How Does Lighting Control
Impact the Design of a Home?
The goal of designers and architects is to design beautiful homes for their clients -- inside and out. Well-planned lighting can play a major role in achieving the look that these professionals and the homeowners are looking for. Whether it's highlighting certain detail or accents in the home, or simply providing the right ambiance, good lighting is important.
Companies like Audio Advice are expected to blend cutting-edge technology and functionality into the home in a way that complements (not competes) with the design. It should enhance the experience for the homeowner, but never at the expense of the design itself.
Through our many years of experience, we've found two common lighting challenges that face architects, interior designers, and homeowners.
- Excessive (and ugly) banks of switches throughout the home
- Lighting plans that are well-thought out but rarely (if ever) used by the homeowner as intended
Banks of Switches
With the increasing popularity of open floor plans, there are fewer and fewer places to land switches. It is not uncommon to see a front door, living room, and back door, each loaded down with four to eight switches -- in a single home!
Not only do these bulky eyesores draw attention and distract from the design of the home, but they can also be extremely frustrating for the homeowner. This is a person's home. They shouldn't have to try three or four different switches every time they want to turn on a light, or worse, label them with masking tape and Sharpie. Talk about an eyesore!
We can help solve this problem by integrating lighting control. By planning things out more strategically, we can combine those ugly switches into a single elegant keypad that is clearly labeled and completely customizable.
The 3 Types of Lighting
A well-designed lighting plan employs three types of lighting.
- Ambient lighting
- Task lighting
- Accent lighting
Ambient lighting provides overall illumination with comfortable brightness but no glare. It's even, soothing, and provides general visibility in the home. Most of the primary lighting fixtures in your home, such as dome lights and the lights in a ceiling fan would be considered a form of ambient lighting.
Task lighting allows you to perform specific tasks in the home such as preparing food in the kitchen, doing homework at a desk, or working on a craft in a workshop. Task lighting is typically more focused, but shouldn't be harsh. Some tasks can take a while to perform and require concentration, so being able to see with minimal eye strain over long periods is important.
Accent lighting adds some drama and visual interest to the room. It allows you to draw the eye and plays off of shapes and shadows to accentuate aspects of the home and its design. To create that effect, it should be brighter than the surrounding ambient light.
Bringing it All Together
By utilizing these three types of lighting effects in a home, we are able to create lighting scenes that are both functional and beautiful. When any one piece is missing, the lighting may feel dull, overpowering, or incomplete. The challenge faced by designers and architects is that while they plan their spaces to use all three types of lighting, often only one is used out of convenience and habit.
A kitchen with under-cabinet, over-cabinet, recessed can lights, and hanging pendants may all provide necessary aspects to a well-balanced lighting plan. If the homeowner fails to adjust each dimmer to the correct intensity, the plan is not fully realized and the lighting is not seen as it was intended. But who wants to adjust a bunch of dimmers every time they walk into a room? And who can remember all of that? It's easier just to flip a switch -- right?
This is where a modern lighting control system comes in. By programming the scenes into the system and combining those scenes into a keypad, we are able to eliminate the need to adjust the dimmers. Simply walk into the room, press the scene you are looking for, and all of the lights will adjust on their own. You get the right settings and the perfect intensity every time with the same amount of effort that it used to take to flip that one light switch.
Let Us Show You What's Possible
At Audio Advice, we are proud to partner with the best architects and designers in North Carolina. We help them leverage technology to enable homeowners to enjoy their beautiful spaces in a way that is easy and intuitive.
While lighting control addresses the common issues of designers, it also opens the door to many additional features such as daylight harvesting, energy reduction, security and convenience enhancement and the ability to create pathway lighting.