Adding lighting to your home can make it safer and brighter, and can also make it easier to accomplish everyday chores and projects in the kitchen and many other areas.
This does not mean simply getting bigger light bulbs. Light fixtures have bulb size limitations and you can’t always safely acquire more light by adding wattage.
In fact, it is a dangerous thing to do if the existing bulb is already the largest allowed for the fixture.
An oversized bulb, especially in an older fixture, can mean a fire. If the fixtures you have concerns about are too small, it may be time to consider replacing them with units that support greater wattage.
Also, it may not hurt to think about strategic additions. Here are a few places to consider: the kitchen, the laundry, bathrooms, stairways and stairwells, the workshop (naturally), porches and exterior steps, and walks and patios.
That seems to include lighting just about everywhere, doesn’t it?
Improving lighting can benefit those with aging eyes, but it can also help reduce eye strain for just about anyone using a home work area with insufficient lighting.
And certainly one of the most-used work areas in the home is the kitchen. In almost every remodel we have ever done, we doubled or tripled the existing lighting and it was a hit every time.
Under-cabinet lighting, lighting in pantries and additional task lighting are a few of the additions that everyone loved.
Under-cabinet lighting really puts the light on the work surface where it belongs, to help with reading recipes, mixing ingredients and even being able to clearly see what’s on the countertop.
Xenon under-cabinet lighting is without doubt the brightest and whitest we have ever seen.
The same goes for the laundry. Laundry lighting often consists of a ventilation fan-light combination — not the world’s best source of illumination. Under-cabinet lighting can work wonders and reduce eye strain when you are trying to read labels for laundering instructions.
The fluorescent lighting found in kitchens and bathrooms is soft, inexpensive and cool.
Unfortunately, it often isn’t bright enough, especially when the light is an integral part of an exhaust fan.
When you are looking at lighting, one really important location is the mirror. Here, you want bright lighting — if nothing else, at least a lighted magnifying mirror. They work well and are affordable.
Good lighting of stairways, stairwells, porches and walks isn’t only a question of eye fatigue. Safety is the key word at these locations.
No matter how healthy or hearty the pedestrian, a fall could be critical. Good lighting at these locations is a must.
Tract-home builders do what the code requires: a porch light or a light over the stairs. You need to do the rest: add lighting that brightens up the pathway and separation between steps.
You may well make your home look more interesting to evening guests, and no doubt they will appreciate the bright, safe walkway.
In sum: make your home safer. Add lighting throughout. A clear path is a safe one.