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Choosing the Right Lighting for Your Home

Thanks to new technology, your options for lighting your log or timber home are smarter, greener and easier than ever before.

 With so much wood on display, log homes tend to soak up light. Plan for nearly twice the lumens you’d typically use in drywalled spaces to keep your interiors feeling light and bright. Home by Northeastern Log Homes; Photo by Mark Sorenson


Since electricity became a mainstay in American residences nearly 100 years ago, lighting has been a key part of interior design. And as fixtures evolved, so did our expectations, strategies and tastes, resulting in today’s principles to help homeowners achieve the best lighting schemes possible. 

For example, the principle of “layering” artificial lighting, with ambient, task and accent fixtures, is just as important as natural light is for a home’s look and its inhabitants’ health. Ambient brings a baseline of functionality to your spaces and helps you move through your home comfortably. Task lighting makes kitchens, offices and bathrooms safer and more efficient, while accent lighting brings the drama, showcasing the features that make your unique log, timber or hybrid wood home so special. 

While some things haven’t changed through the years, a lot about lighting has, particularly with the advent of internet-connected smart-home technology and sustainability-minded innovation. Today, your lighting options are smarter, more energy efficient and accessible than ever before. Here are some of the products making those bragging rights possible and how they can enhance your log or timber home. 



Go Greener…

Sustainable brands like Cerno, Varaluz and David Trubridge are proving that going green can be a gorgeous decision. Based in Southern California, Cerno’s LED lamps are made in the USA and designed to last using responsibly sourced materials and only energy-efficient LED technology. Made of solid walnut, linen and aluminum, their fixtures are timeless but modern. Varaluz boasts fixtures that incorporate 70 percent recycled steel and/or 100 percent recycled glass, in addition to other reclaimed, natural and sustainable materials. David Trubridge is a New Zealand-based boat-builder-turned-designer whose fixtures are made using renewable bamboo, sustainable timber and non-toxic, organic oil finishes in a facility with 100 percent renewable electricity before being flat-packed and shipped in recycled packaging.



Get Smarter…

Systems like the Caséta by Lutron boost not just convenience, but your security and sustainability as well. The ultra-smart lighting system boasts options you may be familiar with — like scheduling and controlling your fixtures from a variety of devices — but it also comes with features that prove just how far smart tech has come in the field of lighting. Since the technology’s “intelligence” is in the switch, not the bulb, it works even if your Wi-Fi is down or if the switch is flipped off. You can create custom lighting “scenes” for activities like movie night or dinner time, and you can have your lighting schedule automatically sync to sunset and sunrise, so the illumination level is always just right — even with seasonal time changes.  



Age More Comfortably...

For a home where you can age in place peacefully and safely, a thorough combo of ambient and task lighting is key. To create abundant ambient lighting, the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) suggests recessed fixtures in common areas and hallways. If you’re picturing the cold, clinical “can” lights you might find in offices or stores, think again. Todays recessed lighting options have taken a much more sophisticated, design-minded approach, like the options from Visual Comfort’s growing Architectural collection, which offers customizability on the housing, trim, color temperatures and coverage area. When it comes to task lighting, which makes everyday activities both safer and easier for aging eyes, look for fixtures with innovative touch-activated control or even better yet, wave sensors like that on the Gerrit LED Table Lamp by Astro Lighting, which mean you’ll never have to fumble with tricky switches and tiny buttons.  


See Also: 3 Steps to the Perfect Lighting Scheme

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