I really never anticipated that Hurricane Ike would affect us here in Ohio. Who knew that on a perfectly muggy, yet brilliantly sunny Sunday, ole Ike would rear his ugly head and bring us up to 74 mph winds propelling us into blackness. Never having been even close to hurricane like winds, it really took a while for it to sink in as to what was happening. Of course the combination of downed trees, a blackout, lost shutters, flying shingles, and a broken window at my home alone, finally got my attenction.
Today is Friday, and still there are over 100,000 people here without electric. In fact I read that across 7 states, 3,000,0000 people lost power. We were pretty lucky actually compared to the devastation that has been wrought in Texas, more less New Orleans a few years ago; they are all in my thoughts and prayers today as I write.
My aunt finally got her power back on Wednesday night and she could finally see the world around her. She said It reminded her of the famous World War II song, When the Lights go on around the World Again,. As the street lamps came on and she could see her neighborhood once again at night she was intune to the emotions that light can bring.
This brings me to the topic here, that I think so often that lighting is taken for granted - even when you do have power. Our homes are lit to provide adequate light for living. But why settle for that? Light can be so much more. There are three levels of lighting that you can incorporate into every single room in your house – this is what will help to make it a home.
Courtesy of www.bhg.com
General lighting is always important and most of us have that in the form of sunshine during the day and overhead lighting in the ceiling at night. It’s the most basic level of lighting and is meant for daily living. I need to add that you shouldn’t discount the importance of sunshine – my father-in-law and agree to disagree on this topic. Imagine that! I walk into his home and the blinds are pulled with very little sunshine ever making way inside his home. I appreciate that he saving energy. I am all for that, but there is also nothing more energizing and uplifting that being in my home when it’s illuminated by the sun. To me, there’s no better prescription for the blues than opening the blinds on a beautiful sunny day. That’s why I like blinds that can control the angle that the sun comes in, but that still allow it enter my home – but that’s another blog!
Task lighting is just as important. In a nutshell, it’s lighting that provides direct light for a specific task. You’ll find it over a food preparation area in your kitchen or next to a chair for reading. If you’ve ever tried to read a book in a dimly lit room or to see if the chicken is still pink when cooking dinner, than you can appreciate the need for task lighting. Take a few minutes when planning a room to consider what activities will take place. Are you a family who loves to play games? Do you like to watch TV and knit or relax and read a book? Providing the appropriate task lighting will make the time spent within that room even more enjoyable!
Accent lighting, the third level of light is often an afterthought or really isn’t given much thought at all. This is where you can dramatically change the ambiance of your room. Accent lighting can make a room feel welcoming, intimate, and truly a place you love to be. It can be found in the form of an interesting lamp (try a 20 watt bulb if it’s not for reading), a hidden uplight on plants (less than $12.00 at Lowes), or a spot light on artwork. If I had my choice, I’d have dimmers on every switch in the house – even my bathroom. A dimmer switch is inexpensive, fairly easy to install and can turn general lighting into accent lighting with a flip of your wrist.
Take a few minutes to evaluate the rooms in you home. Lighting is as simple as 1,2,3 and incorporating the 3 levels of lighting in each room is big step towards making your house feel more like a home!