The Value Of Light
Updated: Mar 7, 2021
Ever have to find something (like your keys) in the dark? Not fun, right? Enter, God's creation - light!
We, humans, have learned to control and manipulate this thing called light, just like the way we learned to control and manipulate fire. If mankind is so good at harnessing energy and creating light, how come so many of us are still living in the dark? Why do so many of our customers lack lighting in crucial areas of their home? I regularly see garage/shop spaces, closets, bathrooms, bedrooms, living rooms, dining rooms, and kitchens, all without the lighting necessary for the comfort of our eyes when we are spending time in or around those spaces.
My question is, WHY?! Is there not a better alternative? Why must each room have just a single light source? Why does the American home builder stick to the decades old "tradition" of cheap, single light sources? Is there not a better way? Does the homeowner not deserve a better, more flexible, and greatly improved lighting source and layout? I believe it's time to create new traditions, time to change how we look at lighting in and around the home. It's time to change our homes from this dark or very dim, uncomfortable, and out-of-date style to a better and much cozier setup!
Let's discuss the benefits of my proposition -
One of the benefits of more light in a home is cleanliness. With more light, you can see more dirt or dust. When we see dirt or dust in our home we can effectively clean it. What's not to like??
Another great benefit of more (quality) light in the home is flexibility. We recently did a lighting upgrade at the home of my friend Ivan (he's the owner of our local appliance repair company, Quality Touch Appliance Repair) and we decided to separate his new recessed lights into several zones. Several weeks later, while sitting in his living room and enjoying the new lighting layout, I realized how awesome the idea of multiple zones in a single living room was - we just had one single zone turned on, slightly dimmed down, and could comfortably enjoy our time while winding down for the evening, without any bright lights like we had earlier when we had more people there and were having a group discussion.On a similar note, I have some RGB (Red, Green, Blue - multi colored) lighting installed above our kitchen cabinets that provides some "mood" lighting and works very well for that same reason - when we do not want to turn on any brighter lights, we turn on our "kitchen uplight" and now we have a very nice purple or blue light filling our open floor plan that's easy on the eyes.
Multiple light sources have another major advantage - the light distribution/layout/coverage. How many of our bedroom desks are in the middle of the room under that single light fixture? Not many, I'm sure. Most folks set up their desks next to the wall, and when you sit down at the desk, you literally just blocked the light from shining on that desk. Why would someone do that to themselves? Why not just have multiple lighting sources, maybe a single light or light/fan combo in the middle that is good for general room access, but also a series of recessed lights installed approximately 36-48" off the wall that can compensate the shortfalls of the light/fan combo and evenly distribute their light throughout the room? Maybe add a few wall sconces installed at the left and right of the bed for a reading light, or a decorative wall light/ceiling light that is more a decorative light/night light than a general room fill light?
Additionally, I want to remind about the benefits of sufficient lighting in the bathroom. Some will disagree, but I am a firm believer in a light installed above the shower, such as a small pendant or a recessed light, plus possibly a lower light output fixture or recessed light above the toilet. We have been very satisfied with the lighting setup in our master bathroom - can light over the shower/tub combo, can light over the toilet (definitely a lower lumen fixture there), and of course, the vanity light. We do not yet have a light over the shower in our second bathroom, and the difference is huge. It's not the same experience, I feel like I'm searching for the soap/shampoo in the dark, it just feels like a step backwards.
Last but not least, let's not forget the exterior of our homes. Crimes are most commonly committed in dark places, in not very will-lit locations, so why provide that location to a criminal? The entire tone of a home's exterior changes drastically with improved lighting at night. Imagine landscape lighting, such as small LED spotlights aimed at our flowerbeds and trees, floodlights aimed at the home, a sufficiently illuminated driveway and walkways, LED string lights hung around the fire pit and/or pool, sconces installed on back porch columns, and enough reserve lights on the rear of the house that can provide lighting for children to play outside even when the sun has gone down... That is the reason mankind has learned to harness energy and create lighting for our everyday use!
This is my call for a lighting revolution among homeowners, homebuilders, and contractors - let's refine the American home, let's increase property value with multiple lighting systems that enhance the appearance and boost our comfort while spending time in and around the home?? Let's not have to ever again search for our keys in the dark...
This combination of recessed lighting and under cabinet lights creates multiple zones and multiple options. Plus, it looks great!
This living room has separately switches recessed lights and chandelier. Just the chandelier would never provide this coverage, but combined, it's a wonderful setup.
Ample amount of light in this master bedroom in Greenville, need I say more??
Exterior is well-lit, and the floodlights on the corners aren't even turned on yet!