Thoughtful, well-designed lighting helps homeowners age in place comfortably and safely. 

 

A precise lighting plan is a subtle but powerful way to dramatically elevate the ambiance of a timber frame home. However, a well-lit space not only enhances the aesthetic appeal but also improves the functionality of a home, therefore empowering residents to age in place.

By thoughtfully designing lighting schemes tailored to a clients’ needs (now and in the future), our team prioritizes not only the visual appeal but also the well-being of our clients. Here’s a deeper look at the nuances of lighting design:

 

 

What is “Lighting Design”?

Light adds depth, dimension, and even character to a home. But achieving a well-lit room is about more than just adding a light or two and calling it good. The real magic happens when lighting fixtures are combined strategically, each with its own purpose. Think of lighting — and fixtures — in three main categories:

  • Task: direct light for specific activities — perfect for illuminating a workbench or a space on the couch to read. Think lamps, wall-mounted lighting fixtures, and pendants.
  • Ambient: overall illumination, often established through chandeliers, pendants, and wall mounts.
  • Accent: fixtures that highlight particular visual interests like artwork or décor.

Since each room serves different functions, it’s important to consider what activities occur. For example, a kitchen, living room, and bedroom are all lit differently. In some places task lighting will be the most important, while others may only necessitate accent lighting. Likely though, you’ll want all three at play to some degree throughout the home.

 

A Note on Lighting Temperature

Lights give off a spectrum of colors that range from warm to cool. The color temperature of light is measured in degrees Kelvin. The higher the Kelvin number, the closer the color is to bright white with a bluer tint. The lower the number, the warmer the light appears with a more yellow and red hue. The warmness of light changes the way a color scheme looks and shifts the mood. It also highlights certain design elements. Warm light is used most often in living rooms, bedrooms, and dining rooms, whereas cool light is ideal for kitchens, bathrooms, home offices, and garages. For the greatest flexibility, choose dimmable bulbs. Not only does this allow you to transform a cozy atmosphere into one that’s more task-oriented at a moment’s notice (while reducing glare), but it also provides better control over energy consumption.

 

Good Lighting Makes Homes Safer and Healthier

By adjusting the levers mentioned above — fixture styles, brightness, temperature, and layers — you and your Woodhouse team can achieve bright, well-lit interiors for your home while prioritizing safety and comfort. Adjusting different aspects of your lighting design can help facilitate daily tasks in areas like kitchens, workspaces, and reading nooks, thus reducing the risk of accidents. Uniform illumination in high-traffic areas such as entrances, staircases, and hallways enhances overall safety and navigation throughout the home. Finally, beyond aesthetics and safety, good lighting is essential for maintaining optimal eye health. Insufficient lighting strains the eyes, potentially leading to discomfort and long-term issues.

For aging in place safely, user-friendly rocker switches can also be implemented into the design early in the building process. Their large surface area makes them easy to see and operate, and many come with built-in timers that automatically turn on and off.

 

 

How Lighting a Timber Frame Home is Different

With open-concept layouts that feature high ceilings and expansive spaces, lighting a timber frame home presents some unique challenges. Furthermore, your lighting plan will need to account for the fact that  wood absorbs and reflects light differently than drywall or plaster. Extra large, voluminous spaces demand a significantly greater amount of light to compensate for absorption through exposed beams, posts, and ceilings in timber frame construction.

Spotlighting woodwork in a timber frame home amplifies its natural beauty and architectural features, accomplished through techniques like accent light and uplighting for ceilings, trusses, and beams. (See how Woodhouse owner Pat Seaman is spotlighting the timbers in his forever home with track lighting in installment 41 of our Forever Home series here!) Wall wash lighting, generated through sconces or picture lights, and cove lighting, which casts a diffused glow showcasing the contours and lines of woodwork, also illuminates the beauty of timber frame construction.

 

 

Why an Experienced Design Team Matters

Understanding how lighting can affect moods, emotions, and well-being, Woodhouse architect Diana Allen can help by incorporating large windows, solar tubes, and skylights to maximize natural light penetration and highlight the beauty of the surrounding landscape, while strategically integrating areas for artificial light placement. Directional lighting, such as track lighting or adjustable recessed fixtures, accentuates specific areas or focal points and allows you to adjust the brightness for different moods, whether visiting with guests or watching a movie. Diana can also offer eco-friendly solutions to minimize environmental impact and reduce energy consumption.

Choosing fixtures that are appropriate to the space helps maintain visual balance. For example, if a dining room chandelier is not scaled appropriately to the length of the table or size of the room, the space will be thrown off. Equally so if the ceiling is high and the fixture isn’t low enough to rest at the recommended 30 to 36 inches above the table. Our skilled Woodhouse design team calculates the appropriate scale of recessed cans, torchieres, sconces, and other fixtures, and takes into account the unique style of your timber frame home when selecting lighting elements.

 

Get Started

Trust the experienced Woodhouse architects to create a custom timber frame home that’s illuminated properly and designed around your lifestyle. A custom timber frame home should meet your needs today and well into the future. To find a home that suits your needs and sustains your comfort and style, begin in our gallery to see what other homeowners have chosen for their Woodhouse custom home. Then contact us to get started on your forever home.