Lighting is an amazing thing. It has the subtle power to make small rooms look open and airy, or large rooms appear cozy and inviting. It’s especially important in log homes.
In conventional construction, drywall reflects light, but in log construction, the wood in the walls and ceilings absorbs light. That means it takes much more light to illuminate a log home. Add vaulted ceilings and a log home needs far more lumens than a conventional home does.
These spaces will also have to work for you as you age. After 60, you need three times the amount of light to accomplish the same tasks as you needed at age 19.
One of the most common mistakes many log home buyers make is under-budgeting for lighting needs. This is an oversight that can be easily avoided with some advance planning.
If you’re on a budget, focus on wiring your home generously for a variety of fixtures. Because fixtures are easy to replace, you can use less expensive products until you can afford to upgrade to more artistic and custom illumination.
General lighting takes the place of sunlight, enabling you to see and move about safely. Task lighting helps you perform specific tasks, such as cooking or reading. Accent lighting adds drama to a home by directing eyes toward a specific area.
Chandeliers can be used in foyers, bedrooms or over a living room grouping and provide a great source of general lighting. Track lighting, once considered as tacky as green shag carpeting, has advanced light years in appeal and convenience, and it’s still a good source of general lighting, as is recessed lighting when employed in ceilings or under eaves.
Pendants suspended from the ceiling can be used for task lightingparticularly useful over kitchen islands. In the bathroom, lighting strips above sinks or by the sides of mirrors supply task lighting for grooming. There are also small specialty lamps, such as clip-on lights, adjustable task lights and mini-reflector spotlights.
Don’t forget floor or table lamps. They have their place, too. Not only do they supply ample reading light near chairs or bedsides; they are portable, allowing you to move them or group them as needed.