There are many options for lighting log siding cabins from the most basic to ambient accent lights. Do you want lanterns, oil lamps, and candles where there is no electricity? Or, would you prefer conventional overhead lighting or something else? Some things to consider are:
- Will you have commercial, solar, or generator power?
- Will you rough it with no power at all?
- What is your internal and external lighting budget?
- Can you install some of the lighting yourself to save money?
- What is your overall décor – rustic, conventional, or more modern?
The following five types of lighting have proved popular and useful in any size log cabin.
Oil Lamps, Lanterns, and Candles Are Basic
You cannot go more basic than oil lamps, lanterns, and candles. Lighting a cabin this way is good when you live off grid, want to save money, or only use the cabin part-time. Oil for lamps and lanterns can be purchased in larger containers that are more economical.
It is very important to use the right type of fuel in lamps and lanterns to produce 3 desirable effects:
- Flashpoint is the minimum temperature at which a liquid can ignite. The lower the flashpoint, the easier it is to ignite the liquid.
- Viscosity refers to the thickness of the liquid fuel. It needs to be thin enough for a cotton wick to carry it to the flame fast enough.
- Purity of the fuel is also important. It should be a pure oil that provides the right flashpoint and viscosity without any harmful effects.
Candles provide light when used safely and can also lend a romantic atmosphere. Several candles scattered about the cabin are necessary for most tasks. They can add serenity, set moods, cook food, and keep pipes from freezing.
Conventional Overhead Lighting Works Well
Conventional overhead lighting is a standard way to light the interior of cabins. Just flip a switch and lights mounted to the ceilings come on. They are typically placed in the centers of rooms and other strategic places where additional light is needed such as over the dining table.
Conventional lighting can be as simple or ornate as you like and comes in many sizes, styles, and types. These lights provide top-level lighting and illuminate a fixed-radius area below them. They produce these benefits with LED and fluorescent bulbs:
- Energy efficiency
- High-intensity lighting
- Lower operating cost
- Very functional
- Can be aesthetically beautiful
Ceiling Fans with Lights Achieve Two Goals
Ceiling fans with lights achieve the two goals of making us more comfortable and brightening rooms. Ceiling fans with reversible speeds move air in the right direction summer and winter. They typically have one large or several smaller light fixtures and you choose the wattage and type of lighting (daylight, normal, etc.) in the bulbs.
Some considerations for this type of lighting include:
- Distance from the ceiling
- Diameter of the blades – 24’ to 56”
- Number of blades – 3 to 5
- Number and size of fixtures
- Color combination
Fit the size of the fan and lighting to the size of the room for efficiency and aesthetics.
Track Lights Are Versatile
Another approach to lighting the whole cabin or a few rooms is track lighting. Once the tracks are put into place, you can mount an endless variety of fixtures. It provides great benefits:
- The versatility is awesome
- Simple to install and adjust
- Great for LED bulbs
- Available in many size tracks
- You can customize them
Most people mount the track fixture parallel to a wall. Place it about two to three feet from the wall for 8’ ceilings. For 9’ to 11’ ceilings, place it three to four feet from the wall. If you install more than one track space the adjacent one about the same distance as the track from the wall.
Wall Lights Also Provide Accenting
One last option that can stand alone or be used in combination with other types of lights is wall lighting. Wall fixtures, or sconces, provide the needed amount of light without lighting up the whole room, and they save energy.
There are many different styles from which to choose from simple to highly aesthetic. They can add timeless looks to any room especially dining rooms and bedrooms. They look very attractive mounted on wood walls, as decorative focal pieces, or complementing existing decor. They are great for places where you want soft ambient light.
Use these lighting ideas and your imagination to light up your log cabin any way you like it. You may also like this selection of wood and metal switch plates from our Log Home Shoppe.