Lighting Walk-Through Checklist and Tips

Horizon Electric has helped thousands of home owners make smart lighting decisions and we wanted to pass along some information that will help you prepare for your own new home lighting walkthrough.

1. Picture yourself living in your new home

If you’re planning to or are in the process of building a new home, chances are you’ve imagined yourself living in your new space. You’ve pictured yourself waking up in your new bedroom and cooking breakfast in your new kitchen. Luckily, all that daydreaming will come in handy on the day of your walkthrough with your electrical contractor!

Having an idea where your bed will be will help determine where to place the outlets. Knowing whether you’re going to want the kitchen table will help center the light fixture. So picture yourself living in each room:

  • Bedroom: Where will you put your bed?  Will you want nightstands with lamps on each side? Would you like a statement lighting fixture for the room or recess cans for more even lighting throughout the room?
  • Kitchen: What size fixtures do you have planned for over the kitchen island and dining table?  Would you like lighting in and/or under the cabinets?  Consider layered lighting for entertaining and focused lighting for areas such as over the sink or oven.
  • Bathroom: Would you like heated floors? Remember the importance of task lighting, especially for applying makeup, shaving and tooth care. Would you like ambient lighting over the tub?
  • Living Room: What will the furniture layout be? Are you considering accent lighting, for example to show off pieces of art?

2. Know the dimensions of your light fixtures and furniture

The size of your light fixtures and furniture will determine placement, so knowing that information during the walkthrough is important.  Measure the size of your dining room table, so you can ensure the fixture will be centered. Know the diameter of your kitchen island fixtures to ensure symmetry. Sometimes the angle of rooms or whether there are beams may also influence placement, so know that you may have to discuss options.

3. Think about the placement and number of switches

Some people like the outlets turned sideways at normal height, others prefer vertical but closest to the bottom to hide cords. Imagine living in each room and how you would use those outlets. When coming home from work, do you want to walk across the room to flip on the lights? You may be using a spare bedroom as an office and will need more outlets that the typical bedroom. You may want to have automatic lights for the garage or laundry room, so you don’t have to fumble around for the switch in the dark. Prepare to think through number and placement decisions room by room.

4. Consider mixed lighting solutions

Lighting can be about both function and fashion, and the optimal lighting solution achieves both. Consider more than just ceiling light  - pendants, sconces, step lights – so that you can achieve an mixed solution both effective and interesting. Layered lighting in the kitchen so you can adjust for when you’re cooking and when you have a group gathered around the kitchen island eating apps and drinking wine! You can also take advantage of light automation, with solutions that have pre-settings for “dinner party”, “homework time”, and “lazy Sunday morning” that will set the appropriate mood lighting! No more flipping switches on and off to achieve just the right atmosphere.

5. Consider other lighting options

There are so many amazing lighting design options that can make life easier and more enjoyable! Stairway lighting is often overlooked and can make night trips for a glass of water easier!  Remote lighting controls, like Lutron Caseta Wireless, that allows you to control your lights, shades and temperature from your phone! You may know about the cost savings associated with LED, but did you know that you can still enjoy the classic look of Edison Incandescent lighting? There are receptacles with built-in USB ports!  Your electrician should be able to recommend these options and more.  And if they don’t, have your builder give Horizon Electric a call!