for homes which can significantly improve the over-all aesthetics of the house. Choosing lighting depends on the purpose of every room or space. The challenge lies on making the right choice because there are virtually countless options and a wide variety of lights to choose from.

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There are several factors to consider in order to narrow down your selection. Let us start with the basics.

1. Know the difference between Indoor and Outdoor Lighting

Choose lighting and fixtures according to its purpose. If it is for outdoor lighting, choose outdoor-rated lights, receptacles, extension cords, and fixtures. Lights with higher rating are highly necessary for outdoor use and you need to check the labels that indicate "Outdoor", "Suitable for wet locations", weather resistant or water-proof. Installation of light covers are likewise necessary for areas that get wet.

The same goes for the installation of indoor lighting for the home. Choose lighting that are suitable for indoor use. The main idea is to be aware that there are specific types of lights for every corner of your home. Knowing the difference and following the proper guidelines in the selection process between indoor and outdoor lighting can keep your home safe and free from electrical issues.

2. Be aware of the different types of lighting

There are different types of lights that you need to be aware of in order to narrow your selection. These are fluorescent, incandescent, outside solar and LED or Light-Emitting Diode.

The question is; what makes each type of light unique from the other?

Fluorescent Lights

- use up 25 - 35% of the energy consumed by incandescent lights in order to produce the same amount of light
- lasts approximately 10 times longer or between 7,000 to 24,000 hours
- there are 2 basic types: compact fluorescent lamps or CFLs and fluorescent tube and circline lamps
- CFLs typically have integral ballasts and secured on their bases with screws; they are commonly used in households
- fluorescent tube and circline lamps are more energy efficient compared to incandescent lights; they are commonly used in lighting garages, large indoor areas and other areas that require specialized lighting. This type of fluorescent light is rarely used in the household. It is more commonly used in building and commercial spaces.

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Incandescent Lights

- most popular type of lighting but the lowest in terms of energy efficiency
- lower life span and the least expensive
- turns on instantly and offers a wide selection of sizes and shapes
- provides warm, comfortable and welcoming light
- types: standard incandescent (or pear-shaped A-19) lamps, halogen lamps, and parabolic reflector or PAR lamps

Outdoor Solar Lights

- outdoor solar lighting system makes use of solar cells to convert sunlight to energy
- easy to install and maintenance-free
- ideal in lighting pathways, porches, and balconies; and as night-time security lights
- functional as long as the solar cells receive sufficient amount and hours of sunlight based on the manufacturer's recommendation
- solar-powered batteries commonly used are nickel cadmium, lead acid, and sealed lead acid batteries

LED Lights or Light-Emitting Diode

- the most modern, safest, and most-energy efficient technology in lighting
- quality is better, lasts longer, and offers long-term durability
- offers better and brighter lighting compared to other types
- consumes 75% less energy and lasts 25 times longer compared to incandescent lighting
- cost-efficient choice of lighting for homes

3. Choosing Lighting for your home should be based on the purpose and function of every area

Choosing the perfect and most suitable lighting for every room in your home is very important. Proper lighting sets the mood within every room in order to create a good, comfortable, and homey ambiance. The light should complement the purpose of the area.

For example, the kitchen deserves bright and sufficient lighting to serve its purpose well which is for food preparation; while the dining room may require a warmer tone to create a good and pleasant atmosphere suitable for a lovely and relaxing dinner.

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Indeed, every room has a specific function and deserves specialized lighting in order to maximize its purpose. This is why interior lighting is very important in complementing the over-all aesthetics of the home. Choosing lighting depends on what mood you want to set in every room.

You can choose Ambient, Task or Accent Lighting.

- Ambient Lighting

Also known as "natural light" is the most common form of lighting. It allows you to move safely and conveniently within the room. It also makes it easier for you to locate things within the room and to move freely and comfortably. This lighting is commonly used in bedrooms, bathrooms and living rooms.

The glare is not painful to the eyes and does not focus on a specific area. Ambient lighting brightens the entire room naturally and well-enough to make it functional. It is also called "mood lighting".

- Task Lighting

Task lighting is a smaller light that is concentrated on a particular spot or area. It is also referred to as "office light" and is ideal for doing tasks that require sufficient and focused lighting. It works well only if it is used as a contrasting or supplemental light in low lit rooms or areas.

Task light also helps in stimulating the mind because it is focused and concentrated on a specified area. The most common types of task lighting are table lamps, pendant lamps, wall lights, and hanging lights. Task lights can be used for reading books, sewing, cleaning, and other tasks that require precision and good lighting.

- Accent Lighting

Accent lighting is meant to highlight a particular area in the house to add an element of style,drama, or effect. It is also a concentrated type of lighting that is perfect in highlighting the home's interior elements and details. It can be used to accentuate an artwork on the wall, highlight displays, furniture, or collections. It is also one way of creating an extravagant and sophisticated atmosphere within the house.

Accent lighting can be used both indoor and outdoor. Most landscape artists use accent light to put emphasis on the beauty of the garden or pathway at night. Wall accent lights are also ideal for highlighting the architectural details of the home.

Choosing lighting for your home is very important if you want to accentuate and highlight the beauty of your humble abode. It sets the mood in your own dwelling place and creates a pleasant and welcoming vibe. A well-lit home also attracts a friendly aura that can draw positive and good impression from your guests, friends, and neighbors.
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