this dazzling display of lighting design and architecture by
Klein Lighting and Deep River Partners, the working metaphor was
to originate a horizon line that separated earth from sky,
Steven Klein says.
starry sky is a 100-point end-emitting ‘star-field’ fiber
Photo courtesy of
The lighting in
your home is one of those things you might not think much about until
you realize it leaves something to be desired. Whether you are
highlighting a well-loved piece of art, a food preparation area or
your latest shade of lipstick, lighting can make all the difference.
Consider these tips on how to achieve the best possible lighting in
what type of lighting for any area of a home, the first thing to
consider is how that room will be used, according to Lynn Tarrence of
The Egg Design Group in Milwaukee. "It all depends on lifestyle.
Where will the furniture or appliances go? Will the room be used
primarily during the day or at night? Every person and family is
different. Think about a lighting scheme before you start to decorate
a room, if possible," she says.
to architectural details or special objects. "The artwork
displayed in a home says a lot, but the exchange of information is
nonverbal," says Steve Klein, lead designer with Klein Lighting
in Fox Point. "Lighting a piece of artwork well articulates the
nonverbal interchange. The information exchanged can be lucid,
colorful, charismatic and stimulating without a word being
spoken," he says, suggesting the use of specific pinhole or
slot-hole apertures for spot lighting.
Take a Dim View
lowly dimmer switch, says Tarrence. "Dimmers provide a huge
amount of flexibility in lighting, from soft and flattering to very
bright, to suit a wide range of situations," she says. "For
example, you might want your under-cabinet lighting to be bright
enough so you can read a recipe and dim enough to serve as a night
light. In the bathroom, you need bright light for grooming, but soft
light for relaxing in the bath tub. Dimmers can instantly change the
No More Eerie
incandescent bulbs are disappearing, rethink fluorescent lighting.
Most people shrink from the idea of fluorescent bulbs because of a bad
experience at work. These days, however, the common objections no
longer apply. "For do-it-yourselfers, there’s confusion related
to picking out a lamp color because the consumer labeling is poor. To
be sure of what to buy, look for the Light Facts Label," Klein
says. Typically, a compact fluorescent bulb can have several different
color temperatures, such as 2,700 degrees Kelvin (warm like
incandescent) to 4,100K (cool like daylight).
Mix it Up
require different levels of light. For example, in a kitchen, you need
ambient illumination — a lighting technique that provides general
light, Klein says. "There also should be task illumination, to
provide specific light to perform functions requiring eye-hand
coordination such as cutting, chopping, sewing, reading and
writing," he says. The same is true in a den or living room where
you need good light for reading but also soft light for entertaining.
A Positive Image
lighting is effective for preparing meals, it’s the last thing you
want to use over grooming areas. "Down lighting over a face
emphasizes surface imperfections. You know what they are — bags
under the eyes, facial wrinkles, a chin waddle," Klein says.
"Lighting should come from both sides of the face at eye level.
Decorative wall sconces or suspended mini-pendants are ideal."
choices than ever are available thanks to new technology. Fiber
optics, with its remote light source, can create twinkling star
effects when inset into the ceiling above a stairway or in a bathroom.
Halogen bulbs with a variety of sizes allow manufacturers to design
more ornate light fixtures. And, companies like Philips have made
halogen bulbs for standard household fittings that can replace
incandescent light bulbs of 10-50W power ratings. "These bulbs
used to get very hot, but improvements have been made," Tarrence
possibly the most important aspect of a dining room, but too many
people use just one type, a chandelier. "When correctly used,
chandeliers should be suspended over the dining room table and
proportioned appropriately for the room and the table," Klein
says. The chandelier should not be the only light source in the room,
however. Consider using wall sconces or small accent ceiling lights
— and put a dimmer switch on the chandelier.
from the obsession to use matching suites of lamps. Those days are
gone, Tarrence says. "If you have two different lamps that you
love, there’s no reason why you can’t use them as bedside table
lamps, for example. If you want to tie them together, use similar
shades," she says.
Just like the
interior of a home, the outside requires different types of lighting
for different purposes. "Exterior lights provide curb appeal and
entertaining as well as safety," Tarrence says. Flood lights are
useful for safety reasons, but you will need task lighting for the
outdoor chef and soft lighting for patio seating areas. LED lights
have improved in quality and in the amount of light provided, so they
are a good option for the garden path. "Make sure the lights on
the outside of your house are properly placed. A well-lit entry can
make a world of difference in how a house looks from the street,"
she says. m