Let There Be Light: A Home Lighting Plan
It is as simple as flipping a switch! We do it a dozen or so times a day, first thing when we wake up and last thing before we go to bed. Electric lighting allows us to work, live and play. Our overall goal when designing a home lighting plan is one that is comfortable, easily controlled, energy efficient and aesthetically appealing.
Since 25 percent of a home’s energy usage is lighting, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration, a particular focus has been put on energy efficiency. Energy efficiency awareness and laws are causing lighting technology to evolve at a rapid pace. Options other than using natural light in our designs are compact fluorescent, halogen, LED and other types of light bulbs. They are integrated into a home by way of fixtures and built-ins to create light for many purposes. All light sources use less energy when dimmed, therefore, using dimmer switches (such as ones from the Lutron company) extend the bulb life and reduce a home’s overall energy usage. The more you dim, the more you save. A standard light switch only saves electricity in the “off” position.
Whether the lighting is inside or outside the home, there are new developments daily—in everything from the longevity of a light bulb to the design of the light switch. One such company, Forbes and Lomax that was established in London over 25 years ago, came out with the “Invisible” lightswitch. It is a simple transparent acrylic plate allowing the wallpaper or paint to show through, with a stylish metal toggle switch in the center. Other product lines from them include a painted outlet range to be used on painted walls where the discreet look is desired. The Antique bronze line, which include switches that look ideal on wood paneling and other unusual surroundings. Nickel Silver, Unlacquered brass, stainless steel and verdigris (Greek bronze age) are a few others Forbes and Lomax produce for their clientele. Don’t worry all these products are designed to fit US wall boxes as well. Lutron, another lighting control company offers a plethora of color options as well from gloss, matte, satin and metal, making it easy to select the perfect dimmer or wallplate to accessorize any room.
The key to getting the greatest benefit out of home lighting is to plan properly. The architects and designers at VDG are purposeful and intuitive regarding the switches that control each light or set of fixtures, whether it is a home remodel or new build. We want our clients to have uncluttered lighting controls and functional, smart, easy to illuminate zones within their home.