Residential Lighting Plans
Author: Russell Neal
Developing a residential lighting plan with the help of a professional lighting designer can both magnify the general appeal of your home’s physical structure and work to unify your lifestyle with your sense of art, decorating, and peace of mind. People often feel much more comfortable in their homes after they have taken the time to invest in planning a residential home lighting design that will illuminate the finer elements of lifestyle and décor they have worked hard to give to themselves and their children.
Your residential lighting plan must emphasize your home’s exterior appearance while concealing the lighting fixtures themselves as much as possible.
Because the edifice of the home is the most prominent feature of the house and the surrounding property, exterior illumination should enhance its architectural preeminence and aesthetic. Outdoor light fixtures attached to the house itself should be concealed as much as possible to bring emphasis to the structure and avoid a sense of clutter.
To maintain a sense of harmony in one’s residence, a lighting plan must also work to unity structure and natural beauty.
Professional landscape lighting should act as a luminary mirror to house lighting. This requires consulting with a professional who is familiar with both landscaping technique and architectural theory. There are certain basic forms that occur within both natural formation and man-made creations. An expert trained to isolate these forms can in turn illuminate them in a complementary manner to emphasize the similarities and minimize the differences.
Multiple layers of light are required to effectively accomplish this.
It takes more than a single layer of illumination to highlight earthwork features such as gardens, flower beds, birdbaths, fountains, and shrubs. Trees need their own separate lighting to both illuminate leaves and branches and create special pools of luminance at the bases of their trunks. Home security lighting has to be provided with flood lighting, and special structures like patios and gazebos need both additional general lighting and low-voltage accent lighting to effectively blend form and function.
Moving toward the interior of the home, your residential lighting plan should follow the motifs of interior architecture.
Every home has its own unique look and feel. This is especially true in the world of custom homes, where an architect or home designer literally sits down and plans the living space around the lifestyle of the occupants. Whichever fixtures you install within a home have to work within the framework of the building’s interior. Since residential house lighting plans require a blend of decorative and general lighting, a lighting designer should be consulted to determine which light sources will work best to complement interior home structure and interior home decorating. Sometimes, as we see in the case of art lighting, you do not want the light source to show at all-only the subject being illuminated. At other times, however, decorative fixtures actually function as important elements of interior design. Pendants, chandeliers, and wall sconces are a few examples of lights that planners and designers often choose to make a home look truly resplendent in terms of aesthetic and décor.
We cannot emphasize enough the importance of working with a professional who can help you develop your residential lighting plan.
The larger and more sophisticated a home is, the more challenging it will be to illuminate. Specialty rooms like kitchens, guest rooms, dens, and playrooms may need a separate lighting plan to support special functions and activities that occur within those rooms. Any type of special artwork or display you have in your house will need special art lights or display lights that will properly differentiate the piece from its surroundings without overpowering the rest of your decorative scheme. Connecting these many elements together is something that is very difficult to do without special training, and is also impossible to do without specification grade equipment engineered for high-end residential lighting design.
An added benefit that one receives from working with a company like ILD is the flexibility that can be designed into a home automation system using user-friendly lighting controls that can create any number of lighting layers and effects with automated programs, hand-held remotes, pre-programmed themes linked to home theater and whole house audio, dimmers, and wall-box controls geared toward one-touch friendliness, sophisticated accent lighting patterns, and maximum power savings in today’s energy conscious marketplace.