Ask the Expert:


Q: If I am remodeling a room, what should I consider before choosing the lighting fixtures?

When remodeling a room you want to decide how extensive you want the change to be. Brainstorm your ideas. What do you want your room to look and feel like? Decide what you want to use the space for; different activities require different kinds of lighting.

Think about and decide how much you want to change your space. Do you want it to feel bigger or more cozy? Color and lighting can play an important part in both. More light will make your space feel bigger. Less light and warm colors will make it more cozy. Dimmer switches can help you with the light levels.

The best way to light a room is to create layers of light with the three general types of lights: general lights, task lights and accent lights.

General lights, basically, are overhead lights. These lights help set the feel of a room. Depending on the size of the room, choose from a flush mount (a light close to the ceiling) or a semi-flush mount (one that drops down some). Most chandeliers and even some track systems offer different mounting options. This would be your first layer of light.

Task lighting, picture lights, wall-mounted directional lights or recessed cans can be an additional layer of light. Some excellent choices include wall sconces behind the bed or on an opposite wall, or pin-up lights that plug in and are typically on a swing arm for reading. Table lamps are also a good way to add another layer of light.

The type of light bulbs your fixture will take is another consideration. I like going with the A lamps (regular light bulb style) as they are readily available and give you better light options. I also like going with frosted or amber glass to conceal the look of the bulbs and soften the light. LED bulbs vary in light temperature from 2700-3000 kelvin (warm white), 4000 kelvin (neutral white) to 5000 kelvin (cooler blue). Dimmable bulbs will give you more light levels.

Pat Tomlinson has 24 years in the industry, 20 of which are at Brown’s Electric and The Lighting Gallery in Anchorage as a lighting consultant. She loves to put light in people’s lives - for any room and any occasion.