Lighting Selections… Triad Lighting Designer Explains Why These Selections Should Always Be Made Early In The Process

Posted on | April 19, 2016 | No Comments

Lighting certainly does add an irreplaceable sparkle and shine to a design. It also illuminates our homes’ best features. But, as Priscilla Olinick of Butler Lighting explains, lighting is so much more than just a pretty accent. It’s a powerful transformative element that can set the tone for an entire home. Butler Lighting is a family-owned company that has shared its passion for lighting with customers for over 50 years. As a longtime Butler Lighting design and sales consultant, Priscilla was kind enough to share with North Carolina Design some of her lighting expertise.

Images Courtesy of Butler Lighting ©

“If you’ve ever lived in a dark house, as I have, you know how important lighting is,” Priscilla reflects. “Lighting transforms the feel, the mood, and even the scale of a space. It also enhances the overall design. A beautiful room that’s under lit doesn’t have nearly the impact it could or should have. When lighting is done correctly, the entire room comes alive.”

When it comes to proper lighting, Priscilla emphasizes that form follows function. “The ultimate goal is to have the correct amount of lighting in every room,” she notes. “To accomplish this, you have to think in general terms first. Decorative fixtures will only offer so much light. Ambient lighting is foundational. It’s the key to a well-lit space. So you want to make sure you have enough recessed and general lighting. You can work out the task lighting and accent lighting afterward.”

Because lighting is so important, Priscilla advises that homeowners make it a priority early on in the building or remodeling process. “So many people focus on paint colors and cabinetry, and put lighting on the back burner. They don’t realize that some of their lighting needs have to be addressed early on so that the electrician and builder can rough everything in. If you wait until everything’s in place and then find out the lighting can’t work for you, there may not be a quick or affordable solution.”

Priscilla maintains that it’s also important to be up-to-date on the latest lighting advancements and trends. “Lighting fixtures have become much more transitional, which I love,” she offers. “Things are not so stuffy, and fixtures are not so heavy, dark or ornate. We’re seeing a lot of gold, a lot of silver, and a lot of lighter wood tones and whitewashes. There are a lot of fun, casual options out there that really add some personality, and I think that’s great.”

As far as the latest lighting technology goes, Priscilla tells us that LED lighting is the wave of the future. “It’s advancing so rapidly – the options available now are far superior to those produced just two years ago,” she affirms. “The color temperature is warmer and much more natural, and the color quality has greatly improved. LED’s still cost more, but people can justify the expense because they will literally pay for themselves over time in terms of energy consumption.”

With so many factors to consider, homeowners can find lighting to be much more complex and more overwhelming than they imagined. But thankfully, places like Butler Lighting can help put clients at ease, streamline the process and assist with decision-making. “This is a one-stop-shop,” says Priscilla. “We have multiple locations and a 10,000 foot showroom. But most importantly, there are consultants in every location who offer a very high level of service.

“Homeowners don’t always realize how important things like scale and proportion are, or what their builders and electricians’ needs might be. When they buy fixtures on their own online, they can make mistakes. But here, they can come in for a one-on-one consultation with people who have a great deal expertise, and will walk them through the whole process. That makes all the difference in the world. Lighting is just too important to go it alone. We love helping our customers get it right.”

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