The Power of Lighting: Remodeling with the flip of a switch


Currently designing your remodel or add-on? Looking for a way to make a dramatic change on a small scale? Sometimes the simplest solution can be to focus on your home’s lighting. More than any other architectural solution, lighting has the greatest effect on our health and well-being, whether it’s sunlight coming through the windows or the natural glow from well-placed home lighting systems. Natural light in the home can kill bacteria that collect in dark corners, especially in beach communities. Additionally, bringing natural light into your home has the added benefit of mood elevation, which also helps us increase our productivity.

Under construction?

Whether you are in the planning stages or midway through your build or remodel, you should consider how to use your home’s layout to best capture natural sunlight.

• Plan your design around large, floor-to-ceiling, or adjacent windows to make a space seem not only brighter, but larger and more open.

• The skylight is back! Many realtors note the influence of natural light from a skylight on potential buyers.

• Decide where you want to prioritize the natural light coming into your home. Do you rise with the sun? You will want east-facing bedrooms with large windows. Do you have an at-home office? Consider the placement of your desk to avoid glare on a computer screen while allowing in the maximum amount of light for your productivity.

• Do you like to read on a long couch? Over-the-shoulder lighting in the afternoon may be ideal for you; consider a wall of windows in a west-facing room.

• To bring the ambient glow into your home at night, consider a recessed ledge with LED rope lighting.

Locked into your layout?

If you can’t change the structure of your home, there are plenty of simpler options to brighten your space.

• Update heavy or dark window treatments. You may be stuck with a small room and dark furniture, but you can add instant light with different window treatments. Choose lighter prints or less-heavy fabrics, or consider shades or shutters for an update. The brighter the room, the larger it seems.

• Maximize the artificial light in your home. The first fix is to add lighting sources, such as lamps, track lighting, or recessed downlights to eliminate a room’s dark spots. The simple addition of a new light can give the allusion of adding square footage to your room, especially at night.

• Revisit your fixtures. Do you need a chandelier with more bulbs? Or a sconce with a translucent shade?

• Are your bulbs too harsh? There are many new CFLs on the market that do a better job of mimicking the soft, warm glow of traditional filament bulbs.

• If your wall space is taken up by cabinets or bookshelves, consider adding under-mount lighting, such as LED rope lighting or other task lighting, for a natural glow that can add depth to your space.

• Revolutionary in-floor light strips bring light into your space from a single source, filling an entire room with a comforting glow. They can also be used to show off architectural details to great effect.

For information on renovations that maximize your natural light and other home updates, please contact us at