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Home Improvement | Updating Your Lighting Fixtures

Home Improvement | Updating Your Lighting Fixtures

When it comes to updating or renovating your home, one of the most overlooked and misunderstood functions is the lighting. Homeowners are often lulled into acceptance with the existing recessed canned lighting, a few lamps and a few night lights.

Frequently, it takes walking into a lighting store or a really well-illuminated home to make you realize how important, and how easy, it is to bring your home up-to-date. Whether it’s introducing a new chandelier, under cabinet LEDs or edgy floor lighting, a properly lighted house not only establishes the right mood but can accentuate your furnishings, artwork and surroundings in a dramatic way.

Technology has allowed the the lighting industry to flourish with bold new lighting systems that began 10 years ago with the advent of the LED light bulbs. By extending the life cycle of the light bulb, using 50 percent less electricity and employing 100 percent of the energy to produce light (not heat), the LED has lowered energy costs and improved efficiency dramatically.

Lighting can now be incorporated into home systems which allows for automated controls and even more opportunities for energy savings, safety and convenience . Whether you use a smartphone or tablet or voice activated systems like the Amazon Echo, Apple’s Siri, Google Assistant or the Microsoft Cortana, the opportunities to turn your residence into a “smart home” are endless.

Kristen Ludwick Bland, owner of Fusion Light and Design in Denver, is passionate about everything related to lighting systems and fixtures. Here’s her take on the industry and how you can spice up your home.

If you are considering some home upgrades in the upcoming year, you may want think about the lighting systems in your home. Whether you incorporate them as part of a room renovation or a stand-alone upgrade, updating light fixtures in your home is relatively inexpensive and the results can be striking.

Kristen Ludwick Bland, owner of Fusion Light and Design in Denver, is passionate about everything related to lighting systems and fixtures. Here’s her take on the lighting industry and how you can spice up your home.

First, tell me a little bit about your background, how you got into the lighting business and what makes your company unique?

I graduated in interior design and worked for a couple firms after college. I ended up landing at a lighting store and fell in love. I started Fusion Light and Design 8 years ago. One thing I love about lighting is you aren’t limited with the type of projects you work on. I do everything lighting so I would on interior and exterior, as well as commercial and residential. Also, a fun thing about lighting is it has the decorative side as well as the technical side. Lighting is a very diverse industry!

Why should homeowners consider upgrading the lighting in their home? Why is it important?

Lighting makes a huge difference. It’s like jewelry. It can instantly transform a space!

Which rooms should you focus on when improving/upgrading lighting?

I would say the rooms that they use the most. For the majority of people it is their common spaces so; living room, dining room, kitchens… These are the impact areas that set the mood of their entire home.

What types of changes would to make in the key rooms of a house, namely the rooms just mentioned?

If I could have it my way I would put sconces or pendants in a bathroom. I think it’s more of a statement. As far as the living room once again I would either put a huge fan or a light fixture. I think the living room is a great area to do something more intriguing like a light fixture or a ceiling fan is always good for functionality and now they are coming out with some really cool ceiling fans and huge ones! They’re making ones that are 99” blade span so they can make a very big statement in a living room. 

I always try in any of areas of the house, whether a bedroom, bathroom, or living room to always try and layer the light. Meaning have general lighting using recessed cans, and then a decorative fixture as well as ambient light whether it’s toe kick lighting under a cabinet or back lighting a mirror with LED tape light. Layering the lighting makes spaces so much more interesting.

What guidelines/goals should one have when replacing lighting?

Make sure that the color of the light is good as well as making sure you have enough light. I hear more often than not that people are living with “blue” colored LEDs or living in a dark house. Those are very easy fixes!

How does the existing design/style of the home affect the lighting selection?

It influences it a lot. There are so many styles of lighting that it really can match the design of your current home.

How do you feel about introducing color via a new lamp or chandelier?

I have a hard time with color… I feel like if you keep it simple and classic it will last longer. Color is very trendy. I don’t mind it with a lamp but for a chandelier it is risky!

Should new fixtures be decorative or functional?

The great thing is now days you can have both! The industry has evolved so much over the years that manufactures don’t only care about the aesthetic but they make sure it is functional as well.

What are your suggestions on exterior lighting? What areas of the property should be addressed?

You should always light the pathway to the door. That is most important. Then I like to follow it up with lighting “showcases” throughout the yard. So up-lighting trees or fountains, the beauty of doing this is it provides depth and layers of light.

Are there any new technologies available that make replacing/updating fixtures easier (i.e. DIY, wireless, remote, etc)?

A lot of LED light bulbs and ceiling fans are now speaking with Google Home or Amazon Alexa. It can be an easy swap in the fixture that includes the technology.

In addition to changing out your light fixtures, consider adding a sun tunnels or skylights to your home. You’ll love all the natural light that can be ushered into your home, and this is an easy way to illuminate dark areas of your house (i.e. hallways and north facing rooms). Take advantage of federal tax credits by installing these products.

If you’re considering updating the lighting in your home, contact Kristen at Fusion Light and Design, 303-777-5080, 240 Kalamath St, Denver, CO 80223.

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