Lighting options can really make a home sparkle

This week I was invited to check out a new lighting boutique in Red Deer and I made time for the visit as I have always meant to stop in and couldn’t pass up the personal invitation!

Central Alberta Lighting is a new boutique in our City and as I rarely need lighting and have to admit it’s my least favourite part of designing, I had yet to darken the doorstep of this charming store.

My most exciting lighting purchase in my world lately is updating my kitchen fixtures to LED fixtures so as you can imagine, my mind was alight with ideas as I viewed the twinkling and funky fixtures dangling from ceilings and walls. To my surprise the store was also filled with decorative accessories and small furniture pieces. Certain lamps looked exquisite on dressers and I found many pictures and beautiful vases that could have all come home with me.

Lighting can be used in so many ways to enhance a space.

Three types of lighting are a good rule of thumb for any room. Ambient, task and accent lighting should be incorporated in every room to maximize the beauty and function of the space. Ambient lighting is referred to as general lighting and is generally found in ceiling fixtures which provide overall illumination.

Task lighting is more focused and specialized depending on use of the room such as under counter lighting or lamps for reading.

Accent lighting is used as both function and decoration and is used to draw attention to features of the room, artwork or a fireplace. Accent lighting can be placed above windows and tucked into the cove of ceilings and come in a multitude of options such as rope lighting, LED strings and small halogens which can be tucked away and out of sight.

A word to the economically minded, LED bulbs are a very good choice if you are wanting to cut down on your electrical expenses but I warn you the light (which is very bright white) can take a little getting used to.

If you have other sources of light you can alter between the lighting sources if you find the LED glow too harsh. It is a fantastic lighting for utility areas such as kitchens, bathrooms and laundry areas. I find I hunt for loose socks in the washing machine way less since switching to LED bulbs so for me it’s a win/win situation.

This afternoon, I felt like I had walked into a strip mall and fell into the looking glass of an elegant, well laid out design centre.

It was a good reminder that we need to seek out new businesses and places which will inspire us to new design ideas and products. It can be a wonderful renewal to see what is new in the design world; especially if you may not be needing that particular item, it can still be fun to look and dream of what you would purchase if you finally landed your dream home with that perfect vaulted ceiling in your two-storey foyer.

In the meantime, make the most of your space with more than one light source and you will find a great deal of enjoyment in your home as you play with different and beautiful sources of light.

Kym Wyse is a freelance local designer. Find her on facebook at ‘Ask a Designer/Ask a Realtor’.