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Folks planning a log home often have questions about lighting it. That’s because wood is a harder building material to illuminate than drywall and because today’s log homes typically have more openness, especially in great rooms, which combine living room, dining area and kitchen, each of which has its own lighting needs.

Here are five lighting tips from Lynn Gastineau of Gastineau Log Homes. She presented a workshop titled “Log-Home Lighting” at The Log & Timber Home Show in Branson, Missouri. Above all, she advises, planning is crucial, not just to provide adequate illumination, but also to create lighting drama that emphasizes interior and exterior log work.

• Boost your wattage. Wood’s inherent darkness and the larger volume of rooms will require more illumination. Figure on brighter lights and more of them.

• Strategize outlet placement. Bigger rooms, especially great rooms, involve placing furniture well away from walls. Having outlets corresponding to furniture groupings will avoid running extension cords across floors.

• Light up porches. You’ll turn them into usable living space that you can enjoy at night.

• Play up the “wow.” Outside lights on gables and soffits can illuminate and emphasize your logs, creating a powerful image when you drive up to the home at night. Cabinet-top lighting in the kitchen can illuminate log beams. Small but powerful uplights on upper walls or truss chords will showcase your cathedral ceiling.

• Focus on fixtures. They should be appropriate for the location and size of the room and be coherent, especially in great rooms. Mixing styles and sizes of fixtures in the same space can be visually jarring.

Gastineau’s monthly newsletter, “The Oak Leaf,” often features log-home lighting and other décor tips. Sign up to receive the free newsletter at

In addition, find more log-home lighting ideas at

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