You need to plan in a way that the plan itself is exactly tailored to your requirements and needs, containing the following information:
- the number and position of each bulb location by room
- calculation of the total power of electric energy required for lighting
- the total cost of installation and
- the calculated cost of maintenance
You can entrust the lighting planning process to a professional, but it is advisable to get yourself involved as well.
It is important to pay attention to this in the very phase of designing a house, because as with planning the layout of furniture or storage space, later corrections are possible but expensive and complicated.
Energy efficiency must be a particular focus given that lighting typically accounts for more than 25 percent of a home’s energy use, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration (https://www.eia.gov/todayinenergy/).
The key to getting the greatest benefit out of home lighting is to plan properly.
What considerations are required when planning the lighting in the house?
- Focus on users! It is necessary to consider who will use a certain space. A 60-year-old needs many times brighter lighting to see than a ten-year-old.
- Think about the purpose of the room! The purpose of the room also determines how much light is needed. The bathroom and kitchen need to be lit almost twice as much as the bedroom or living room.
- The shape of the room matters! The shape of the room plays a significant role in the proper arrangement of lamps. In a long and narrow hallway, it is necessary to place several lamps along the length of the room instead of one in the middle. In general, the room will be better lit by weaker but cleverly arranged light bulbs than one strong in the middle.
- The color of the walls also plays a role! A room with dark-painted walls needs to be lit more brightly than one painted in a light, especially white color.
- Tone everything! You should then pick a theme, genre, or design type which will fit with the interior style of your home.
- Don’t forget the exterior! The lighting of the yard, the driveway, is necessary to pay as much attention to as lighting the interior.
- Be precise with measurements! Although at first glance it seems that the calculation of the required light in the room is a job only for experts, in fact anyone can do it, with a little help that you can find below.
- Stay educated about new technology! Today, innovative products appear on the market almost every day, raising lighting capabilities to unprecedented levels.
- Design in layers! It should be understood that lighting in a modern home performs different functions, therefore we distinguish several types of lighting.
It refers to the home’s main lighting. You need to ensure each of your rooms have enough light to feel comfortable in. On the other hand, if the lighting is too bright it is also uncomfortable. How many lights, and how bright they are, we will explain below.
Task lighting refers to lights that are focused on areas of the room that require more light, such as kitchen island, a desk or a piano.
Accent lighting is used to highlight specific interior elements or a piece of furniture of high aesthetics. In this way the effect of space exclusivity can be achieved and luxury emphasized.
Decorative lighting is all about visual appeal and much less focused on illumination. Light fixtures play a huge role in this lighting as they need to be beautiful and decorative. Decorative lighting can also be used to invoke nostalgic feelings, such as using a string of small white lights in a winter holiday to invoke childhood memories.
Although very important, it is hardly mentioned anywhere. This type of lighting includes ”panic” lights that light up in the case of a power failure, outdoor lamps that light up with a motion or sound sensor, stair lighting…
How do you calculate main lighting for a room?
How much light is enough? Here is a short guide that will help you easily make this important calculation yourself.
Step 1. Calculate the square footage of the room (multiply the length and width of the room)
Step 2. Determine the room foot-candle requirement
| Living Room
| Kitchen General
| Dining Room
Step 3. Determine the needed lumens (multiply your room square footage by your room foot-candle requirement)
Step 4. If you have especially dark colored walls you’ll need roughly an additional 10 lumens per square foot.
Step 5. If the ceiling is higher than 8 foot you must increase the number of lumens in proportion to the increase in height.
Step 6. If you like the room to be especially bright, you may want to add an additional 10 to 20% to our numbers. The result obtained is the calculated required amount of light for the room expressed in lumens!
Step 7. Determine the amount of light per bulb site (divide the value from step 6 by the number of bulb sites)
Step 8. Choose the type of light bulb you want to use in the room. (LED, CFL, regular/incandescent or halogen)
Step 9. Determine the intensity of the bulb you need. Here is a graph of power equivalence, but keep in mind that the ratio of lumens per watt may vary slightly depending on the manufacturer.
In the end let us say that, although the lumen is a lumen, stil, LED lights provide a higher Color Rendering Index (CRI), so one could see with better clarity in a room lit with LED lumens compared to one lit with the equivalent number of fluorescent, incandescent or halogen lumens. On the other hand some people just don’t like LED lighting because they feel bothered or just aren’t used to it.