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Lighting Trends

by Kim Kinrade

bathroom remodel, cheap bathroom remodelOne of the biggest trends in lighting these days is that lighting in the home is no longer being seen as only practical and a decorative aspect of lighting is in the forefront. Whether it's in the floors, ceiling or on the walls lighting has gone through a revolution.

1. Bathroom Lighting

One of the most under lit places in the home is the bathroom. Usually, a bathroom has the 1980's style of dressing room lights surrounding a large mirror. Not only is this a waste of energy (especially with the old incandescent lights) but is hard on the eyes and leaves gaps in the lighting arrangement.

For example, wall sconces on each side of the vanity mirror add a warm glow to the lower face while a task bar overhead gets more light to the face from above. There is a separate task bar defining the bath and shower area. This can be attached to a dimmer or pre-set. In addition, chroma therapeutic lights are a welcome addition to the tub area and can be pre-programmed to your favorite colors.

2. Kitchen Lighting

As the most used room in the home the kitchen can also be titled "The Multi-Tasking Room" of the home. This is because there are so many different workstations to consider, meaning working surfaces.

In the past one overhead fluorescent light would handle the lighting for the general work. The range hood had a light and so did the stove but that was where any specialty lighting ended. Now there are many light sources which enable close-in work while medium and overall lighting still exist to provide basic coverage. For example, under cabinet LED lighting and overhead spots from track-lighting focuses on the food preparation while automatic in-cabinet lights focus on the retrieval of pots, implements and food. Medium lighting is handled by wall sconces or reflective lighting situated on top of the cabinets and aimed at the ceiling.

3. Home Office Lighting

With more and more people working out of their homes, the home office is an important consideration when building a new home. It is also one of the most important considerations when renovating. If the room is not bright enough then eyestrain can develop and too much light can lead to headaches.

Therefore, like bathroom and kitchen the home office is also a multi-purpose space: for computer work; reading; and holding meetings. So, the lighting considerations have to reflect all of these tasks.

4. Living Area Lighting

Because the living area is more open to guests this is where you want to pull out all the stops. The d├ęcor is very important to picking out lighting as there are thousands of scenarios that can be used for an entertaining area. Traditional fixtures still work well today. Brass, copper and crystal appointments are classics and frosted glass, frosted glazing and even painted china globes define a Victoria-era room. In another setting cast iron, brushed-bronze, stone and wrought iron-finish might define an older setting. For a European look, track and recessed lighting along with brushed steel and modernistic sconces will do the trick.

5. Outdoor Lighting

Perhaps the fastest-growing segment of the lighting industry is the outdoor and patio lighting. Homeowners are now building patios with fireplaces and full kitchens which adds months onto each end of the backyard season. To facilitate this boon in backyard enjoyment lighting has kept up with the style and diversity that is only found in posh resort grounds. Trees lights, fence lining lights and programmable scenery lights make a virtual night paradise in a space that once was a forgotten lawn area.

8. Recreational Lighting

pool lights pool estimateWhen it comes to recreational lighting work lights are the norm. Specialized lights for pool tables and close-in sports have been in vogue for years and still sell quite well. Artificial Tiffany lamps and hanging lamps of all colors and a stained-glass look present an ambiance of a professional tournament. Soft lighting from sconces lights the way to other areas of the room.

Swimming pools come with their own underwater lighting systems but there are also considerations for the patio arouind the pool and other areas where you spend your time. A good lighting designer can help you here because, as we know, anywhere you spend a lot of time needs special attention to lighting.

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