Halloween has just passed; was your house the haunted housed that everyone was terrified to approach because it’s dark and gloomy? Have a good lighting plan, and next year you’ll brighten everyone’s holiday experience.
Lighting should be part of any home building or remodeling plan. While certain lights and electrical outlets are part of the building code in every town, you’ll want to work with your builder to get a lighting plan that fits your needs. A single wall outlet every four feet is not a plan. Not only do you want to consider how you’ll be using your new space, you’ll want to know the cost for any lighting fixtures or outlets above and beyond the standard. When the builder gives you an estimate, he is usually basing it on three to four new circuits in a room. At Thomas Custom Builders, we actually bring the electrician with us when we meet with the homeowner to refine the estimate – that third visit when we’re honing the numbers to be as accurate as possible. This is the time when you can communicate to the electrician about types of lighting – whether you want recessed, track, ambient or under-counter task lighting. The electrician will be able to provide the builder with a cost for his time and the products you’re requesting so the builder can include it in the final estimate.
We recommend you describe the actual ways you’ll be using the remodeled area. If you’ll be reading there, having kids do homework or entertaining, you’ll need different lighting options. It’s always smart to have a variety of lighting fixtures in a multi-use room. The room should be well-lit from a ceiling light that can be on a dimmer for maximum flexibility. It should also have concentrated lighting in the seating areas for possible reading. In addition, a well-lit room is a safe room as the home and its residents age. Lighting helps with sure-footedness and helps avoid trips or falls.
Before you’re finished, consider your home’s outdoor lighting as well – especially when adding a new home addition. A combination of good outdoor and indoor lighting makes your home more inviting for family, friends and trick-or-treaters, and discourages potential criminals.