Bedside reading and closet lighting are two of the primary concerns in a bedroom lighting plan. For bedside reading, lighting experts suggest wall-mounted light fixtures with adjustable arms so that the light can be directed on the reading material. Each bedside light should operate on its own switch, either directly on the fixture or a wall switch within easy reach.
Ambient lighting may be provided by floor lamps, architectural lighting, or a pair of sconces flanking a wall mirror. Because the bedroom is a room where a relaxing, sympathetic atmosphere is welcomed, it may be best to avoid central ceiling-mounted fixtures that might be perceived harshly when viewed from bed. Consider the paint color of bedroom walls when planning light output as dark-colored walls reflect less light. For a closet, ceiling-mounted or recessed fixtures are commonly used.
A traditional lighting plan for a bedroom might consist solely of floor and table lamps, with table lamps on nightstands and dresser. A new lighting plan might include either wall-mounted fixtures flanking the bed or table lamps on the nightstands, plus a pair of wall-mounted sconces near the dresser.
Lumens: Ambient lighting in the bedroom should be 2,000-4,000 lumens, with a minimum of 500 lumens for each reading light, and 400 lumens for closet lighting.
Identifying where particular tasks will take place in a home office is the first step to designing a lighting plan for this important room; reading books or paperwork, working at the computer, and talking on the phone are common tasks. A key consideration is to ensure that a light fixture is not reflected in a computer screen, so knowing the position of the computerwhich may be limited by the location of outlets and internet cablesis essential. A task light for the desk area should be positioned to minimize shadows and reflections, so place it to the right or left side of the occupant's main work orientation.
Lighting designer Patricia Rizzo favors indirect lighting (reflected off walls or ceilings, rather than distributed in one direction) for a home office. "Use cove lighting to wash the ceiling or wall sconces that project the light upward, or a floor lamp torchiere that directs light upward if a plug-in fixture is your only option," Rizzo says.
If the room's layout permits, positioning a reading chair next to a window allows for natural light to be used for reading during the day. A table lamp can provide task lighting for reading at night.
Lumens: Ambient lighting for a home office should be 3,000-6,000 lumens, with task lighting at the desk a minimum of 1,200 lumens.
The entry points and pathways through a home typically require nothing more than ambient lighting, unless there are focal points such as artwork or architectural elements that should receive accent lighting. A small entry may be sufficiently lighted by a ceiling-mounted or recessed fixture or a wall sconce. A double height entry with a staircase may require a chandelier with lighting controls at both the bottom and top of the stairs. Ambient lighting in hallways may be provided by recessed fixtures, ceiling-mounted fixtures or wall sconces.
If a hallway is used as a gallery for artwork or photographs, consider accent lighting, which is achieved by precise positioning of directional fixtures that use light bulbs emitting very narrow beams of light. PAR (parabolic aluminized reflector) and MR (multi-faceted reflector) light bulbs are often used for accent lighting; fixtures include ceiling-mounted track lighting or recessed fixtures. Proper accent lighting of artwork requires professionals with skill and experience in locating and aiming the fixtures to avoid glare and ensure that artwork is not damaged.
Lumens: Ambient lighting for entries and stairways should be 1,200-4,000 lumens; ambient lighting for a hallway should be 1,200-2,500 lumens.
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