Interior lighting in a log cabin

Written by mary cockrill
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Interior lighting in a log cabin
Large windows provide natural interior lighting. (Ingram Publishing/Ingram Publishing/Getty Images)

Stepping into a dark, dimly-lit log cabin can be a bit dismal and even a tad scary. Because log cabins have a significant amount of light-absorbing interior wood, developing a lighting strategy before building a log cabin is important. Preconstruction lighting plans ensure concealed electrical wiring, multiple outlets, an abundance of natural light and adequate light fixtures. Older log cabins also need an interior lighting plan based on existing electrical sockets and light fixtures, avoiding the addition of unattractive visible wiring.

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Natural lighting

Windows and skylights provide opportunities to "go green" and save on electricity bills. Natural lighting is ideal for any log cabin but especially for remote cabins without electrical access. Large picture windows brighten a cabin's interior and provide scenic views. Consider the size, shape, quantity and position of windows. East-facing windows welcome the morning sun while west-facing windows bring in the late afternoon sun. Skylights are ideal for illuminating a cabin's interior with bright sunlight and soft moonlight.

Ambient lighting

Ambient lighting provides a room's overall lighting in lieu of the sun, allowing clear visibility for safely moving about. Recessed ceiling lights instantly light up a room with the flip of a switch. Ceiling light fixtures are available in assorted rustic styles, brightly illuminating a room's interior and enhancing the cabin decor. Decorative ceiling fans with attached lights provide dual functions of circulating the air and providing an ideal source of room-filling ambient light.

Task lighting

Task lighting provides directed light necessary to accomplish a specific task, such as reading, cooking or studying. Table and floor lamps are ideal task lights available in assorted metal, glass and wooden bases to complement the log cabin style. Designed to use three-way bulbs, lamps make good task lights, allowing illumination adjustment. Pendant or track lights positioned above kitchen islands provide targeted lighting while preparing or cooking meals. Bathroom vanity lights and dining room chandeliers are other essential task lighting.

Accent lighting

Accent lighting adds drama and interest to a room. Position a small halogen spotlight in a room's corner to cast intriguing shadows on the ceiling and walls. Place a picture light above a treasured painting or photograph creating an instant focal point. Flickering candles evoke a warm, cosy ambience. Wall sconces produce interesting lighting designs created from bursts of light splashing across a bare wall. Adjust a light's dimmer switch, providing reduced illumination, creating a softer, relaxing mood.

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