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Say What?


Lighting is fun. The procedure is pretty easy. First, someone from your builder's lighting supply company should walk your house. He will measure the rooms and tell you how many and what size your light fixtures need to be.

May I recommend that you read my Electrical section first. It has a good deal of pertinent information to lighting. Some of the items mentioned there will be repeated here.

Ceiling Fans

We like to have ceiling fans in most rooms of the house. Here are the locations:

  • Master bath over vanity -Turn on those vanity lights and a hair dryer, and it starts getting warm in the bathroom. Women can testify how hard it is to put on makeup while perspiring. A ceiling fan can help to cool things off.
  • Utility room - Try ironing in a utility room while the dryer is running. It can get a little warm.
  • Garage work area
  • Back porch
  • All bedrooms - If you have bad allergies, you won't want to sleep under a ceiling fan, but they are helpful for trying to cool off. In the bedroom, get a fan with a remote control that you can leave on your bedside table.
  • Master bedroom - Use one with indirect up lighting for a romantic effect.
  • Over the kitchen sink - I enjoy washing the dishes, but I don't enjoy burning up while doing it. Nothing will heat you up faster than hot water and scrubbing dishes.
  • Family room
  • Game room
  • Your cooling-off spot. Think about the location in your home where you will plop down to cool off after coming in from a hot day. Put a ceiling fan there.

The electrical contractor

The following types of lighting are usually provided by the electrical contractor:

  • Recessed cans
  • Eyeball lights
  • Fluorescent lights
  • Under-cabinet lights
  • Over-cabinet lights
  • Rope lights
  • Stair safety lighting
  • Outdoor lighting

The lighting store

The following types of lighting are usually provided by the builder's lighting supply company.

  • Wall sconces
  • Lighted ceiling fans
  • Track lighting
  • Lamps
  • Hanging fixtures
  • Lighted bookshelves or cabinets


In your bathroom, I recommend recessed cans over the vanities to light your mirrors. With the recessed cans providing the light you need, you can pick sconces for above or beside the mirrors without worrying about whether the sconces will provide the light you need.

If you have an enclosed toilet, make sure you provide adequate lighting. There is no delicate way of saying this, but you don't want to be in the dark while, well, you know.

Master bedroom

If your master bedroom will have a seating area, consider recessed cans above it. This will provide adequate lighting for reading.

Dining room

Your dining room is an opportunity for distinctive lighting. Most people opt for a chandelier of some type. Frankly, they don't do much for me.

I think a good look is to use 2-4 low voltage pendant lights like the one to the right. Sizes available are anywhere between 4 and 15 inches. We used 4 four-inch pendants above our dining table.


Lighting in the kitchen is important whether you are cooking, preparing food, or washing the dishes. We used several different types of lighting in our kitchen:

  • Cooktop - low-voltage halogen lighting
  • Island - Several cans
  • Countertops - Under-cabinet fluorescent lighting. One of our cabinets was so small, that we could not use an under-cabinet fluorescent. Instead, we used rope lighting.
  • Sink - A lighted ceiling fan provides light and comfort.
  • Pantry - Fluorescent
  • Breakfast table - Our breakfast room and kitchen are so informal that we decided to use a chandelier over the breakfast table.

Track Lighting

Alfa makes some very attractive low voltage track lighting. Track lighting can be expensive, so we walked the house looking for walls that might hold artwork later. In every potential lighting location, we pre-wired the ceiling for track or pinpoint lighting and just covered it with a painted blank up plate.

Balthazar Custom Homes

If you are looking for a great custom home builder in Dallas, check out John Balthazar of Balthazar Custom Homes. He is fair and knowledgeable. His quality is first-rate. He uses great sub-contractors.

You can contact John at 972-618-7653.


Lighting Resources

For lighting in Dallas, talk to Sandy Mathis at A.A. Porter Lighting Company at 972-248-7034.

For low voltage track lighting, consider Alfa.

Craftmade makes some very nice ceiling fans. Their website is atrocious, but their fans are quality.

For a large selection of lighting online, visit Lamps Plus.
























Pendant Light


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