Home Lighting – Light Fixtures and Daylighting

Light Fixture

People tend to not place enough emphasis on the lighting in their homes. It is often taken for granted and as a result, it is poorly designed.  There are lots of things you can do to reduce your electrical costs, improve the quality of the lighting in your home, avoid construction cost over-runs, and make your house more “green.”

Natural day-lighting is something that has been under appreciated and undervalued in recent decades. But the current renewed concern about green building and high energy costs have changed that thinking. A good architect can help you orient your house properly on the land to maximize the benefits of free day-lighting without resulting in overheating of the house in summer months. In a well designed house, you should not have to turn on your electric lights during a sunny day. Simply placing windows on the southern walls (in a northern hemisphere site) will gain significant daylight, but the costs to cool the house will soar as the house will overheat badly. You will give up more energy money than you will save. Properly designed overhangs are needed, deciduous plantings, and sometimes shutters or shades can be used to maintain control over the natural lighting in your home. Indirect, reflected daylight is best. Direct sunlight is to be avoided. In addition to the heat gain direct sunlight can give, fabrics and carpets can fade under the intense rays of direct sunlight.

There are many types of artificial lighting to choose from for your home. And without some training and experience, making the right selection can be tough. Fortunately there are many good lighting stores owned and operated by well trained, knowledgeable people. You can take advantage of their training and experience for free. Most of them will spend a considerable amount of time with you working out a lighting plan for your home, helping you select the best fixtures based on looks, style, type of light the fixture provides, cost of the fixtures, and energy efficiency.

 Having a good, well thought out lighting and electrical plan before you begin construction of your remodeling or new house construction project is one of the keys to controlling homebuilding costs. Costly extras often come from changes people make to the electrical work when they discover things they failed to consider before signing the contract with the builder. The more you can think through your electrical and home lighting plan, the more money you will save and the better lighting your new or remodeled home will have.

I hope this information is helpful to you. You might want to get yourself a copy of my best-seller, Designing Your Perfect House. It is chockfull of valuable tips and advice that will save you many times the cost of the book on your house building or remodeling project. You might also like The Well-Centered Home: Simple Steps to Increase Mindfulness, Self-Awareness, and Happiness Where You Live. It will show you how to make your home a happy place.

Bill Hirsch | Architect

Bill Hirsch

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