Enjoy Your Best Home

ENJOY YOUR BEST HOMEBring out the best in your home with the right light to accessorize your style

These days people are spending more time enjoying their homes, inside and out. Put your home in the best light and pull everything together with these simple tips:

Light in layers. Lighting is most effective if it utilizes overhead, task and ambient light sources. While this idea is commonplace for inside lighting, it's just as important for outdoor lighting where there are not typically boundaries and borders. By having three light layers (overhead, task and ambient), appropriate areas are illuminated for the intended interactions and use of that space.

Create a safe and secure environment. Enhance security with lighting on stairs, around toe-kick areas, in dark corners, and near outside entrances. When lighting outside areas, aim lights away from doors and not directly into people's eyes. Make sure any outdoor fixtures are weather rated.

Reduce glare. Inside install dimmers on any lights that require flexible control over the light level, such as bathrooms and hallways. Outside, light walkways and paths with light that is cast downward and with fixtures that are hooded

Add decorative elements. While functionality is the top priority, aesthetic elements are important for a relaxing and inspiring setting. Don't be afraid to show your style by hanging an unexpected fixture type over a reading nook, in a closet or above a tub, for instance. Focus on lighting that highlights architectural and natural details, as well as decorative elements like a ceiling cove, foyer, fireplace and artwork; or outside pergola, fountain or patio. Try a chandelier in a kitchen or pendants in an outdoor dining area.

Conserve energy. Consider LEDs for their efficiency. Remember to check the color (chromaticity) of LEDs. Low chromaticity lights (2700 or 3000K) will look similar to incandescent and halogen bulbs. Higher chromaticity LEDs (4000K and above) will have a whiter, bluer look.

Visit an ALA-member retail store to learn how easy it can be to update your lighting to make your home the perfect summer getaway. While there, pick up a free copy of Lighting magazine to see the latest trends and decorating ideas.

Photo by Hinkley