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3 Steps to the Perfect Lighting Scheme

Tips for creating an effective lighting scheme in your timber home.

It’s a tricky formula that we’ve all tried to master — to create a warm and inviting (while still functional) atmosphere in our home. And of all the elements that help to achieve this goal, lighting is perhaps the most important. It provides ambiance and helps homeowners perform necessary tasks. And, in a timber home, it’s also important to highlight the stunning architectural elements that make it so unique.

Our first tip for lighting such a space: Don’t rely on one ceiling fixture for the whole room’s illumination. Instead, include several light sources in each room, and spread them out to create three or four layers of light. Three watts per square foot should sufficiently illuminate a room. As you’re planning your timber home’s illumination scheme, consider incorporating the following types of lighting:

1. Track Lighting Highlight different aspects of a room by installing track lighting or rail systems on walls, ceilings or beams. Some systems are more versatile than track lighting. Rails, for example, can bend around corners, and they’re available in wavy lines and geometric shapes.

2. Uplighting To increase ambient light in a room, think about using uplighting. If you have a low, light-colored ceiling, consider bouncing light off of it with standing floor lamps. To brighten cathedral ceilings, add uplights at the 9-foot level to keep the light from getting lost in the rafters and showcase the timber trusses in the process.

3. Wall Fixtures Fixtures attached to walls can add soft lighting to a room. Wall washers that highlight art are a good option, and wall sconces will bring the light down to the human level in a sprawling timber-framed spaced. An added benefit: Side lighting flatters the face; overhead light can cast unattractive shadows.