Decorative home lighting for log and timber homes is a little tricky because wood walls and ceilings tend to absorb light and make rooms darker.
There is a good reason that log homes seem darker than other homes. Log walls and wood ceilings actually absorb up to 50% of the light in the room. The darker the walls, the greater the absorption.
But,never fear. This is not a lost cause. With a little ingenuity, you can use lighting to create drama, intimacy or coziness in each of your rooms—depending on the effect that you would like.
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How Do You Make a Log Home Brighter?
To avoid feeling like you are in a cave, you can add several sources of light in each room. It’s important that you don’t rely on just one light source in a room. A single central overhead light in a room produces glare.
You’ll need a reasonable amount of general or ambient lighting, and a few other sources of light, for tasks like reading a book or preparing meals in the kitchen.
Here are some ideas to help you get started:
Track Lighting – Use track lighting to show off your pretty walls and your exposed beams. While you can get track lighting in black or white, I prefer bronze, which tends to blend into the walls better.
Fluorescent lighting – in the kitchen. Use lights under the cabinets to help you prepare meals. Many people also like a large fluorescent light overhead in the kitchen. But don’t depend on that for all your lighting. You’ll need to have task lighting over your sink, under the cabinets, over the stove and anywhere you will be performing tasks. This is for safety, as much as for comfort.
Vary the heights – of lighting in your home. This adds interest and help to illuminate more areas in your room. Sconces give you light at eye level, breaking up tall walls and adding interest.
Use indirect lighting – to provide ambient lighting and add light to darker walls.
Task lighting – not just for the kitchen. Table lamps or floor lamps, placed beside chairs, provide areas for reading or knitting. Overhead lighting can provide lighting for a game table or pool table.
Highlight artwork – Using small lights to highlight special paintings or prints draws your eye to the wall, and it also add interest and some light to your room.
Chandeliers – Use chandeliers in special areas, like the entry to your home or over the dining room table. They provide interest and many can be dimmed to provide ambience.
Pendant lights – Use these lamps where you won’t be bumping into them, with your head. Over an island or the stove in the kitchen are two possibilities. Decorative pendant lights serve as task lights, illuminating a small area underneath them.
Using decorative home lighting in a log home is not difficult, but you will have to put your thinking cap on and get a little creative. And, in doing so, you will find ways to really show off the beauty of the wood, in your log or timber frame home.