Lighting Tips For Open Floor Plans

Many home designs incorporate an open floor plan, where cooking, dining, and entertaining are enjoyed in the same space. Even a small space can feel bigger and brighter when walls are opened up, and the light is let in. Planning the right lighting is a crucial part of designing beautiful, light-filled, open-concept spaces.

Consider the architectural features of the open floor plan, such as high ceilings, lack of interior walls, and numerous windows, as all of these factors add to the overall light of the space. To avoid over-lighting an open floor plan, think in layers: ambient, task, and accent lighting. The first layer, ambient lighting, provides the general lighting for the space. Recessed, linear, flush mounts or similar fixtures are good choices here, serving an ambient source of light and helping to guide the flow from room to room.

Next, select task lighting. In the kitchen, choose fixtures that direct light onto countertops, islands, cooking surfaces, and other work areas. Undercabinet tape and puck lighting, track lighting, pendant lighting, and even recessed lighting are excellent selections, as they will give the ideal amount of light to complete tasks safely and
efficiently.

In the dining area, use pendants and chandeliers to provide light for dining, homework, and other tasks that take place at the table. Try large pendants or chandeliers to highlight the kitchen island or dining table and give vertical definition to those spaces. In the living area, choose statement-making fixtures to define the area, create
intimacy, and add drama.

Finally, add a layer of accent lighting, such as wall sconces in the dining area, and table and floor lamps in the living room to give comfort and a soft ambiance. Remember to take note of electrical outlets in the lighting plan for placing plug-in light fixtures.

Thoughtful lighting design is essential for every room, and especially in an open concept plan, where it’s all about visual flow. Achieve a cohesive look by selecting lighting finished in the same, or closely related, finishes as the kitchen faucets and appliances. Try mixed-metal light fixtures that add personality and interest to the space, or
stick with a limited color palette to keep the area feeling connected.

How To Upgrade Lighting For Multifamily Buildings

Whether your multifamily building is apartments, condos, or retirement homes, you’re probably facing a common problem: energy costs.

A lighting retrofit is a great way to decrease those electricity bills. Plus, with increasingly stringent building code, upgrading to LED might not be a choice for much longer.

Our goal is to make lighting easier, so we are offering you four steps on how to upgrade multifamily buildings.

1. Set your goals

Before you start any project, you need to set your final goal. A lighting retrofit is no different. Upgrading your lighting can be a big financial decision, and we want to make sure it’s one you’re comfortable with.
Here are some good questions to ask before you decide what your lighting retrofit should look like:

Is your primary goal energy efficiency?

What’s the biggest problem with your current lighting plan?

What does your budget look like? Can you retrofit all of your lighting at once or do you need to start with smaller projects?

Once you have the answer to these questions, you can move on to Step 2.

2. Use the lighting pyramid

To explain how much energy your lighting is using, we like to use what we call the lighting pyramid. Here’s how it works. The type of lighting at the bottom of the pyramid uses the most amount of energy. The lighting at the top uses the least amount of energy.

If you have a lot of incandescent light bulbs in apartments or condos, or in your lobby, consider replacing those with LED first. Then work your way up the pyramid.

By the way, did you know some states are banning incandescent light bulbs? You can check to see if your state is included here.

Or if you’re focusing on other ways to save energy, check out our blog on five strategies for multifamily buildings.

3. Focus on high-burn areas

You most likely have places on your property where lights are on at all times of the day.
Focusing on these areas that need to be well-lit at all times could be a good strategy for you:

  1. Parking garage or lot
  2. Stairwells
  3. Lobby
  4. Common areas

This is one of the strategies an Atlanta apartment building used to help achieve a payback in under six months. The initial interest was moving to more sustainable, energy-efficient lighting.

The end product was instant savings and more for years to come. You can read more about the solutions here.

4. Lighting controls

Adding lighting controls can help you save even more energy. The systems can be as simple or as complicated as you would like, and they may even be required in some jurisdictions.
As a basic start, try installing occupancy sensors in laundry rooms and meeting rooms that will not be occupied all the time.

Benefits of a lighting retrofit for multifamily buildings

The benefits from a lighting retrofit will go beyond a lower electricity bill. Here are a few other bonuses:
Safety – Safety is a feeling that residents should get when they step on your property. It can also be a deciding factor to stay there or look for another place to call home. Pay attention to your parking garage or parking lots and exterior lighting to make sure safety standards are met.
Attracting new tenants – If you’re struggling to retain and attract tenants, a lighting upgrade can become one of your selling points. Your lighting will look great, but it will also be more sustainable and greener.
Quality of life – Quality lighting can also enhance quality of life. We recommend choosing lighting with a high CRI in areas like a business room, office, or common area.
If you have questions about your next lighting project, or any lighting challenges you’re trying to solve, please do not hesitate to contact us.

Get a free quote for your project. Click here.