How to Design and Install Whole Home Lighting

Complement natural light with a flexible design.

Illumination by Design

Our lighting priorities for the Getaway were as clear as LEDs. We wanted ample light for the deck and the entry doors. We also wanted to control interior lighting zones to illuminate everything from a big get-together to a quiet evening for two.

For a project of this size, we needed guidance. Monique Spearing of Kichler Lighting helped us meet our needs and budget.

The Getaway Outdoor LightingFamily Handyman

For the exterior, she suggested sconces for ambient deck lighting, individual floodlights for the entryway and low-voltage path lights to illuminate the steps to the deck.

The Getaway Living Room

For the interior, we decided on a combination of flush-mount ceiling lights, pendant lights and lamps with dimmer controls on every zone, plus well-placed three-way switches.

  • With all lighting projects, a simple plan can be invaluable.
  • We placed three-way switches at convenient locations.
  • Place pendants 30 inches above the island.
  • The six-inch round LED downlights disperse in broad patterns to fill a space. Pendants create a focal point for task lighting. Lamps add individual style and shine light closer to you.

The Getaway Bedroom

For the main bedroom lighting, we bent the rules and chose pendant lights for bedside lamps. These rustic pendant lights from Kichler enhanced the northern Wisconsin vibe.

  • Dimmers allow you to establish multiple zones with convenient control.
  • A well-placed three-way switch means we can control lights from bed.
  • Ample natural light gave us more creative freedom for the interior lighting scheme.
  • Forty-eight inches of space between ceiling lights provides even light dispersion.

Jay Cork
Jay started his work in remodeling focusing on trim carpentry, then moved to custom cabinetry. One project led to another, and he learned custom architectural accents, low voltage wiring, HVAC, siding and more. As a hobby, Jay builds, repairs and refinishes musical instruments and dabbles in audio recording.