A power and lighting plan can make or break a home. A good electrical plan does not only make a home look better, it makes it safer and more functional as well. However, proper planning is not just about installing a few fixtures. Here is your ultimate checklist for your electrical and lighting plan:
Tips on Proper Lighting Plan
Each room of your house must have a combination of three kinds of lighting, namely general, accent, and task.
- General Lighting
Also called ambient lighting, the general lighting gives overall illumination to your room. This type of lighting is generally provided by pot lights or ceiling-mounted lighting fixtures. However, it can also be provided by sconces, floor lamps, or table lamps.
- Accent Lighting
The accent lighting is focused on a certain area that you want to highlight, such as a piece of artwork on your wall or objects on your glass cabinet. When used properly, this form of light can set a mood and draw attention to a specific spot.
- Task Lighting
The task lighting is directed to a certain spot to help you perform a certain activity. In the kitchen, this light is usually installed over the sink, stove, or counters. It may be a part of the ambient lighting, or an additional portable or localized fixture. The finish and style of a task light must complement that of the space as it is generally visible.
Accessibility and Convenience
Accessibility and convenience play a vital role in the success of an electrical plan. The switches must be easily accessible especially when you are entering a dark room.
- 3-way switches enable you to turn on and off the light from two separate places. This is especially useful in rooms with two entry points and staircases where there is one switch on the upper floor and another on the lower.
- A sensor is an excellent choice for such small rooms as pantries and cupboards, and for the outdoors. It is cheap and easy to install.
- Integrating your lights into an automated system enables you to remotely control them, so you will not have to enter a dark home from work or get out of your bed to switch on or off the lights.
Where to Place Your Lights?
- Recessed Lights
If your room has a ceiling height of 8 feet, recessed lights should be spaced more or less 4 feet apart.
- Kitchen Drop Lights
It is a general rule in electrical plans that you must install one drop light per two feet length of the counter. This lighting fixture is typically installed 72 inches above the floor or 30 to 36 inches above the countertop.
- Under Cabinet
Strip lighting or LED tape is the most common type of light installed under the overhead cabinet. It is highly recommended because it gives significant task lighting in a workspace.
- Dining Area Chandelier
A chandelier is typically hung above the center of the dining table with its bottom 30 to 36 inches above the tabletop.
- Entryway Pendant
An entryway fixture must be hung at the center of the room, with its bottom hanging at least 7 feet above the floor.
- Wall Sconces
The center of its backplate must be 60 to 64 inches above the floor.
- Bathroom Sconces
Sconces must be installed on either side of your mirror, preferably 36 to 40 inches apart to prevent shadows from being cast on your face. Make sure that the bottom of the fixture is mounted at eye level, or as indicated in the lighting plan.
Where to Place Electrical Outlets?
The kitchen is home to small and big electrical appliances. An electrical plan must show outlets around the kitchen island for beaters, mixers, and other small appliances. Place plugs with higher amperages in areas where your microwave or refrigeration might be moved in the future. Add outlets under your cabinets for LED lights.
- Living Room
Plan to put multiple electrical outlets in the corners of your living room, as well as in the center of all walls. If a flat-screen TV will be mounted on the wall, put an outlet right behind it to conceal the cords.
- Family Room
Mount outlets in several areas of your family room for charging stations. If you have a minibar in it, provide outlets in the backsplash to allow for a blender and a few outlets beneath the bar for an ice maker and small refrigerator.
Make sure that your electrical plan specifies only the right type of outlet and in the right locations in the bathroom. The outlets should be installed where you will use the appliances. Avoid using extension cords for your safety and convenience.
Figure out the intended location of your bed first before placing the outlets near the location of the nightstands, approximately two feet above the baseboard for concealed cords. In your walk-in closet, place the outlets near your vanity.
For your garage, mount an outlet in the center of its ceiling for the garage door opener and several outlets along its wall where your workbench will be. Distance the outlets from your water heater and install them approximately every 6 feet around the base of your garage to allow for electric tools like shop vacuums and air compressors.
Do not forget to install outlets under the eaves for your Christmas decorations. Connect them to a switch so you can easily turn them on and off. GFI outlets can also be installed around your home near the ground for landscaping equipment. Pergolas, lighting fixtures, and outdoor fountains should be provided with outlets as well.
- Home Office
Install outlets slightly above your desk to easily plugin and unplug modems, routers, printers, computers, and the like. If you plan on mounting a small television on the wall, place the outlet in advance in your chosen location.
Ossian Rey is a passionate writer of SOServices (https://www.soservices.sg/) and expert in Maintenance Service related articles. Loves to play video games and chit-chat.