Adding Architectural Lighting to your Home
The light present in a home can drastically change the overall aesthetic of any interior space. Opening a room up to ample natural lighting by installing a large picture window or a skylight can not only help brighten up a room but also allows a homeowner the opportunity to save on heating and cooling, effectively becoming more energy efficient. Conversely, installing recessed lighting in a small room can make any space seem more intimate and inviting. Custom residential architecture incorporates function, purpose, and overall aesthetic into every design, which includes architectural lighting. Read on to learn the best tips for adding architectural lighting design for your modern home.
New Jersey architects are busier than ever keeping up with new trends in modern home architecture, including smart home technology, flexibility in living spaces, and the use of green building materials. These trends extend to the lighting incorporated in each design as well. Lighting used in custom architecture, whether commercial or residential, is known as architectural light.
Architectural lighting is the intersection of modern home architecture and technology and serves an essential purpose, both in terms of design and function.
3 Main Functions:
Architectural light serves three functions in any residential or commercial space:
The aesthetic function of lighting is to create the proper look and feel for any space. For example, if a homeowner wants a specific area or point in the space highlighted, they may choose to install a light fixture that illuminates this area. If they want the room to have a cozy and private atmosphere, they may opt for low lighting with recessed light fixtures to create complementary shadows and an intimate feel.
On the flip side, natural light tends to make any space seem more harmonious, dynamic, and at one with nature. The lighting you choose for any room depends on the look and feel you are trying to create.
When it comes to custom residential architecture, lighting is also functional, and choosing the right lighting should be based on the purpose of each space. A homeowner should assess each area and determine:
- How the room will be used
- What purpose the lighting serves
- How will lighting affect the colors present in the room
When it comes to lighting for functionality, the purpose of each room, and how the room will be used must be considered to incorporate the proper light. For a study or home office, you will most likely want ample overhead lighting to brighten up the room but also plenty of lighting close to the task such as desk lamps or suspended pendants over your work area. Lighting can drastically affect the color of a room as lighting can brighten or dull colors. If you pick a specific color for the master bedroom or living room, you have to make sure the architectural light you choose will complement these colors rather than blunt them.
How to Incorporate Architectural Lighting
Architectural design should always be designed with lighting in mind. Unfortunately, many homeowners think of lighting as the final process in their remodel project. In reality, the initial design should also include a detailed plan when it comes to lighting.
Consider brightness. Overly bright lights can create a glare and make pupils dilate, which will make the area appear darker. Consider installing dimmers to control the brightness levels in each room and create the right effect, depending on the occasion. Dimmers also have the added advantage of eliminating wasteful light and excess energy consumption as homeowners only need to turn a light on to the brightness they desire.
Avoid the “lighthouse” effect by placing light fixtures strategically around a room to illuminate corners and highlight focus areas.
Consider the layout of your house to determine where to incorporate picture windows or large bay windows that will allow for ample natural light. East facing rooms will get the most morning sun, so consider incorporating natural light in an east-facing room if you are an early riser.
West-facing rooms will get a lot of light in the evenings as the sun sets, so be conscious of having a large window in your living room if it faces west as this could create a glare on the television, which is most often used in the evenings.
When it comes to incorporating architectural lighting into your modern home, you must consider a multitude of factors. You must understand the three primary functions of light in a home, then move on to considering the primary purpose for each room to pick the best lighting for each space. Finally, you must consider the orientation of each room and the layout of your entire house to create a holistic architectural lighting plan that gives your home the aesthetic as well as functionality you desire.