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Don't Overlook Lighting in Remodeling and Construction Design

Lighting concerns used to be rather basic in remodeling and new-home construction design. Stick an overhead fixture here and a table lamp there, and you could see where you're going. Today's home design plans go further to take advantage of light to showcase a home. The finer points of lighting include safety, convenience, mood, interior design, and the use of light to enhance architecture and outdoor spaces.

Indoor Lighting
The main considerations for positioning interior lighting are color, coverage, and type of lighting. Balance these three factors when positioning fixtures throughout the home. Incandescent lighting, including halogen distinguishes colors more accurately than fluorescent bulbs. But fluorescent lighting has its place, particularly in the kitchen and bathroom. If you're trying to show off your home to potential buyers, for example, the brighter the better to give these rooms the right presentation. Installing sufficient lighting can have a salutary effect on moods, particularly in the winter when natural light is diminished. Safety is another important consideration. Make sure to install light switches at the top and bottom of staircases. Insufficient lighting is a major cause of falls, according to the Yale School of Medicine, among people aged 72 and older. Stairwells should be lit with a nightlight and even during the daytime, a Yale study says, and switches should be easy to reach in the kitchen and bathroom.

Outdoor Lighting
Why let the interesting features of your home disappear from view at night? Low-level exterior lighting shows off entries, architectural features, and landscape design. Walkway lights should shine downward to illuminate the ground and improve the walker's footing. Use as many fixtures as necessary to light your path, without putting them too close together--too many clustered together will give it an industrial look. Don't overlook spaces that are visible or accessible from indoors. For example, a brightly lit garden or patio can expand the living area and sense of space for a living room. Finally, position outdoor fixtures around ground level points of entry to the home to improve your safety and security.

Sources used to create this article include writers Karol Menzie and Ron Nodine and The Baltimore Sun.

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