Lighting is important for seeing, but it can also provide your home or office the perfect ambiance and atmosphere.
The right lighting is a cost-effective strategy for significantly transforming the look and feel of any indoor space. Your lighting design can have a positive impact on the style, mood, functionality and personality of a room. The right kind of lighting can make drab spaces look spectacular. Installed incorrectly, lighting can also make expensive or tasteful decor look ordinary or drab.
There are several different routes you can take to create your ideal lighting design, and a good lighting company should be able to help you navigate any of them depending on your needs.
Here are some things to consider when selecting indoor lighting.
DO IT YOURSELF
If you’re trying to save money, the do-it-yourself route can be a good way to create a high-impact lighting statement on a budget. If you decide to take this path, the most important things to look for are advice, service, quality and selection from your lighting retailer. The best stores will have an in-house designer who can help you use lighting to create the style or feel you want for your home or business — adding the professional design polish that many do-it-yourselfers lack.
You should look for a store with a knowledgeable staff that offers outstanding, personalized service to help you make the right choices, along with a wide selection of styles, materials, technologies and price ranges from which to pick.
A lighting store with an extensive website can be a plus, as well, because it will let you browse the products, get ideas and see what’s on the market before visiting their showroom in person.
For many people, the best route for choosing lighting is with the advice of a professional decorator. By employing a good interior designer, you’re not only going to have the advantage of seeing your project through the decorator’s trained, experienced eyes — perhaps opening up possibilities you couldn’t have imagined on your own — but you’ll also have someone who can do all the legwork for you and make sure your whole design project runs smoothly.
The best lighting retailers will be able to recommend decorators who have experience with creating gorgeous indoor lighting designs. Or, if you already have your own decorator, work closely with them to provide the best lighting options for your project.
HOMEBUILDER OR CONTRACTOR
If you’re having a home built or remodeled, a third route is to go through your builder or contractor to select the right lighting.
The good news is that when you’re building or doing renovations, you start with a blank slate. Your lighting design is only limited by your imagination and your budget, letting you create the right combination of lighting fixtures, controls and locations in the new space to make your dreams come true.
There are some downsides to watch out for, too. Some builders will choose the cheapest, mass-produced “builder’s grade” lighting that they can find. This is rarely a good idea for people who like good quality and distinctive design. You can get drastically better quality and appearance by spending a little more money up front.
The other challenge is choosing your lighting before you know exactly what a room is going to look like. Trying to choose lighting based on what you see in your imagination may not be a good idea, because it could look very different in reality. That’s where the experience and advice of the best decorators and lighting stores is most valuable.
KNOW YOUR GOALS
You should keep in mind how important lighting is to your day-to-day life. While you might not think about it all the time, good lighting really can make your life better.
Investing in a good, well-designed lighting system will not only make your space more beautiful and stylish, but it can also help you meet your goals.
For example, new, energy efficient lighting systems can help you save money on your electric bills and live a more financially secure, Earth-friendly life over the long haul. Fluorescent or LED light fixtures, motion sensors that turn lights on and off automatically, task lights and smart lighting designs can all help reduce your energy consumption.
Lighting can also make your property safer, and it can let you do new things like grow houseplants, conduct business or enjoy a hobby.
Whether you want to live a better, more comfortable life or simply have a prettier, more up-to-date look in your home, quality indoor lighting can be one of the best investments you ever make.