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Share your awesome accent lighting

Posted by OntarioMom (My Page) on
Sun, Apr 7, 13 at 12:00

Hi all,

I was hoping we could brainstorm lighting and electrical upgrades (some electric eye candy). Here are the ideas we are planning to get the brainstorm started. Thanks!

1)Coloured cove lighting around a corner wet bar in the basement

2)2 spot pot lights to accent the fireplace and stone

3)LED lights to go around two interior windows

4)LED lights to accent a decorative shelf for a plate collection, another shelf for family photos and a trophy shelf for the kids in basement.

5)Dimmers most everywhere and lots of separate controls (not loving all the extra switches for this though).

6)Low voltage puck lights over both window seats

7)Low voltage lighting in backyard so that the eye is drawn outward at night and not stopped by the black windows.

8)Low voltage lighting directed to back of vanity and then two small wall sconces on either side of bathroom mirror for flattering light at vanity.

9)A switch to turn on the plug closest to our planned Xmas tree location so we can turn on the lights as we enter the room

10)Kill switches to turn off all basement lights from main floor, all upstairs lights from main floor and all lower level lights from upstairs (we are not great at turning lights off so this will make the job easier)

11)A switch in entry foyer that turns off the exterior plugs that will be used for outside Xmas lights.

12)Considering adding fiber optic lights to accent the basement ceiling. This is the older kids' hangout so we want some cool effects here.

Aside from general task lighting, please tell me what extras you are adding to your lighting scheme? What upgrades in electrical are you considering for accent lighting, convenience or rough-ins for future needs? Looking forward to hearing your creative ideas.

Carol

This post was edited by OntarioMom on Sun, Apr 7, 13 at 19:40


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: Share your awesome accent lighting

We added extra switches inside for future landscape lighting. We uplit some trees, used wall washers on the front and spotlit the front gable. We added lighting to the posts that support the barrel-vaulted covered walk way so they shine both up and down, and put small lights on our posts on our deck for safety.

In the library, we used lighting strips inside of the book cases in the library to light the entire fronts. We also added recessed lighting in front of the smaller bookcase to light them as well as a spot for the boat and the portrait over the fireplace. I also added recessed lighting to skim the fronts of the drapes.

In the dining room, I planned on 3 wall paper panels which I had spot light. We also added cove lighting to the barrel vault in the ceiling.

What I wished I had done was put a light switch in the door to the walk-in pantry so it would come on and off as we opened the door....we did that in the foyer closet, but really could've used it more in the pantry...too hard to retrofit.


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RE: Share your awesome accent lighting

Annie,

Wow, your gorgeous house and lighting looks like it came straight out of the Houzz site. Please tell us more about the lite shelves in the library. Did you put one string of rope lighting on each shelf or more than one string? Also, when you mentioned you used spot lights in the dining room to highlight the artwork, did you do regular pots or low voltage puck lights? I was also curious about your wall washers in the front of your house. Where were the wall washers placed?

Thanks so much for posting your inspiration photos and for your ideas. Lighting like this makes such a difference to a house.

Carol

This post was edited by OntarioMom on Sun, Apr 7, 13 at 19:34


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RE: Share your awesome accent lighting

Hi all,

Perhaps I did not choose the right title for this thread. (and should have used the word please). Let's rename the title "Please share your plans for accent lighting or electrical upgrades". Are you guys not planning any electrical upgrades or mood lighting?

Carol


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RE: Share your awesome accent lighting

I'm not sure if it's an electrical upgrade, but we're wiring a closet with electrical, cable and phone lines so we can use it to house our modem and wifi router.

Also, we're putting in quad plugs instead of the standard duplex plugs on either side of the master bed for charging our stuff in addition to bedside lamps.

And since we have a great room, without a lot of walls, we're putting in some floor outlets. A couple under the sofa, and one under the dining room table (this will let us plug in crockpots or whatever without making a tripline of a cord if we have potluck buffet or something.)

Our lighting plans are pretty basic. I like what you have planned!


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RE: Share your awesome accent lighting

Someone previously posted this under the subject line "Home Automation" or something similar to that. Anyway, we will be installing wifi connected light switches.

http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/702772580/ube-wifi-connected-smart-light-dimmer

It sort of works like a master switch except you can use your iphone to turn it on and off. The switch itself is controlled with similar finger motion as you would use on an iphone or ipad.


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RE: Share your awesome accent lighting

zone4newby and lzhwong,

I love your ideas!

@Zone, the wifi/modem closet idea is a keeper. It would be nice not to have a modem on the computer desk. Quad plugs around the night tables is also great. We are also putting in one floor plug in our great room for lamps etc due to lack of walls.

@lzhwong, I am very intrigued by your idea. We are ending up having more switches than I would like, so a master control centre sounds like a great solution.

Thank you both for sharing your ideas.

Carol


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RE: Share your awesome accent lighting

We did lighted crown molding. I don't have a great picture but you can see in this one how the area around the crown molding is uplit:

Lighted niches above our great room cabinets (we need a tall ladder to get the stuff up there. That ship in front of the fireplace is supposed to be in the niche:

In and under cabinet lighting (all the in-cab lighting is on timers in the whole house so it goes on when it gets dark)

And finally a spotlight on the fireplace:

Our closet lights are also controlled by door jam switches so they turn on when you open the door and off when you close it. Pantry light is on a motion detector because there are two doors to that room.


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RE: Share your awesome accent lighting

double post

This post was edited by beaglesdoitbetter on Mon, Apr 8, 13 at 21:03


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RE: Share your awesome accent lighting

Simply gorgeous, beagles! I knew I could count on you for some inpiration. I love the lighted crown molding uplights. How does that work exactly? I thought crown usually butted up against the corners of the ceiling and the walls. How do you fit in the rope lighting and does it show a gap (maybe not an issue with such tall ceilings)? I love your timer idea for the cabinets too. No use putting in these fancy features if they don't get turned on.

Carol


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RE: Share your awesome accent lighting

Annie,

You special lighting is beautiful. Can you please tell me for your dining room spots were those low voltage puck lights or regualr pot lights? If pot lights, what size were they? I am trying to figure out how best to light up a few display/picture areas in the house. The electricians are back mid next week and are anxious for my decisions to be all done.

Carol


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RE: Share your awesome accent lighting

Trying again to reach Annie. Annie, are those low voltage lights for the dining room spots or 3 inch regular voltage spots?

Anyone else willing to discuss their lighting/electrical ideas?

Carol


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RE: Share your awesome accent lighting

So sorry, I visit so many threads here, I forget where I've been!

Thank you for all the kind words.

On the exterior, we actually borrowed LED lighting from the lighting store that was on a stake and we played with the various light fixtures...how wide or how narrow or how spot the flood was. We put 2 floods as wall washers very near the building to skim the stonework with light and add texture. Then we put a spot that is located by the stonewall away from the house pointed to highlight the gable over the front door. We then put some led spotlights in some trees in the landscape to accent it. We spent a warm evening playing with the LED lights determining which trees and how we wanted to showcase them...it really is a matter of playing with them to see what looks best to you. The LEDs were expensive but worthwhile as they throw a really white bright light for low operating costs and they are easy to install...stake them into the ground and just cover the wire with mulch...no need for pipes and such. In the back, we made sure we added a chase pipe under the back steps so we can get wires from the house to both sides of the landscape...it came in handy when we added the "rock" speakers.

For the bookcases in the library, we had strips installed, top to bottom, then you literally push the double bulb fixture on wherever you want it and it lights up. Very easy. Below is a close up I took of the bulbs that's inside the bookcase.

For the accent spots, they are a low voltage lighting and the trim kits help determine how the lights are aimed. In the dining room on the wallpaper panels, we used a pivoting trim which allowed us to aim the light more precisely...

In the library, we used slotted trims to aim the light at the artwork:

We also used the slots to highlight the sculpture in the foyer...after doing some research I learned that you need 2 sources of light to properly light a sculpture, so 2 it was.

We did put rope lighting in the cove under the barrel vault of the DR ceiling, and while it doesn't look spotted as some lighting did, it really isn't as bright as I would like, so it's OK, but not the best. Sometime in the future I may change it once I find a better solution, but for now, I'm done with it.

Make sure the electrician has a place to put the transformer(s) for the low voltage lighting....Let me know if you have any other questions...I promise I'll show up sooner....


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RE: Share your awesome accent lighting

Another thing re exterior lighting, please beware of the look of the "munster house"...I've seen so many houses where they put the lights away from the house and into the trees in such a way that they cast the eerie shadows of the tree branches on the house and rather than look warm or inviting, it looks haunted and creepy. Best to spotlight the house from a distance of up close, but not through the trees.

This is not good:

This is good

And another consideration for exterior lighting for patios, decks and such...you don't want to see the source of the light as it is far too bright...better to see the resulting light, but no bare looking bulbs.


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RE: Share your awesome accent lighting

Annie,

Thank you thank you for your further insights and answers (and for the photos)! You obviously spent a great deal of time getting the lighting right in your home. I am glad to know about the different trim kits and that you used low voltage spots instead of standard voltage. I gather from your pictures you used pot lights and not puck lights to accent your art. Is this assumption correct?

We haven't thought much about exterior lighting except coach lights and pots in the soffits. We also have a conduit placed in backyard. We will need to work out some low voltage up lights perhaps around our back yard. I think your idea of borrowing the lights from the store to test out is brilliant. Hopefully, we will be able to do that too.

How did you use light in the bedroom? I am thinking of a centre fixture and then some sort of pots around the perimeter (assuming standard voltage pots). We can also have reading lights by the bed. Would love to hear how you solved lighting here.

Carol


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RE: Share your awesome accent lighting

We used recessed cans not puck lights for the lighting...when the ceiling is open, you can put the cans in.

I didn't do anything special in the bedrooms. I just have a central chandelier and I put a crystal fixture with a mirrored canopy in the arched window. For the rest, we rely on lamp lighting...it's cozier and more energy efficient...we have unheated attic space above and didn't want to add more holes in the ceiling...

We did put a water proof fixture under the seat in the shower in the masterbath. The shower is a steam shower too so we didn't want to be steaming with strong lights on...rather we wanted ambient lighting to go with the ambient music (we put speakers in the ceiling in the bathroom) when steaming.

We also used accent lights in the glass-fronted cabinets in the kitchen and I added an accent light pointing at the focal point over the cooktop where I now have my wreath. At night or when entertaining, it really makes the place look nice and warm.


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RE: Share your awesome accent lighting

Nice pictures Annie. I love those glass cupboards up high for display in the kitchen and the arched window in the bedroom. Are you kitchen ceilings 9 feet high? We are considering display cupboards like yours, but our ceilings are only 8 feet. Your steam shower sounds heavenly.

Carol


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RE: Share your awesome accent lighting

Yes our ceilings are 9' and we added the soffit above as I didn't want to have to clean above the cabinets. I suppose yours would just go to the ceiling without a soffit. You can't see it, but the glass in the kitchen cabinets are antique shimmer glass from the old house which we had to tear down to build the new one. While the cabinet maker could've made them on a single door, we had separate doors as we didn't want the antique glass doors opening and shutting as much as the bottom ones.


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RE: Share your awesome accent lighting

Thanks for the extra info Annie. Had not thought about whether we would want one or two doors if we added display cabinets.

What would GW do without your guidance!

Carol


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RE: Share your awesome accent lighting

Annie,

So far have you found your low voltage pot lights to be reliable? Our electrician was not in favour of us choosing low voltage pots to accent art like you did due to reliability issues. We had also thought to use low voltage pots over two window seats, and over a vanity. The electrician suggested standard voltage pots with LED bulbs in them instead of the low voltage pots. Should I be worried if we insist on low voltage pots?

Carol


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RE: Share your awesome accent lighting

Just found out about this cool company from Davidtay on the lighting forum. The downlights seem to combine a ceiling pot with a projector which claims to allow the art to be frame lite much more economically than cutting out a template. The paintings on the website look like they are lite from within. I have no idea the price, and if they are available in my area, but thought they would be worth investigating.

Carol

Here is a link that might be useful: phantom lighting for artwork


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RE: Share your awesome accent lighting

So far we only had problem with one fixture which we replaced. Since then, it's been fine...


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RE: Share your awesome accent lighting

I finally have some pics showing some of the accent lighting on the exterior of the home.

We have a walkway under the deck in the back for which we repeated the segmental arch theme that runs through the house. We used lights that shine both up and down to light the walkway and the archway frames the view to the patio beyond.


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RE: Share your awesome accent lighting

On the exterior, do you prefer uplights, downlights, or both?


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