How Much Lighting is Enough?

Most people assume that the number of lights on a property directly correlates to how bright the lighting is. But, when it comes to lighting your home, more lighting doesn’t necessarily mean it will be brighter. In fact, the opposite is often true. Also house paint is important, paint and light must to go together. Get your house painting from Mehdi.


There are over 35 fixtures on the right house (which we did). There are 2 on the left. Which one looks more pleasing and which one is more glaring?

The expert designers at INARAY understand that the use of more fixtures that are smaller and lower in wattage will provide a more pleasing lighting design for your home.

Homeowners can go to the big box store and pick up a couple of 500 watt floodlights. Sure the house will be lit and bright, but there’s a tendency to lose the character of the house, and a tendency to overuse the lighting. This lighting tends to be harsh and flat. It can actually wash out the main features of the home the owner wants to accent. The unique aspects of the architecture or details in the brick work can be lost.

When an INARAY designer comes in, they provide a sketch of your home and show where the recommended lighting will be placed. They explain that the more lights you have on your home, the greater control you have regarding the overall lighting design. When numerous fixtures are proposed to illuminate your home, often times a homeowner assumes the lighting will be too much. It’s a psychological reaction. The designer has to overcome this misconception and explain how lower levels of lighting will be used at intervals to accent the home’s architecture.

Homeowners who want to take care of lighting on their own often look at sconces that say “no more than 60 watt bulbs” so they’ll get the 60 watt bulbs for all of the sconces without considering different levels of lighting. Homeowners can install the floodlights at the corner of the house, and tend to use the same wattage in all levels of lighting.

INARAY understands that smaller light fixtures, closer together, creates texture and enhances features. When lighting is done correctly you don’t even see the source.

Depending on the size of a property, a designer can distribute those industrial floodlights into 20 or more smaller lights at a lower wattage to achieve the desired lighting effect.

It’s like being at a concert where the speakers are all stacked on stage. The sound has to reach the back of the entire room, so they have to be loud. As opposed to outdoor shopping centers or theme parks where many speakers are hidden in the shrubs. The concept with lighting is much the same. Multiple lights generate the atmosphere needed to build lighting effects tailor-made to each homeowners varying needs and preferences.

Different architecture takes a different focus or different accent. For example, when lighting a Victorian home, the designer has to take into consideration the ledges, roof lines, recessed curves and other ornamentations. A flat floodlight would either eliminate the view of some of those features or cause strange shadows across other parts of the house, or both. A few well placed fixtures can be added to eliminate the shadows and highlight the special features.

In contrast, the light on a traditional Colonial style home would likely be unimpeded by ornamentation. A 3,000 square foot Victorian, for example, could take more lighting than an 8,000 square foot Colonial. Georgian architecture features columns that can be highlighted with the proper accent lighting as well.

No one seems to question the fact that interior lighting takes multiple lights to create layers of moods and tone. Often there can be twenty, thirty or even more lights inside a house. This is most evident in kitchens that feature overhead lighting, recessed lighting, under the cabinet lighting and more to create just the right look and feel.

Similar to the interior, there are many levels of lighting to consider when lighting the outside of a home. Lighting design is far more than a few floodlights blasting the front face of the house. Homes remain the largest investment most folks will make in their lifetime. So lighting your home in a proper and attractive manner only adds value to one of your greatest assets.

Outdoor lighting is not limited to just buildings and structures. Beautiful landscapes in the daylight can disappear in the dark, but properly designed and installed lighting will create an almost magical atmosphere. When lighting the landscape, designers may choose accent lighting on shrubbery or down lighting from trees to create an inviting scene for you and your guests.

Improperly installed lighting can sometimes create streaks of lights across the front of the house rather than a nicely blended lighting scene. A skilled designer enhances the beauty of a home with different beam spreads, different wattage of bulbs and different color temperatures of light.

When lighting is installed properly with the right fixtures and the right wattage of bulbs, homeowners will actually find that they save on their utility bills. When proper lighting is installed, it is both energy efficient and attractive.

Best of all, you don’t have to figure it out on your own. INARAY has been in this business for over 12 years. Based in Richmond, they are committed to illuminating your world, and most importantly, your home.