Professionally designed lighting will enhance the beauty, comfort and security of your home. It can make a small room seem open and airy, or a large room feel warm and cozy. It is the quickest and most cost-effective way to change the mood in your home from quiet relaxation, to casual entertainment, or to intimate romance. Here are just a few tips we recommend:

  1. One single light fixture will almost never perform all the lighting needs in any given room and yet that’s what most of us grew up with in the Madison area. We generally recommend multiple light sources and a “layered design” blending ambient, accent, and task lighting to give us enough light here in our Wisconsin homes. The result will be a flexible and functional application of lighting effects that can be used to create multiple environments in the kitchen, the bathroom, and the living or family room that suit your activities and enhance the way you live in your home.
  2. Put interior lights on dimmers whenever possible. Multiple light sources with unlimited light levels are the tools for creating the special effects, highlights, and ambiance in a room. Dimmers will also conserve energy and increase bulb life.
  3. Use under-cabinet task lighting in the Madison area kitchen or home bar to enhance work surface illumination.
  4. Dining room chandeliers are typically hung at 28” to 32” above the table’s surface, and not just in Wisconsin!
  5. Try to include some exterior or landscape lighting in your overall Wisconsin home design. Not only will it provide increased security and highlight surrounding landscaping, it will also visually expand your interior spaces and eliminate “black mirrors” at night.
  6. Don’t forget that a ceiling fan’s primary purpose is to move air and should be selected based primarily upon motor size, blade pitch, control options, and design style. In Wisconsin, our humid air is heavy and fans work hard moving it so selecting the right ceiling fans for the home matters. Light kits are often added to ceiling fans, but should be considered a secondary light source. And, do not wire multiple ceiling fans to one fan control.
  7. Consider the type of light bulb being used in each application. In the Madison area we suggest long lasting and energy saving LED lighting be used to replace standard household bulbs. That may save enough in energy costs to pay back the price of the fixture itself.
  8. Rather than shining a light source directly at stone surfaces, try “grazing” across the surface to create dramatic shadowing effects.
  9. Be careful not to under-size your exterior garage fixtures. Remember that when installed, these fixtures will typically be placed along two and tree car garage expanses. Small-scale fixtures look misplaced.
  10. Light sources illuminating artwork should be aimed at a 30% angle to minimize glare.