Light it up!
How to choose the right lighting for your home renovation in Victoria, BC
When you think about your upcoming home renovation, you probably imagine the sparkle of the cabinets and countertops in your new kitchen, the bright and beautiful updated bathroom, and maybe how that artwork you bought on holiday will fit perfectly in your redesigned living room layout. In your mind’s eye, the lighting is flawless — just like what you see in your favourite design blogs. But if the real space doesn’t have an effective lighting strategy, it won’t look as good as it should.
Home and room renovations completed by the MACreno team in Victoria look amazing because our designers consider and select the lighting to match how you’ll use the space, then make educated decisions to inform your overall lighting plan.
Mike McDougall, a lighting professional at McLaren Lighting here in Victoria, explained, “in your living rooms and kitchens — the main areas of your home — using the right lighting showcases the quality of the components you’ve chosen. While some of the builder-quality, value-focused options may provide some lumens, they aren’t the best choice for general lighting. We’ve seen some kitchens where the homeowner splurged on nice countertops then tried to save a bit with economy lighting. The lights gave off too much glare, taking the focus away from the new surfaces. We provided a better solution, but it would have been more cost-effective to have planned it right from the start. One of the reasons we like working with MAC Renovations is that they include a lighting scheme that ensures the renovation looks great every time you look at it.”
Choosing the right lights
There are three main lighting categories: general, task, and accent. Choosing the right light for each application is an essential part of the design process, so here are some things to consider discussing with your designer.
Lighting that floods a room, typically from the ceiling, is called general or ambient lighting. It’s usually artificial but often supplements natural lighting in a smart design. Your lighting scheme for ambient light might include chandeliers, recessed lighting, track lighting, and wall-mounted fixtures, or even floor or table lamps if they fit the design scheme.
When you’re doing something that requires direct light, this is generally done through task lighting. It makes chopping carrots in the kitchen, crafting a favourite memory, or curling up in a comfy chair with a great book much more enjoyable. Your designer will look at how you use the space and recommend task lighting where it will be most beneficial and effective.
Using lighting to enhance a specific spot in your home lets you bring the focus where you want it. Paintings and sculptures are obvious spots to feature smart accent lighting, but they’re beneficial in other places in your home as well: in-cabinet accent lighting to showcase your favourite collection, under-cabinet lighting to subtly make a space warmer and more welcoming, and even under-vanity options, so you don’t have to turn the overhead lights on in the middle of the night to use the washroom.
Light Emitting Diodes (LED)
There are very few lighting considerations that can’t be addressed through an LED-based solution. You can find an LED fixture or bulb to rival any incandescent, usually delivering more benefits: offering many more years of beauty, requiring minimal energy consumption, and providing an exceptional colour range. LEDs are a smart solution for general, task, and accent lighting, indoors and out.
“When I’m doing a lighting plan, I choose switches that have dimmers,” said Azu Saavedra, an interior designer at MAC Renovations. “If all of the lights are on full bright at the same time, it can feel like a hospital room. Layered lighting works better, making the space more comfortable by letting you choose how much light to give the space.”
Do you know what designers hate to see? Light switches. And with today’s technology, it’s possible to create a design that uses a central controller with strategically placed keypads and voice controls, giving you the ability to control the light in your life: enjoying it where you want it, when you need it. The leading controllers integrate well with Google Home and Alexa and should play well with future technologies as they come to market. Another benefit of smart lighting systems is the ability to control them from your smartphone. You can improve your home’s security from the beaches of Hawaii or your office in Saanich by providing the illusion that people are in the house.
Whether you’re looking at lighting options to enhance your new living space or interested in energy efficiency upgrades to reduce your carbon footprint, give us a call to find the right lighting strategy for your renovation. We’ve been remodelling homes in Victoria for nearly 40 years, and we’re looking forward to helping you love where you live.