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3 Ways Smart Garage Lighting Elevates The Forgotten Room

3 Ways Smart Garage Lighting Elevates The Forgotten Room 3 Ways Smart Garage Lighting Elevates The Forgotten Room

But it’s important for homebuyers to know that certain lighting is much easier to incorporate or at least plan for during the building process. At a minimum, we should work together to make sure compatible wiring is available. Nobody wants to tear up a ceiling to add wiring for a light fixture after they close. I recently talked with a customer who wanted to make sure we included the right support and boxing for her 30-pound chandelier.

Enhancing delicate details or creating contrast with shadows allows for a space to change and evolve over the course of a day. What we experience during the daytime in one room may shift completely at night. “In the daytime, light adds sculpture to a space, but at night a space needs help,” McGukin said. “Creating layers of light to enhance a beautiful setting is key all day long.”

If natural lighting is not available, corner lamps, wall sconces and lights suspended from the center of the ceiling help brighten a room and make the space feel larger. “Ceiling height plays a huge role in picking overhead light fixtures,” McGukin said. “From large chandeliers to beautiful wall-mounted sconces, creating layers is key. Smart lighting design will add so much warmth to a room.”

HM: First and foremost, residential lighting tends to have a warmer feel than lighting designed for commercial spaces, which usually feature brighter, cooler light.

Don’t discount the potential of this forgotten room or assume that it has to be cold and lifeless, nothing more than a cement block for parking the cars. In fact, the New York Times called the garage “the final frontier in home renovation.”  

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Modern lighting controls systems offer unprecedented authority of every interior and exterior light in a home. “I like to think of projects from the ground up. Integrating new technologies can enhance a space,” McGukin said. Lighting control systems can complement the interior design of a home by eliminating wall clutter and making it easy to create a customized lighting design. These systems can revolutionize the way light is managed in a home, even providing improved security and energy savings.

A lot of people also ask if we have Edison style bulbs, because they love the vintage look. We have a few Edison bulb options.

Lighting fixture design evolved from covered lights with shades to include exposed bulbs and minimalist design. Now, thanks to a dynamic shift in styles, things might be coming full circle. “Exposed bulbs had their moment but are starting to fade,” McGukin said. “Covered bulbs allow the light to play with materials, like canvas, and create various glows and hues.”

Most people want a garage that’s organized and clean, and shabby lighting is one of the quickest ways to trash it. When the garage looks better, homeowners have increased incentive to spend more time there completing to-do lists or enjoying the hobbies they love. 

The garage offers more than a place to park the cars, and this space often doubles as a workshop for carpentry, car maintenance or other activities. Thoughtfully selected task lights, including under-cabinet light fixtures, make workbenches and other workspaces better suited for intensive or meticulous projects. On the other hand, recessed lighting can provide more comprehensive coverage, helping ensure homeowners never struggle to locate their tools, camping supplies or sports equipment. 

On the other hand, statement light fixtures are on trend, and the garage doesn’t have to be any different. That’s why some homeowners are adding vintage pendant lighting that invokes old mechanics’ shops, or even chandeliers that give the space a touch of elegance.

Lighting manufacturers are also replacing some metals with wood or wood-like materials to warm up their lighting fixtures and create a more comforting space. The wood really complements and softens all of the metallic and silver finishes. 

4. Homebuyers have so much to consider when they’re selecting options for a new home. What should they know about lighting? 

3. What are some ways to make an impact with home lighting design? 

The illusion of space is defined by light reflected off wall surfaces. Some types of lighting help with this illusion by further illuminating the walls. In addition, directional lighting can soften the wall colors. Lights hung from the center of the room provide ambient illumination or wall lighting, while the soft, downward glow of recessed can lighting illuminates the floors. In both cases, the lighting affects the appearance of colors and objects.

But finding inspiration for your lighting design takes a keen eye. “A space has to inform you,” McGukin said. “The needs of the space and the architecture combined with the lightness and darkness inspire great design.”

Lighting can add to or subtract from the room’s color palette or from only those surfaces the light is meant to enhance. Darker colors make a room feel smaller and more compact, while light-colored walls do the opposite.

Cabinets, countertops, floors and more: for people building a new home, the sheer quantity of design studio selections can sometimes be overwhelming, pushing things like lighting near the bottom of the list. How can builders help their homebuyers make smart lighting choices that also work for their budget and personal style? The Eaton’s lighting division team talked with Heather Martin, design studio manager for Fielding Homes, to learn how she approaches residential lighting design with her customers. 

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1. Why does residential lighting design require a unique approach? How is it different from commercial lighting? 

Two-tone rubbed bronze and antique brass are extremely popular lighting fixture finishes today. Silver-gold and blush gold are trendy for lighting but also plumbing and hardware for doors and cabinets. People are moving away from heavy finishes in favor of finishes that help make spaces feel light and airy.

HM: The lighting industry tends to stay on top of color trends and finish trends, and it often sets the standard for other industries. In general, home lighting design is moving more toward lighter, cleaner styles. 

A lot of our homebuyers also add under cabinet lights or cabinet top lights in the kitchen. Interior cabinet lighting turns nice dishes, fine china, glassware and stemware into a focal point. Many Fielding Homes customers select soffit cabinets — the ones that go to the ceiling — and they will often add glass faces and puck lights to show off everything inside the cabinets, from glassware to artwork.  

Layering light not only improves function, it also creates multiple atmospheres and environments in one space. “You may have large, statement light fixtures in key areas, but you have to think about when those pieces aren’t being used,” McGukin said. “This is exactly when fixtures like accent lights and background lights can come out to play, and smart layering plays a crucial role.”

HM: Lighting is an excellent way for homeowners to showcase their personality and individual style. 

HM: Lighting is a great way to define a space or how a space will be used. In fact, we did this in one of our model homes, replacing recessed lights in an area with something a little more striking. Lighting also sets the mood; it’s possible to entirely recreate a space just by changing the lighting fixtures. 

I’m also seeing the disappearance of a lot of the curves of more traditional styles as well as dangly jewel pieces and heavy lighting fixtures. These days, people who love a vintage look tend to gravitate toward Edison style bulbs. 

Lighting plays an integral part in interior design. “Lighting is a functional art and a way to add dimension,” McGukin said. “It gives you a moment to create a sense of sculpture within a space.”

Lighting is an easy way to shape the personality of a garage. Want rustic charm? Add gooseneck lights for barnlike appeal (Houzz). Or, add lantern-style lights on the exterior for a farmhouse look. Exterior garage lights can instantly boost any home’s curb appeal. Lighting can also bridge two styles. For example, homeowners may want to showcase their classic car under modern, sleek lighting fixtures. 

We don’t want to spotlight every object or surface in a home; instead, we want lighting that creates a nice glow or lighting that allows us to perform a task in a specific area. No one wants harsh light shining onto them when they’re at the bathroom sink in the morning.

Simple garage lights complement the clean lines of a modern home, and everyone can appreciate a sleek, low-profile design that gets the job done. 

We do a lot of pre-wiring for sconce lighting, even if they don’t buy the lights from us. We can also add dimmer switches to help our buyers adjust the mood of a room.

With so many garage lighting products today, it isn’t necessary to settle for the single fluorescent bulb suspended from the ceiling that helps give so many garages a dungeonlike feel. Whatever the primary goal, from function and style to energy savings, here are some garage lighting ideas to consider. 

Pendant lights are a great example. At Fielding Homes, we prewire every home for pendant lights, and during our design studio appointments with customers, pendant lights often turn into a 30-minute conversation. They’re that wow factor people want when they walk into their kitchen. Even if pendants are not included at first, homeowners can easily change a recessed light into a pendant. For example, they may want to create a more social atmosphere in a game room, and they can encourage conversation by adding pendant lighting over a game table.

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5. What are some common homebuyer questions related to lighting? 

2. What are some lighting design trends popular in single-family homes today? 

What garage lighting trends are popular with your customers? Let us know on Twitter @ETN_Lighting. 

In the world of new construction, lighting fixtures are generally easier to change than cabinets, countertops and floors, so a lot of our customers choose not to roll lighting upgrades into their mortgage, instead spending their design budget on those things that are more permanent. We also realize that while we offer eight really nice lighting packages, we don’t hold the whole world of lighting in the palm of our hand.

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Last but not least, energy efficiency is becoming more important to many homeowners. LEDs not only use far less energy than fluorescent or halogen lamps, but they’re also rated for about 50,000 hours of life, eliminating the need to install or replace lamps on a regular basis. The Metalux Shoplight series features fully integrated LEDs that are ideal for almost any task or portable lighting application. The lights are great for garages as well as workshops, sheds and indoor utility rooms. 

Lighting fixture choice and placement are important aspects of interior design, and artificial lighting should complement natural light, room size, color palettes and furnishings. Drew McGukin, interior designer and owner of Drew McGukin Interiors in New York, shares tips on using lighting to inspire or complete your space.

Both natural and manmade lighting help create an illusion of more space. For a darker room, find ways to bring in more full-spectrum, natural light. If the room does not have sufficient lighting, it will feel cramped. This is worsened by close-proximity furniture arrangements such as tightly squeezed coffee tables, end tables, sofas and chairs.

While some homeowners with deep pockets are adding lifts for luxury cars (the lifts alone can cost as much as some cars), custom cabinetry or even heated floors, lighting can instantly transform a garage without the effort or expense required for many other upgrades. Appropriate, pleasing lighting can bring this space more in line with the amount of time homeowners actually spend in it. But choosing that lighting, whether for the interior or exterior of the garage, isn’t always as easy as it sounds. 

HM: In general, most of the lighting questions we receive are related to energy efficiency rather than style. These days, almost everyone asks if we offer LED lighting, and we do. In fact, most of our lights are LEDs, including flush mount LEDs in the porch and outdoor living spaces, hallways and kitchen pantry. 

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All lighting should aim for the perfect balance of style and finish, size, weight and color temperature. Sconces, lamps and puck lights are all great ways to highlight certain areas and create a particular ambiance in the various rooms of a home.  

Lighting is one of the most budget-friendly, quickest ways to dress up a room — or the garage. 

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In general, rugged, lightweight, portable lights are a great fit for garages. But the type of lighting and ideal fixture depend on how — and how frequently — homeowners use their own space. 

Want to find inspiration for your next design project? Follow @drewmcgukin on Instagram.

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Lighting can have a tremendous impact on interior design. How lighting affects moods should be a primary consideration, but creating the perfect ambiance takes time and effort. The right mix of colors and temperatures, fixture sizes and designs, and lighting layers can help create a unique, pleasing space.

The lighting in a room either provides illumination for the entire room, or it highlights specific elements. Track lighting is the perfect example of positional lighting. Hung from the ceiling, the adjustable necks and lamps can be pointed at specific elements such as a wall painting, a vase of flowers on an entryway table or a kitchen island. Recessed lighting can be used in floors and ceilings to create vertical beams of light as opposed to an overall glow from central light fixtures hanging from a ceiling.

Think beyond the light, too. Modern LEDs can sometimes incorporate other functions. For example, the Metalux Bluetooth shoplight includes wireless speakers with clear, balanced sound that can fill an entire workspace, so homeowners can listen to their favorite music or podcast while changing their oil or staining wood furniture. 

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