Category Archives: Lighting Your Home

Lighting Design #2: Tips & Green Options

Track lighting not only provides background lighting but also is multi-purpose.



…and can work with any décor.


It was originally designed as museum lighting, so it’s perfect for focusing on a piece of art, a flower arrangement, or an interesting table arrangement. It can also be focused on a workspace as task lighting, but watch where the shadows fall, or you’ll be working in the dark again.  If you already have track lighting, replace those bulky old cans, with tiny MR16 halogens.  Your lighting solution will then be very unobtrusive.  They are more energy efficient too.  How clever can you be here?  For different uses on the same track, point according.  If you don’t have a particular item to highlight, turn the cans towards the wall and lower the light with a dimmer to create soft ambient light.

Put all of your light sources on dimmers, so you can control the mood and lighting per situation. They’re cheap and easy to install.  Remember, a warm glow overall, rather than harsh strong light to no light at all in the corners is never going to read like “home”

Speaking of energy efficient, no discussion of home design options is complete these days without some mention of a “green alternative”. While there is a very long list of green options for the home, changing your light bulbs is easy and falls into the “no brainer” category.  CFL stands for compact fluorescent light.  They last 5 to 7 years, (which is about the life of 10 regular bulbs), but only uses about a quarter of the energy.

The problem has been that CFL’s have been on a par with the time “organic” meant “good for you but tastes like cardboard”. For all their great commendable qualities, the light was cold and ugly.  It flickered too.   Ugly lighting doesn’t equal a good or even a pleasant solution.  Good news!  CFLs are very much improved.  The color of the light is warmer, and turns on instantly with no flickering.  The only downside is that most aren’t dimmable.  There’s a very helpful website called servicelighting.com that can help you track down the dim-ables that are available.

What about all those cords? A single cord can be taped to the back or underside of a piece of furniture against a wall.  Snake the cords under area rugs where possible.  Plastic cord covers are available that can be painted the wall color.  If you really have a mess of spaghetti-like cords, cord-control kits are available.

Improving the lighting of a room can be more effective than any other single factor for increasing a sense of overall satisfaction, while a room generally considered to be ugly, almost always turns out to be poorly lit.

A sophisticated, well-designed lighting scheme looks as if an artist has painted with light, creating peaks and valleys of light and shadow, causing the illusion of movement.

Give it some thought. Add to and vary your light sources.  It’s easier than you think to light your rooms beautifully.

Photo  – Perfectionremodeling.com

Related Posts

Lighting Design #1: Guide For The Well Lit Home

Lighting Your Art #1: Seen In The Best Light

Lighting Your Art #3: Think Like A Lighting Master

Decor Aid: Where Do I Start?

This is one of several articles I wrote for publication on Hamptons.com. It’s presented here as a foundation for further topic discussion, updates and commentaries…

Questions? Write To: Cindy@DecodingDecor.com