Lighting needs have to take into consideration the function of a room. While soft, intimate lighting my be appropriate in a small dining room, or a bedroom, you certainly do not want it in your kitchen, bathroom, or office. So let's go one room at a time and figure out what you will need:
· Kitchen- A ceiling fixture that lights the whole room is a must. You also need task lighting over your kitchen sink and in your major work area. If your table is in the kitchen, a dropped fixture over the table is appropriate. Use a dimmer switch on that fixture so that you can regulate the mood. Track lighting that can be aimed at a butcher block island or a breakfast bar is useful.
· Bathroom- Recessed lighting in an enclosed shower stall is a must. Over the sinks use strip lighting or fixtures mounted on either side of a framed mirror over each sink. If you have a jacuzzi tub, a ceiling fixture on a dimmer switch can promote romance or give you enough light to read a book.
· Dining room- Unless the room is cavernous, a chandelier on a dimmer is all you need.
· Family room- A ceiling fixture for those dark and gloomy days, or to provide all over light for your party is a must, but don't forget the task lighting! If there is a game table, it must have its own fixture. Easy chairs should have a floor or table lamp next to them for reading or any close work.
· Bedrooms don't require a ceiling fixture, though a ceiling fan/light combo is always nice. Night stand lighting, or a floor lamp by a chair is required.
· Formal living room- No ceiling fixture is necessary here. Track lighting that can be aimed at furniture groupings or important wall hangings, a few table or floor lamps and you are all set.