Lighting is essential for all homes, though we are living in an era where saving energy is becoming imperative. The challenge is to find a balance between the two.
Natural light is becoming more of a norm in modern home furniture decor. Skylights, large windows, doors made with glass, and glass roofs are ways that people are bringing natural light into their homes.
With technology and research moving at a fast pace, glass may now be used to insulate against heat, refract glare and offer privacy from the outside world, yet still allow the beautiful sunlight to illuminate a room. Not only are these the benefits of natural light, there is still the age-old advantage that glass provides, that being the view that glass offers.
Even owners of older houses are finding ways to bring natural light into their environment. Tubular skylights is a fairly inexpensive method to brighten up an area with natural light. This type of skylight is fitted from the roof down to the ceiling and is fairly maintenance free. Old-fashioned, small windows are replaced with larger windows. Glass bricks are also used to allow natural light to flow from one area of the home to another.
The face of artificial lighting is also changing. The traditional light bulb (incandescent) is no longer cost effective in the long run, and uses far more energy than the more modern LED (light emitting diodes) or CFL (compact fluorescent lamp) energy-saving light bulbs. A standard 6-8 watt LED bulb gives approximately 50 000 hours of light compared to 1 200 hours from the standard 60 watt light bulb. The result being that a standard light bulb needs replacing far more often than the more modern bulb. Yes, the initial cost of LEDs and CFLs are higher though the return on that small investment is both more beneficial to the pocket and to the environment.
The energy saving bulbs also offer a wider range of hues and ambience, from cool and bright, to warm and intimate, depending on the light and mood requirement in a specific space. The light requirement may also be adjusted for a specific need. A living area, for example, would require warmth and less brightness than a study, where good, balanced lighting is needed. A study would also require more focused light. A bedroom, on the other hand, would need both bright, focused lights and warm, intimate lighting. This is easily achieved by using LED spotlights strategically placed in the ceiling, as well as CFL soft-glow bulbs in the bedside lamps.
The exterior of your home is just as important. Lights that are strategically placed in the garden and have the ability to emphasis the beauty of the trees, shrubs and flowers. Walkways may also be lit up, not only for visibility, but for security as well, lending a special beauty to your night-time garden. Lighting around the pool area also creates a relaxing ambiance in the evenings.
So, when you are thinking about a new home or renovating your existing home, keep the importance of lighting in mind.