If you are building a new home this year (or are planning to build in the next few years,) there are a couple of LED strip lighting questions you can consider now to make your new construction lighting plan the best it can be. Most new home construction these days include plans for energy efficiency (whether by choice or by ordinance.) Planning for LED lighting in advance can help you reach your eco-friendly goals. There are also some design considerations that involve lighting which provide you with more options if you think about how you want to use LED strip lights before building begins. In light of all these ideas and possibilities, here is the HitLights practical guide for using LED strip lights in your new home construction.
There’s a reason it’s called a dream home—when someone is pursuing a new construction build of a house, there are so many details that you want to get just right. There is a desire to make the space as “you” as possible. If you’re going to go through the effort (and sometimes stress) to build a home from the ground up, you might as well get everything the way you want it from the start. This includes creating a lighting plan—and exploring all your options for using LED strip lights where they will fit.
Lighting is the Jewelry of the Home
Have you ever heard the saying, “Lighting is the Jewelry of the Home”? In fashion, jewelry enhances a look, heightening the beauty and conveying the feel the fashion is supposed to achieve. This saying in the lighting world makes sense the moment you hear it: sure, lighting brings illumination to the rooms and spaces of your home (practical), but lighting also strives to make your home even more beautiful than it is in the natural state. In years past, lights only had one job: produce light. Today, lighting is expected to produce light and add a dimension to any building that cannot be created any other way.
If you like the idea of the lights in your new construction to be like gems, beaming and glimmering like beautiful jewels, here are some questions to consider before construction begins:
- Do you know the Lighting Rule of Three?
- What color tone do you want your lights?
- What is the style profile of your home?
Each of these questions will get you one step closer to the best lighting to fit with your new construction.
What is the Lighting Rule of Three?
The Lighting Rule of Three is a rule of thumb used by lighting designers where each room has three different light sources. Natural light (like from a window) counts as one light source, so in your planning, add two additional light sources to achieve the Rule of Three. The conventional wisdom behind this rule is that it’s not typical to complain of a room having too much light; rather, most people are striving to bring more light in. If a room is planned with three sources from the beginning, you’re more likely to be satisfied with the lighting in that particular space.
LED strip lights are an easy way to get that second or third light source into a room.
If following this “rule” then you can plan for LED strip lights to pair with (for example) modern pendant lights. Or consider LED baseboard lights to create mood and pair with dramatic track lighting. Either of these rooms, if the space has a window, you can see how the LED strip lights work to complete your lighting triad. Build with the Lighting Rule of Three in mind!
Pick Your Color Palate Early
Part of the new construction build is coming up with a color palate. Color is crucial to design and anyone who has ever repainted even a simple bedroom knows how many colors there are out there! You may have even noticed that “white paint” isn’t a simple statement. Navajo, cream, cool vanilla—which white do you mean?
Well, it’s either good news or bad news we’ve got for you, but LED strip lights have lots of color options, too. Even white LED strip lights give you a choice of cool, warm, neutral, or soft white.
The point is this: with many options to choose from, decide before construction begins what color LED light you want to go with, and then match those lights either to the entire house or to the immediate room.
Color of light is measured by CRI—a color rendering index. When you choose from HitLights you can see the CRI of all our lights, right there on the product description page.
One caution—from a design perspective: nothing lowers the look of a room faster than a bunch of mismatched color tones. Coordinated color tones—that’s one thing. A hodgepodge of warms, cools, brights? Yikes.
Bottom line: assess your options and pick the right color tone for your new home.
Match the Lighting Style of Your Lights to Your Home
What is the style of the new home construction? Is it a rambling ranch-style or craftsman or colonial or cottage? Is it modern or traditional? Knowing the style of home you are building will dictate lots of the design questions.
We know that most people associate LED strip lights with a more modern or contemporary looking home. But don’t rule out LED strip lights if your home is more to the traditional bend. First of all, there are lots of places where LED strip lights can serve a functional role (like in closets or under cabinets) where other lighting will satisfy the style needs of the room. (In other words, even with a more traditional house, there remain plenty of functional areas where LED strip lights are perfect task lighting.) Also, you can be creative with any style with the right color tone (see section above.) For example, a traditional room can use a rich, warm light in crown molding to add light in a complimentary way.
If your new construction is modern in look and feel, then go for it when it comes to the LED strip lights. Modern design loves the accents that LED strip lights can provide.
Now that you’ve thought about some of the design concepts that go into new construction, there are a couple of remaining items that lean more to the practical side of building. Namely, dimming and hard to access features.
How do I plan for LED strip light dimmers?
Dimmability is one of the most desired features of LED strip lights. After checking that your choice of LED strip lights dim, make sure you have plenty of dimmable drivers on hand for all your installations. You should know that regular rheostat switches (like what you’d find in a bin in a big box hardware store) aren’t going to work with LED strip lights. A layperson way to think about the HitLights dimmable drivers is that the drivers are like the “brain” for the LED strip light, controlling the dimming and function.
When you plan for the dimming up front, these units can be easily added to the construction. While these units can be added to existing construction, you’ll have more control if they are installed during the original build.
Power supplies likewise can be added to construction plans. Be sure to talk to one of our helpful and knowledgeable support team members to come up with the complete wiring plan. We can help make your plans easier!
Work with house features as they’re being built
Your dream staircase—a vaulted tower. Your ceilings—tall and with ornate crown molding. Your kitchen counters—a sparkling quartzite, handpicked among many (many) contenders. Each of these features will be easier to light if you know before the first nail is hammered that you want LED strip lights to be part of the final product. Add instructions to put in the lights now as these features are installed. Of course, it’s not impossible to add LED strip lights later, but the hassle factor will be higher. Think through any room feature that will need special tools in the future (like extra tall ceilings or inaccessible staircases) and light them during the construction phase, not as an afterthought.
We want your home to fulfill your dreams—complete with the “jewelry” befitting your new space. We’re happy to help you with your plans, whether that means helping you select lights of the same color tone, getting the right dimmers, or selecting the right quantity of LED light strips for your project. We’re waiting to talk to you. Call us now at 1 (855) 768-4135. to get the assistance you need. Happy dream home and happy building to you!