We’d like to offer some advice for people starting home renovation projects to make sure you get the lighting you want.
Let me share my most memorable renovation project – our kitchen. It was certainly in need of a major renovation – but we all know that renovating a kitchen is an investment. We spent months saving our money and planning our design. We were “old-school” and used an actual manila folder and pulled photos we liked from magazines….but were we starting this today, we’d definitely use Pinterest!
Anyway, we took all these ideas to a local kitchen design center – we strongly recommend using one registered with the National Kitchen and Bath Association, as they are the true experts.
I couldn’t wait to open up the wall between the kitchen and family room, and create a breakfast bar. I had dreams of packing lunches while the kids ate breakfast….cooking and being able to see the television….cleaning after dinner while the kids did homework – this bar was my top priority. And then the kitchen designer asked the question that stopped us in our tracks: had we considered how to tie in the kitchen to the existing family room?
No. That was the simple answer. We were back to the drawing board – we needed everything to flow into the family room, including the staircase, which led to the upstairs bedrooms….our kitchen renovation was influencing three-quarters of our living space!
We all know how renovation projects go – you start with the idea of doing one thing in one room, and it quickly spreads to the adjoining rooms. Our focus here is on the lighting, because it’s often overlooked. In the absence of your direction, contractors lean toward basic wiring that will leave you disappointed when you are ready to choose light fixtures. Follow these 5 steps to ensure you get the lighting you want in your finished renovation.
Step one: Verify the finishes of the surrounding lights. Make note of these surrounding lights on your plans, paying special attention to any lights that will either directly affect your renovated space or are immediately adjacent to the renovation.
Step two: Know the three types of lighting.
1. General Lighting provides lighting throughout the space to an open feel, avoid dark areas.
2. Task Lighting is necessary for areas with a high level of activity.
3. Accent Lighting is used to enhance architectural details, furniture and art work.
Read lots more about the three types of lighting at our website!
Step 3: Don’t forget the controls!
Controlling the amount of light in your room at different times of day will greatly enhance the atmosphere. Plan to use dimming switches & controls to layer the lighting within the space. If you need help with this, the ALA trained professionals at Lighting Concepts are here to help!
Luckily for you, gone are the days of ugly strips of lighting controls. Check out these offerings from Lutron – see them in person in the Lighting Concepts’ showroom!
Once you have planned all your lighting, you are ready to move to the construction phase.
Step 4: Electrical Rough-In.
Be sure that the details and scope are clear to your contractor. Share the work you have done in steps 1-3 so your team understands your expectations. After the rough-in phase it is typically too late to make any changes!
Step 5: Electrical Finish
Be sure to confirm the schedule for “finish” with your contractor. You will need to have your light fixtures chosen and delivered by this date.
Lighting Concepts can help by delivering your product labeled for easy installation by your contractor. We also offer on-site help throughout the process.
It has been years since our kitchen renovation, and I still have those moments of “wow, I love my kitchen!” I got everything I wanted, including years of my kids eating and studying at that breakfast bar, because I followed these five steps. Ready to start a renovation project of your own? Lighting Concepts is here to help!