When talking about light in a space, there are many different considerations as well as different types of light to be mindful of. Lighting in an office is functional and it makes us alert so that we can handle the tasks at hand. With decorative lighting on the other hand we’re able to create a mood or a feeling.
When putting together a plan for a room you’ll want to consider the activities that will be taking place. Some rooms need lighting that will accommodate different activities such as reading and entertaining.
When looking into your lighting options, there are four different types of lighting to think about. The three artificial kinds are general, task, and accent. General lighting lights up an entire room covering as much space as possible. Task lighting covers a smaller area and should be three times as bright as your general lighting; this prevents eyestrain. Accent lighting is a great way to feature a specific piece of art or an area that you would like to accentuate.
The fourth type of light to think about–and this consideration is best when building a new home, remodeling, or purchasing replacement windows— is natural light. Natural light is beneficial in many ways. It brings out the natural color of furnishings in your home, it can help your energy bill when used properly, it makes a room feel spacious and open, it helps combat winter blues (very important in the Northwest), it supports our biological rhythms, and it helps us feel connected to nature and the outdoors.
When building a new home, you’ll want to think about when you want to see the light. If you’re an early bird you’ll most likely want to wake up with the sun and thus a southeast-facing bedroom will be ideal. On the other hand if you’re the type to burn the midnight oil, you’ll want a west-facing bedroom. For the other rooms in the home you’ll want to think about whether or not you want the maximum amount of sunlight, heating and cooling considerations being a big factor in this decision.
For replacement windows, you’ll want to work closely with your window dealer to decide on the type of glass used, casement, awnings, french doors versus sliding doors, skylights, etc. If you want to cut your energy bill, be sure to replace your windows with energy-efficient windows.