How to Light a Timber Frame House – 5 Steps


Learning how to light a timber frame house can certainly be a challenging aspect to the design of your home- however, as we look at these five proven steps you will not only be able to highlight  your timber frame but make sure you don’t blow the budget doing so.

Many folks including the electrician may look at this task is a daunting project that we can easily ease your mind and that of your electrician in the next couple of minutes. So the first step is…

Step 1 – Planning

This is the pivotal stage in planning how to light your home.  Working with your architect and designer to develop a thorough lighting plan is imperative.  While I’m experienced in lighting design I always recommend that you visit a couple of electrical show rooms and talk with a professional lighting designer before finalizing your design.  There are too many options out there for just one person to know them all.

Step 2 – Design

As a basic concept for lighting a timber frame great room or open area.  The goal is to cross light the timber frame ceiling, so that the lights on the right point to the left of the center point of the ceiling and vice versa.  This type of Light a Timber Frame Houselighting pattern creates a glow that creates an incredible ambiance to the space below.  Since many light fixtures are not able to be used in a timber frame, researching the various light fixtures out there this is a vital step beforehand.

Step 3 – Picking out the Light Fixtures

If you’ve decided to talk to a professional lighting designer then he or she has worked with you to choose the lighting fixtures for your timber frame home.  However, if you’re like me I ended up with a stack of catalogs and thumbed through them until I found styles that I liked.   I then got online and researched pricing and about two thirds of the time the lighting supply store is cheaper and the other third the internet was cheaper.  I would recommend sticking with the slightly higher cost and have the support and warranty that you will receive from going with the local lighting supply house, as long as they have experience with other timber frame structures.

Step 4 – Collaborating with the Timber Frame Company and Electrician

After you have developed both the timber frame plan and the lighting plan it is important to talk everything through with your timber frame company and your electrician, remember it is a team game building your house.  They will all need to coordinate any chases and wiring considerations into their plans before they cut the timber frame and frame up the house. Talking

Lighting a Timber Framethrough this with the electricians before they get on site will both save you time, money and headaches in the long run.

Step 5 – Execution

While thorough planning is vital to a well executed lighting plan for a timber frame home.  Nothing trumps the actual execution of the  plan.  This is when all the hard work during the planning stage pays off.  As long as everyone knows what is needed to hide the wires beforehand you can put light fixtures and switch boxes in the middle of timbers if need be.


Remember this is your project if you don’t feel like something is going right make sure you speak up and voice your opinion so that everyone on your team knows your concerns,  so they can address them appropriately.

Those are the five steps in making sure you create a lighting plan for your timber frame that will not only illuminate your life but your timber frame home as well.

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2 Responses to How to Light a Timber Frame House – 5 Steps

  1. Gary July 10, 2012 at 7:59 pm #

    I can see this is something you can only visualize by looking at many timber homes and seeing how others have done it and learn from their mistakes and success’s…

    • Brice July 11, 2012 at 8:10 am #

      It does take a bit of thought and imagination because each project is unique. I certainly have not learn everything about lighting and look forward to my future successes and mistakes.

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