nice open floor plan designed by New Legacy Homes in Tampa, representing best lighting

Getting the Lighting Right for Your Custom-Built Home

Getting the details right is what separates humans from animals. Certainly, a bird’s nest or a beaver’s dam exhibit marvelous ingenuity, but they are such brute force efforts. If you want a splash of finesse, you need that additional intelligence – and opposable thumbs.

Finding the best lighting is the coconut cream dollop on the acai bowl of your new custom domicile. The home functions perfectly well without it but it lacks a panache that makes it a home.

Lighting accentuates, it complicates, it volumizes. It is a painting in photons that shouldn’t clash with the canvas of your home.

Best Lighting Features

Lighting designers for theater and video productions make an average of $59,000 a year. Nobody is paying someone that kind of cash to point a few halogens and call it a day if it didn’t matter.

Correct lighting makes or breaks a stage production or a film. Have you ever heard the term day for night? It’s terrible and good lighting design doesn’t allow for it.

Lighting should be inviting and make the other features of a room stand out or fade away, the same way that contouring makeup or blending shades of paint does. It’s all the effects when you get right down to it.


For indoor lights, a savvy design incorporates the colors of the walls, floors, ceiling, and furniture to make a total oeuvre. Glaring spotlights lead to harsh shadows and overly bright lights damage delicate fabrics.

Living Areas

For living areas, the light should be recessed, rarely if ever direct. This provides illumination in the form of a glow that avoids harsh contrasts.

Recessed lighting also diffuses heat into surrounding settings and awnings. This lowers temperature fluctuations in a room, saving cash on heating and cooling but, perhaps more importantly, avoiding the noise of HVAC systems starting and stopping.

Work Areas

A home office, library, or craft room needs to have some diffused, ambient lighting for walking through. That works the same as any other living area.

Workspaces need direct lighting that doesn’t overheat and doesn’t strain. Natural whites and muted yellows bring more detail to the work without causing strain.


Outdoor lighting might be even more important than indoor. The indoor lighting needs to fit your decor, your needs, and your personal taste. Outdoor lighting broadcasts to the world, and you need that broadcast to be on-message.


For an outdoor deck, hot tub, or patio area where a party or gathering is held, mood lighting is essential. This mimics the indoor lights, putting guests at ease and offering solid, but not harsh, illumination.

Shielded lights and targeted LED strips bring to life your outdoor areas without bathing the neighborhood in light.


Security lights need to be bright enough to assist cameras and to put trespassers on notice. They don’t need to blind the neighbors or become a passing bit of fun for wayward children.

Consider motion-activated and upward-directed floodlights.

Make the Move

So many choices go into crafting your perfect custom-built home. Protect that investment with the best lighting design. Something that will tie a room together and last years.

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