By Vicki Collazo
Every day, we take light for granted; the sun comes up each morning and sets at night. We flip a switch and the light comes on, flip it again and it goes off. We use devices to illuminate our homes, offices, cars and phones…we can’t live without it. The sun, the greatest light of all, lights and warms the earth and provides nutrients for all living beings. It changes throughout the day creating movement, color and beauty. How many of us have sat on the beach in the evening and watched as the light bounced off the water? What is more stunning than a summer sunrise or the colors of the sun setting on the horizon?
Just as light is important in nature and our everyday lives, so it is in our designs at embee & son. It is the most overlooked or forgotten detail in kitchen and bath design. Each time I sit with a client to review the “must haves” for their new kitchen and bath, lighting is often missing.
“What about the lighting?” I ask.
“…oh, yes, we need more.” is the usual response.
Most clients are surprised and thrilled to see how much lighting is incorporated in their design. As found in nature, each room must have layers of light. The sun rises softly signaling the start of a new day, intensifies to its peak at midday illuminating our daily activities, and bathes us in the glow of the moon and the stars at night. These layers; general, task and ambient lighting, are to be incorporated in every room of your home.
General lighting floods a room with light allowing you to see everything; therefore it needs to be the brightest light in the room. In kitchens, it’s the recessed ceiling lights. Single fixtures in the middle of the room are insufficient and cast shadows on your work surface. Bedrooms, offices and even bathrooms need appropriate ceiling fixtures to provide sufficient light to illuminate the entire room.
Task lighting illuminates specific zones. It is the under cabinet lighting and pendant over the island in the kitchen which are the designated work areas. Desk lamps, table lamps and reading lamps are necessary for the task at hand whether it be paying bills, playing games or enjoying a good book. Vanity lights are the task lights in the bathroom…not the general lights. They are strategically placed, allowing you to see in mirror.
Ambient lighting’s primary use is to highlight the beauty of either an interior or exterior space. It is the decorative and accent lighting in the room. This is where we have fun accenting architectural details, artwork and use various light sources to create warmth, drama, whimsy and romance. It can be as simple as dimming the task lights in the kitchen or as complex as layers of multicolor LED lights on timers.
It is always best to consult with a professional when planning your lighting design. In addition to the layers of light, there is a myriad of details a designer uses to determine the proper lighting for a room or space. General lighting requires formulas to assure the correct amount of watts used to sufficiently illuminate. Natural sunlight and the location of a room dictate the type of lighting needed. Northern and eastern exposures cast a cool light while western and southern exposures cast a warm light. A designer will know how this will affect the look and colors of a room throughout the day.
Light fixtures are not only functional but are also architectural pieces in a room. The scale of the fixture must be balanced with the scale of the room. Other important factors to consider when creating a lighting design are; function of the space, age of the client, height of the ceilings, colors of walls and fabrics and the textures of the furniture and textiles. The designers at embee & son will help you create the perfect setting for your kitchen remodel or bathroom remodel by providing effective work spaces, resale value and quality of life.
If you have any questions for our talented staff, please email us at: firstname.lastname@example.org. We would be
delighted to talk with you and welcome you to visit our showroom at: 1150 Stewart Street in York, PA.
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