Sunterra Blog

The Science Behind Lighting Your Home

Posted on Sunday, June 26, 2022

There’s a lot to consider when you visit your Sunterra builders’ design centers. Countertops, cabinets and floors may be a priority, but spare a thought for lighting. The right lighting and fixtures can transform any home from drab to delightful. We break down the science and offer a few design tips.

The Science of Light

Choosing the right lightbulbs is the first step in setting the tone for your rooms. Bedrooms should feel warm and cozy. Kitchens clean and bright. Doing it right is an art and a science. To get the ambiance you want, it’s important to choose bulbs that make colors pop. The gold standard is natural light, so you want to choose a bulb that has a Color Rendering Index (CRI) of at least 90. CRI measures an artificial light source’s ability to render color on a scale of 1 to 100. The higher the CRI, the more closely it resembles natural light. The more closely it resembles natural light, the less drab your paint and fabrics appear.

You also want to pay attention to the color temperature of bulbs. This refers to the light’s color ambiance or chromaticity, not heat. Measured in Kelvins, color temperature spans the gamut between warm and cool. Warm lights emit more white light and pair well with cooler colors such as greens and blues. Lower temperature lights make warm colors such as reds and oranges pop. The sweet spot is 2800K. Look on the box or just choose bulbs that say “soft white.”

Lighting Open Floor Plans

Once you have a feel for the science, it’s time for the art. Open floor plans present a challenge when it comes to lighting. On the one hand, open plans benefit from lots of windows. On the other, each room serves a different function that requires different lighting. Oh, and it all must fit together to form a cohesive whole. Layered lighting works best with open floor plans. Start by lighting the entire space. Recessed lighting is a good choice as it provides ambient lighting throughout the area. Next, choose task lighting. This lighting should be focused on one area such as the kitchen island or dining table. Chandeliers and pendant lighting work well here. Accent lighting is where you can bring in your own style with floor lamps, side table lamps and wall sconces.

Cozy Bedrooms

Bedrooms shouldn’t feel dark and gloomy. They should feel cozy while providing enough light to read by. Install recessed lighting controlled by a dimmer switch. That way, you can turn it up while exercising and down when it’s time for bed. If you have a ceiling fan, choose a light kit with lights directed at the ceiling. Pendant lights aren’t just for kitchens. Choose them if you want to up your style game.

Bright Bathrooms

When was the last time you really thought about bathroom lighting? When the bulb burned out? We spend a lot of time in the bathroom, so we need to choose the right light. Lights should be task-oriented. You will be putting on makeup and shaving, so you want bright light. Task lighting doesn’t mean boring lighting. You can add style to your bath by choosing chandeliers, wall-mounted sconces and pendant lighting. Recessed lighting gives everything a nice glow.

Don’t Forget the Patio

A well-lit patio means your outdoor celebrations won’t shut down when the sun sets. When choosing lighting, take the weather into account. Your lights should be water-resistant at the least. Solar-powered lights allow you to light paths and walkways without the need for an outlet. When it comes to ambient lighting, nothing beats an outdoor fireplace or fire pit.