Log cabin lovers appreciate the warmth of log walls. Unfortunately charming log walls can also lead to very dark rooms. Lighting your log cabin doesn’t have to be challenging. Unless you want to whitewash your logs to brighten up rooms, the keys are to plan ahead and to use layers of light.
Plan Log Cabin Lighting in Advance
The best time to think about log cabin lighting is before the home is built. Some options can be added easily at any time, such as floor lamps. Other fixtures require more forethought. Because running electrical wires through log walls and ceilings can be complicated, the most economical way to do it is when you are building. Waiting until after the cabin is built can be very expensive.
Are you imagining fans with lights in the cathedral ceiling? Do you want pendant lights over your kitchen island? Add that to your design ahead of time to make sure there is adequate space for your chosen light fixtures and that the electrical wires to them, and their switches, can be put in place (and out of sight) while your home is under construction.
This is also the time to think about the original home light source, windows. A wall of windows not only lets you enjoy the view but brightens up what could be an otherwise dark room. Natural light should not be underestimated.
Layers of Light
There are three layers of light: ambient, task and accent. The size of your room and room type will determine which types you need, but in general you want at least two to properly light a room. Sometimes simply adding a layer of light can dramatically increase your cabin’s quality of light.
Ambient lighting, also known as general lighting, provides an area with overall illumination. It is often provided by an overhead light fixture. Ambient light sources to consider for your lighting plan: ceiling fans, chandeliers, flush-mount/semi-flush-mount ceiling fixtures, pendants, recessed lighting, torchiere lamps, track lighting, vanity lighting and wall sconces.
Task lighting is exactly what it sounds like – lighting that allows you to perform a task. It supplies the intense, direct light needed for detailed work such as reading, cooking or applying make-up – in places like the kitchen, office and bath. Task light sources to consider for your lighting plan: desk lamps, island or mini pendants, track lighting, under-cabinet lighting, vanity lighting and work lamps.
Accent lighting allows you to spotlight interesting features in your home decor, such as a picture or trophy. It also serves as a secondary light source to augment ambient lighting in a room. Ambient lighting mainly provides overhead lighting, and accent lighting helps fill in the rest of the room where ambient light can’t reach.*
Last Minute Quick Fixes
• An easy solution is to use higher wattage light bulbs in your fixtures. Just don’t exceed the maximum recommended wattage.
• A well-placed mirror can instantly brighten a room by reflecting light from a window or other light source.
• Add dimmer switches so you can adjust light levels as needed.