Lighting Can Make The Room

cindy beyer revised

This is a sponsored column by Cindy Beyer, ASID,NCIDQ. Beyer is a Reston-based interior designer and Reston Now Best Reston Business Award winner. Find her online at

I want to thank Andrew for prompting me to write about this next subject: Lighting

Most homes do not have sufficient lighting. Lighting is often overlooked or sparingly placed. When this happens, it can result in a lack of functional use for areas within the home. Do not let this discourage you, for in most cases, lighting can be added to fit your functional needs. There are several types of lighting: ambient, task and accent.

General lighting is defined as ambient lighting that provides an area with overall illumination. These effects are achieved with fixtures such as recessed fixtures, wall mounted fixtures, tracks, chandeliers, sconces, etc. A recessed down light, also called pot lighting in Canadian English or called a can light canister, is a fixture installed in a hollow opening in the ceiling.

These fixtures can take a floodlight type of a bulb or a spot light type of a bulb. There are several types of recessed light fixtures such as IC (when in contact with insulation), non IC, IC remodel and non IC remodel. A good contractor or electrician should know which type of fixture to use.

Task lighting is used to light a specific task such as kitchen work, office work, sewing, etc. I always specify task lighting under the kitchen cabinets, cabinets in an office as well as a laundry room. Desk lamps and table lamps are also considered task, but can be decorative as well.  In most rooms here there are no recessed ceilings fixtures lamps are used as a task and also as general light.

Accent lighting is usually used to highlight key objects and focal points in the space. It can take the form as track lighting which is highly versatile and can be moved and fixtures changed as needed. It can also be recessed as small spots aimed at a particular object. Wall-mounted fixtures can also be placed above a picture. Where there is no electrical outlet, I use a battery-operated LED fixture.

When working with clients on a renovation, I will draw up an electrical or reflective ceiling plan with all placements of fixture types and switching for the room. I specify dimmers on most of my fixtures, which allows flexibility for the use of the space. Once the ceiling plan is complete, we pick the fixture for the type of lighting we need. These can also be decorative fixtures such as chandeliers, wall sconces, ceiling mounted as well as bathroom lighting. A good lighting plan can really add value to your home.

If you need help with your lighting needs, please feel free to contact me at [email protected] or visit me on my website

Recent Stories

The Barton Hill Recreation Area in Reston is slated for upgrades (via Google Maps) Upgraded lighting is no longer a component of upgrades to the Barton Hill tennis courts in…

Fairfax County Public Schools Fairfax County Public Schools could require parental notifications for class materials deemed sexually explicit, but in a deviation from the state, the proposed policy directly addresses…

A public art piece inspired by the connectivity and energy of atoms has been erected in Reston Town Center’s Hyatt Park. Called “Vidustria,” the installation is drawn from the word…

A man walks by trash bins next to the curb (via Trinity Nguyen on Unsplash) (Updated at 1:25 p.m.) The service and staffing challenges plaguing trash collectors throughout Fairfax County…

The Ravel Dance Studio will re-open for fall classes 2020. The school will offer in person and virtual online instruction. With over 5000 sq. ft. to social distance the school has added air ionization filtration systems, ballet barres, acrylic dividers, hands free bathrooms, strict monitoring and more.

The Ravel Dance Studio will produce a Nutcracker Ballet Hollywood style video through the Reston Community CenterStage. REGISTRATION online begins August 17.

Submit your own Community Post here for just $99.

Chris Green is one of the DMV’s finest fitness instructors. A Lululemon and South Block ambassador, he is a coach and mentor to so many. He embodies grace, positivity and motivation in ways that no one else can. If we could all learn a thing or two from him, the world would be a much better place. He does so much for others, and does so with a smile on his face 99% of the time.

He recently ruptured his Achilles and has an incredibly long and tough journey ahead. As if COVID hadn’t impacted fitness professionals enough, throw this in the mix and it’s a double, even triple whammy. CG is no longer able to work and do what he loves for the time being because of this and we’d love your support.

Read More

Submit your own Community Post here for just $99.


Subscribe to our mailing list