7 types of lighting mistakes you must avoid
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7 types of lighting mistakes you must avoid

Securing the right style of lighting for your home can become a costly expense if you don't know the right rules for choosing a fixture. When undertaking the task of decorating a new home or refurbishing your existing one, you'll want to avoid making mistakes. Simple errors can prevent the minor details of furniture from being highlighted, set you back from creating your desired ambiance, and prevent your home from becoming inviting to your guests. Lighting is one prominent design feature that must be planned strategically according to each room's purpose, layout, and theme. Selecting the most suitable lighting involves picking the right light bulb, temperature, wattage, fixture style, and design. But how do you do this? The best way is to start by identifying the common mistakes and then planning your fixtures around them.

What are the hazards of poor lighting?

Before jumping right into the major mistakes homeowners make, we must dive deeper into why you'll want to avoid them at all costs. Poor lighting can significantly hinder your health, preventing your home from being anything but a safe or relaxing abode. Failing to have the correct type of fixtures could result in:

1. Eye strain

If you have poorly lit areas of your home, your eyes will likely work harder to see your surroundings. Moreover, if you have fixtures that are too brightly lit or flickering, it can also become uncomfortable for your eyes, causing difficulty. Both of these hazards can cause discomfort, burning, red eyes, dryness, and soreness and impact your quality of vision, causing it to deteriorate, especially if you spend a lot of time on your phone or laptop at home.

2. Headaches

Dimly lit fixtures can trigger headaches or migraines, causing consistent pain and discomfort to your brain. Alongside dimly lit lights, if you watch a lot of TV and use computers or smartphones regularly at home, then blue light combined with bad quality lighting can create more damage.

3. Accidents

Inappropriately placed fixtures or poorly lit ones can cause accidents and injuries. Regardless of the room, the wrong fixtures can cause you to overcompensate for the size, shape, depth, or proximity of furniture, increasing the chances of falling or slipping.

4. Mental wellbeing

Light plays a powerful role in your mood and can influence how you start your day. The best type of light to support your mental well-being is natural light. Being exposed to natural light can help your body produce Vitamin D, regulate your circadian rhythm and sleep patterns, and make you happier and healthier. It's true! The research was analyzed by looking at data from 500,000 men and women aged 37-73 years old. They found those who spent around 2.5 hours outdoor each day in sunlight were less likely to develop long term depression. While you can't always get natural light in your home, you can opt for fixtures with lighting temperatures close to it. If you don't have natural lighting or a room that holds heavy artificial light, there's a higher chance you might feel more depressed or lethargic.

What are the major mistakes to avoid?

When designing the interior of your home, you'll want to avoid making these mistakes in lighting:

Inadequate/insufficient lighting

One of the most common mistakes homeowners make is that they depend on a single light source, such as a chandelier, for each room. Relying on one single light source often contributes to an unevenly lit room, increasing the risk of eye strain and accidents. 

Pro Tip: If you have a central fixture like a chandelier, consider installing pot lights to invite more light into your room. The Diana is a pendant light that doubles up as a pot light. This elegant hardwired hanging ceiling light can be installed in the corners of your room over bedside tables. With a dimmer switch, toy can steadily settle into the night, controlling the ambiance according to your preference.

Wrong sized fixtures

Many homeowners don't factor in the size and weight of their lighting fixtures. Often, they end up installing oversized fixtures, which can take up too much space, dominating the room and taking the attention away from other important focal points. 

This commonly happens with crystal chandeliers taking a heavy presence. If you want to select a crystal chandelier, learn to pick the right one here. Another mistake they make is installing small fixtures in the room, preventing sufficient illumination. 

Pro Tip: Before selecting a lighting fixture, always think about its size and weight first, alongside the dimensions of your room. For instance, if you select a chandelier for your staircase, you'll want to consider the length of your ceiling and the type of stairs. 

A chandelier like the Helia can be perfect if you have a curving or spiral staircase. This luxury postmodern piece comes in a metallic gold or black ash finish, complementing any type of colored wall. With this fixture, you have the freedom to choose the quantity of lights and how far it hangs from your ceiling, as the length is adjustable.

Opting for conventional lights

As humans, we can be easily swayed by cheaper prices, especially when buying multiple fixtures for our homes. But when it comes to lighting, the face value cost is not always the cheapest or most efficient. 

Many homeowners make the error of choosing fixtures that have incandescent bulbs or CFL globes, as they often have a lower price. While LEDs are more expensive up front, they're more sustainable in the long term. 

The lifespan of these bulbs can last between 25,000-100,000 hours based on the use and design. Meanwhile, incandescent bulbs or CFL globes have a lifespan of 1000 hours. Compared to conventional bulbs, LEDs don't contain glass enclosures or filaments, making them less likely to break. Learn more about the Pros of LED lights.

Lack of diversity

Another error made is that many people stick to one style of fixture, making a room look mundane and lacking depth. In essence, lighting fixtures can also double up as decor adds, adding a unique touch to the desired aesthetic you wish to create. 

Pro Tip: Always incorporate different types of lighting into your room, such as sconces, wall lights, pendants, downlights, and more. For instance, a wall light like Haylen can be positioned on either side of a television, providing a subtle glow, or even on a back wall horizontally as a standalone statement. Alongside having an elegant overlapping flush mount ceiling light like the Clara positioned in the center of the ceiling of the same room.

Selecting the wrong color temperature

Homeowners often overlook the function of the room, selecting the wrong color temperature for their fixture. If you want to create a cozy ambiance that's warm and inviting, you should aim to have a bulb temperature of 2700k-3000k. 

A soft, warm white is emitted within this range, creating a relaxed atmosphere. The Aurelius Pendant is one fixture that can easily provide a snug feel with its polished gold and warm white temperature. 

However, if you're trying to achieve a more concentrated light for performing a task in your home office or bathroom, you might want to go for a cooler temperature with blue-white light falling between 4000-5000k.

Purchasing lights in isolation

Did you find a fixture you really like? Before buying, you'll want to think beyond the fixture design and consider the existing elements in the room before installing. Many people focus on a single light, neglecting the overall aesthetics such as the room's theme, furniture, color palette, and shapes. To create a clean and cohesive look, you'll want to factor in all of these beforehand - learn more about how to incorporate multiple light fixtures.

Having a lack of three-way switches

Installing lighting in your home does not stop at the fixture; you must also think about the switches. Especially if you have a long hallway- you don't want to travel to the other side to turn off the light. Unfortunately, many people make this mistake, which can be solved by installing a three-way switch. 

These switches allow you to control one light fixture from two different ends, saving time and effort and reducing the risk of accidents, i.e, falling on the stairs from turning off a single switch. They can also be strategically placed next to your bed, saving you the effort of having to exit to turn off all the lights.

Our recommendations

Overall, lighting plays an essential role in elevating your mood, alertness, productivity levels, safety, ambience and also saves energy and money. The right lighting can make your home feel more comfortable and balanced. To avoid these common mistakes mentioned today, we always recommend selecting LEDs, incorporating different styles of lights, focusing on the temperature, factoring in other elements of your room, and measuring the size of the light before installing. For more guidance on choosing the right fixtures for your home, speak to the specialists at MOD Lighting today.

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