1. Determine your budget from the outset
This can help ascertain your range of choices available, and in turn save time. Make energy saving a priority in lighting selection. Consider changing existing bulbs as well.
2. Change the lighting that will provide the biggest impact
If you cannot change your lighting all at once, change the lighting your guests will see first. Outdoor, Foyer and Guest Bathroom lighting are good choices.
3. Consider the existing lighting and/or wiring
A decision to hang a chandelier in a room that does not have up to date existing wiring can become more expensive if not properly evaluated. Obtain quotes from a licensed electrician to determine your total cost. Make sure you know your total costs.
4. Determine the existing feel and intended use of the room
The lighting required for any room can be ascertained from the intended functions you plan on performing in a room. Make sure you have a mix of different light sources at different levels ( read dimmers) that create a great atmosphere, and provide appropriate task lighting for whatever you do in that space (reading, using the computer, getting dressed). Here is a quick guide for the different lighting types;
- Ceiling fixtures are best used for general lighting. Chandeliers, Pendants and Recessed lights fall into this category. Those with down-lights can offer double-duty as task lighting.
- Portable lamps will create general, task, and accent lighting, but have the added bonus of being mobile.
- Recessed lighting allows for more options for the rest of your lighting needs Track lighting provides flexibility for your changing needs.
- Dimmers can add drama to any room featuring a chandelier.