Choosing the Best Light Bulbs for Each Area of Your Home
With so many of us spending time working from home these days, it is crucial that you have the right type and amount of lighting in each room of your home- especially in areas where you complete your work. Today, Right Electrical Services will be giving you all the information you need to choose the best light bulbs for each area of your home.
As it turns out, there are a slew of reasons that you should have the right lighting in every room of your home. Not only is this important in terms of design, but it is even important for your health! Here’s why you should place your focus on finding the best light bulbs for each area of your home.
The Importance of Having the Best Light Bulbs
In the midst of the current pandemic, most of us are spending a lot of time in our homes. With that, comes the need for sufficient lighting. While many of us don’t give much thought to the need for home lighting on a daily basis, proper lighting is actually essential to our health.
In fact, there have been many studies that have shown that proper lighting can have a huge impact on our productivity. Recent studies have shown that lighting has been found to decrease depression and improve mood, energy, alertness, and productivity.
As you can see, having the best light bulbs in each area of your home is crucial, not only from a design standpoint but also in terms of your health. For this reason, it is vital that you know exactly how to pick the best light bulbs for every room in your home. Luckily, there are a few different steps you can follow to choose the best lighting.
Step 1: Consider the Function of Each Room in Your Home
In order to choose the best light bulbs for each area of your home, it is crucial that you take the function of each room into account. Generally, lighting function falls into three basic categories: task, accent, and ambient (or general). Let’s take a closer look at each of those lighting functions so you can get a better idea of how to determine the lighting function of each room in your home.
Task lighting is considered the best form of lighting for areas where you either read or complete some form of work. This lighting should be much brighter than other forms of lighting, giving you sufficient lighting to see what you’re doing. In task lighting, it is important that the contrast focuses the light on a specified work area.
Under-cabinet kitchen lights and desk lights are great examples of areas where task lighting is needed. That being said, track lighting and pendants can also be used for task lighting. This depends, however, on the way that you layer the lighting in your room as well as the type of light bulbs that you use. We’ll talk more about that shortly.
Accent lighting is meant to highlight, or accent, a particular area of your home. This could be anything from a bookcase to your favorite piece of art hanging on a wall. Accent lighting is directed at certain objects to enhance visual appeal. This is done, usually, by creating a shadow around the object for dramatic effect. Landscape lights and wall lights are two very common examples of accent lighting.
Ambient (or General) Lighting
Ambient lighting (or general lighting) is meant to act as the overall lighting of a room. Known most commonly for acting as “natural lighting”, ambient lighting usually possesses a lighter hue. A few examples of fixtures used to create an ambient light are chandeliers, track lighting, or pendant lights. Any lighting fixture used to completely light up a room can be considered ambient lighting.
Identifying the Function of a Room in Your Home
In order to properly light your home using any of these three techniques, you need to ask yourself how you will be using each room as well as whether or not there are any pieces you would like to accent. It is highly recommended when determining the function of each room that you start with ambient lighting in order to light the entire room before considering task lighting and, finally, accent lighting.
Next, you’ll want to think about where you want the lighting in a particular room in your home to go. Now isn’t the time to worry about fixtures so much but, rather, to think about where you want the lighting to fall in each particular room. Unsure of where to start? Start with these room-by-room suggestions!
- Kitchen: In kitchens, it is best to add ambient light overhead while focusing task lighting under cabinets in order to illuminate your work area where you prepare your meals. If possible, it is also a great idea to add some form of task lighting to your kitchen sink.
- Bedroom: In bedrooms, it is most common to focus task lighting on areas like your nightstand. It is also highly recommended to focus any lighting away from the bed itself. Instead of directing light directly onto the bed, you may instead focus your ambient lighting in an angled fashion, focusing it toward the dressing area in particular.
- Living Room: In addition to ambient light, it is recommended that you use accent lighting in one corner of the room in the living room. Focus this accent lighting on a favorite piece of art on the wall or a piece of living room furniture.
- Bathroom: When it comes to bathrooms, choosing the right lighting can be a bit more tricky. You will, of course, want task lighting for the bathroom mirror area but an overhead task light is known for creating shadows. Instead of overhead lighting here, consider lighting your mirror with task lighting on either side of the mirror itself. You can also use ambient overhead lighting to light the entire room.
Step 2: Choose the Best Light Bulbs For Each Room
Once you have identified the function of the light in each room of your home, it’s time to choose the best light bulbs to complete that function. The light bulbs in each room of your home act as the source of light and it is important that you take this into consideration when making your selection.
There are various types of light bulbs for you to choose from, each with their own function and performance. Here are four basic types of light bulbs for you to consider:
- Incandescent: Incandescent bulbs are the traditional type of light bulbs and have been the most commonly used by homeowners for decades. They are starting to become less popular due to more energy-efficient alternatives, however. Incandescent bulbs emit a warm, glowing light.
- Compact fluorescent bulbs (CFLs): CFLs use 75 percent less energy than incandescent bulbs. Apart from using much less energy, they also last longer. CFLs are known for emitting a cooler tone but you can find these bulbs with a range of temperatures and brightness levels.
- LEDs: LED light bulbs are just as energy-efficient as CFLs but they can last up to three times longer! While LEDs are most commonly used for task lighting due to the bright, white light that they emit, there are many types of LEDs that now offer the same warmth as incandescent bulbs. For these reasons, LED light bulbs are more expensive than most types of light bulbs but many homeowners view them as an investment.
- Halogen: Halogen bulbs produce a bright, white light that is most similar to natural daylight. This makes them particularly useful for a natural lighting effect and they work great for task lighting. While not quiet as energy-efficient as CFLs or LEDs, they do use 10 to 20 percent less energy than incandescent bulbs.
While there are many other types of light bulbs, we are highlighting these four main types. This is because, for the purpose of this article, we are most closely focusing on how bulbs look in each area of your home. Let’s take a look at the brightness of each of these bulbs, a large determining factor in choosing the best light bulb for each room of your home based on function.
The Brightness of Your Light Bulb
One fact that you should consider when choosing the best light bulb for each area of your home is that the more lumens a light bulb has, the brighter the light that it produces. As a guiding line, note that the typical home light bulb contains around 800 lumens. So how many lumens should you use for each room in your home? Take a look at the following guide from HouseLogic to help you:
- Kitchens: 5,000-10,000 total lumens
- Bathrooms: 4,000-8,000 total lumens
- Bedrooms: 2,000-4,000 total lumens
- Living rooms: 1,500-3,000 lumens
- Dining rooms: 3,000-6,000 lumens
- Home offices: 3,000-6,000 lumens
While these are very rough estimates and do account for the use of many different light bulbs and lighting options in each room, this guide can be used as a basic outline when choosing the best light bulbs for each area of your home.
As a further note, keep in mind that kitchens are usually brighter than living rooms, for example, and include a mixture of the three types of lighting. Bedrooms, as another example, usually use only one or two types of lighting based on the function of the room.
The Light Appearance of Your Light Bulb
While the brightness of light bulbs are measured by lumens, the light appearance of each bulb is measured by Kelvins. The packaging of each light bulb that you consider should note both the lumens and the Kelvins of each bulb. As a helpful note, the higher the number of Kelvins in a bulb, the cooler the light. Use the following guide from Batteries + Bulbs to guide you when selecting the best light bulb based on the number of Kelvins it contains for the right light appearance:
- Soft white/warm white (2700 Kelvin): Best for bedrooms and living rooms; providing a traditional warm, cozy feel to them.
- Bright white/cool white (4100 Kelvin): Best in kitchens, bathrooms or garages; giving rooms a whiter, more energetic feel.
- Daylight (5000-6000 Kelvin): Best in bathrooms, kitchens and basements; good for reading, intricate projects, or applying makeup—provides the greatest contrast among colors.
Step 3: Choose Your Lighting Fixtures
Once you have determined the function of your lighting, how bright you want the light to be, and which light temperature you prefer, it’s time to choose your lighting fixtures. Here is a list of a few of the most common lighting fixtures that you can use to get your desired lighting effect in each room of your home:
- Ceiling mount fixtures: These are the most standard for ambient lighting. Ceiling mount fixtures are ideal in entry foyers, bedrooms, task areas, hallways, and stairways. In hallways, it is recommended that you space out fixtures every eight to ten feet for the most adequate illumination.
- Pendant lighting: Best used for task or general lighting, pendant lights hang from the ceiling and are equipped with shades in order to avoid glare. These particular fixtures work best over dining room tables, or countertops.
- Chandeliers: When used for general or ambient lighting, chandeliers are best used in dining rooms or bedrooms.
- Recessed lighting: Recessed lighting can be used anywhere for general, task or accent lighting. What really matters is how bright your recessed lighting is and where they are located.
- Table lamps: Table lamps are best for accent lighting in a living room or even task lighting in a bedroom.
Call Right Electrical Services For Your Lighting Installation!
Now that you know exactly how to choose the best light bulbs for each area of your home, it’s time to contact the professionals! As Raleigh’s best electricians, we specialize in lighting installation including the installation of light fixtures. We also specialize in security and landscape lighting installation. Give us a call at (919) 359-1017 to book your appointment today!