Seven Bright Lighting Ideas for Alternate Types of Space

August 5, 2015

Seven Bright Lighting Ideas

Or, Lighting Schemes for Alternate Types of Space

We’ve gone over great kitchen lighting design ideas before – but kitchens aren’t the only areas of a home that need – or will require – special lighting design.  We have also discussed the fundamentals of lighting, good lighting, and great lighting design.  We covered things like phototropism, or the human attraction for light, or the fact that lighting can be functional – creating a path for our feet or our eye to travel – as well as communicate things to our brain like intensity, what temperature light is, and what texture it has.  A kind of basic lighting science understanding can impact the spaces we choose to spend time in everyday, which we can use to make it happier, healthier, and more enjoyable.

Today’s modern homes have a plethora of various designs and arrangements, and things like vaulted ceilings, indoor outdoor space, and changing landscapes have created a need for alternative lighting design.  Not only that, but a lightbulb in a closet isn’t enough, either – drawers, cabinets, nooks and crannies sometimes need that special nudge to make them usable and aesthetically beautiful.  Remember – while anyone can call themselves a lighting designer, your best bet is always an expert in the lighting and electrical field to help you develop a solution that is affordable, sensible, and safe –  of course a licensed, insured contractor, such as an electrician or a licensed and certified lighting designer, is your best choice.

1. Stairway Lighting

Now for a lot of folks, stairway lighting might seem a little redundant.  We all anticipate a stairway is going to have an overhead light of some kind – a ceiling fixture, a chandelier, or something along those lines.  The truth is that stairs are not just useful, but they can be beautiful – when addressed as both an architectural and visual point of interest.  Remember that lighting designs like these are both functional and aesthetic for our light-trained eyes.

Stairway Lighting Collage

2. Creative Closet Lighting

Closets are not always nice places – I can remember I once had one that was super tall and narrow and deep, and it was always dark up top and in the back, and I hated to put my hands in there because I was always paranoid a closet monster was going to bite my hands off.  Really – there is no accounting for the imagination of a child!  However, it would have been handy to have things like LED strip lighting to change the entire ‘feel’ of that closet.

As you can see, a little light can go a long way in a small space that is crowded or cluttered with a lot of material.  Lighting options for closets have expanded a lot in the past couple of years – now you can have wireless lights (even traditional fixtures), battery-powered strip lighting, and even wired-in lights including (but not limited to!) LED-lit closet rods for hanging clothes on.  How cool is that!

3. Unique Outdoor Lighting

We don’t usually consider our decks or landscaped spaces as an extension of our indoor, conditioned and illuminated space – and yet it can be!  Not only that, but you can use lighting as a way to highlight and draw interest into a space that doesn’t normally exist during the daytime – or at least looks completely different.

Deck Lighting, Swartz Electric Blog, Colorado Springs Electrician


4. Hallway Lighting

When one thinks of a hallway, do you get an excited tingle and say to yourself, ‘How wonderful, a place to showcase the beauty of color and light!’ or do you imagine a straight corridor with doors and some bland ceiling fixtures?  Yeah – I know what most people think about hallways; at best, perhaps a place to hang a line of pictures.  But just think – with the right lighting, you open your world up into a visual feast for your eyes, as well as one that can feel bright, appealing, and soothing to your senses.

Hallway Lighting

5. Garage Lighting

While we may – or may not – think about illuminating the space where our cars rest, there are apparently a lot of people who do just that!  Not only do they think about their cars and how best to view, present, and enjoy them – but there are even architects who design homes intended for driving vehicles through them.  Crazy – but true!


Even if your only desire is to spare your garage from the misery of a single lightbulb and the light from your garage door opener, there are a lot of creative lighting ideas you can apply in this space – whether it is utilized, or not!  And remember – there are three different kinds of lighting you can bring into a space: ambient or area lighting, task lighting (for working with things like tools), and path lighting – to guide footsteps.  Don’t be afraid to utilize them in your garage – or anywhere else, for that matter!


6. Workshop or Woodshop Lighting

Let’s be honest – a lot of time and design goes into places where we like to spend time in our homes.  Kitchens, living rooms, home office, entertainment spaces – the list seems endless of areas that need thought and attention when arranging and designing.  But what about the place where we do some of our most important work in the home – where repairs are made, furniture is crafted, and creativity is inspired and unleashed?  Today, some overhead fluorescent lights just aren’t enough – science has told us that lighting levels need to be specifically high in places where our eyes focus for work.  Not only that, but the color and warmth of the light can change how your eye perceives color; this means its important to accurately render colors in spaces where we might paint or stain indoors.  Thanks to the advances in light bulbs and fixtures, it is now possible to design a workspace that is both beautiful and well-lit, allowing it to fulfill every possible work need while maintaining its position as a work space and functionality.  By using a mixture of different kinds of lights and bulbs, it is also possible to create a space that lends itself to accuracy and productivity, while still remaining a space that is enjoyable to spend time in.


7. Storage Spaces – Cabinets, Drawers, and More

Last – and definitely not least – are those small, dark spaces where we like to put as much stuff as humanly possible.  The truth is that excellent lighting can change these spaces from being dark, shadowy recesses full of who knows what into bright, appealing areas that encourage order and neatness.  If you plan on looking into storage solutions for your home, make sure that you consider lighting design as well.




As always – make sure you use a licensed professional whenever your project calls for it!  Thanks for joining us this week, we hope you learned a little something about light and different kinds of spaces to use it in!

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This is an original article written by Mai Bjorklund for Swartz Electric. This article may not be copied whole or in part without the express permission of Swartz Electric, LLC.

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