Choose the type of lighting for your log or timber home to meet lighting needs.

In many log or timber frame homes, you’ll most likely see track lighting in one place or another. While that is absolutely okay, why not take some risks with your log home lighting?

Haven’t you always dreamed of gorgeous pendant lighting over your kitchen island or an amazing fixture anchored in your great room? Then do it! It can be done. You may have to sweet talk your electrician, but trust me you won’t be sorry.

Think of how hard it is to complete a task in a dark room or have a light blind you in the face while you’re trying to relax and watch television with your family because there isn’t adequate light in the space. In the photo above, one couple installed track lights and wall sconces that augment natural lighting to illuminate a craft and sewing room.

First, let’s talk lighting types.

• task

• general

• accent

Do you have to have all three in each space? No? Should you? Yes!

Learning how each light type can help in your home will make it much easier in choosing how to plan lighting in your space.


Task lighting is just that…light fixtures designed to help you complete a certain task, depending on the area you are in. Example in the hobby room, sewing and easily threading needles, or in the kitchen chopping carrots and reading a recipe. Each room, there is generally a mission you choose to do there and having the correct task light will help you execute each much faster and easier.


General lighting is basic illumination to a room, essentially the main over head light in a room you turn on to find where the heck you put your phone.  While these lights are not necessarily needed, they are what make the design and décor come together.


Finally, accent lighting is used when you want to highlight a painting or drapery.  Accent gives the focus on an item you want to pop but isn’t a great light source otherwise.

Create a Mix

Simply put, you need all three types to really make a difference in both the design of your home and the lighting of your home. You have to be able to see what you’re doing, but not every activity requires a bright blinding light to do so. So, take the time and plan the different activities you’ll be doing in your spaces. Talk with your electrician on what options are available.

If you want light fixtures hanging down over the bar or something different than a track light, then step out and make it happen.

Log homes are especially beautiful when they are well – and creatively – lit.

A chandelier hangs over a luxurious bathtub in a master bathroom.

First floor rooms with exposed beams can be challenging. This timber frame homeowner had between-beam boxes built to house recessed lighting.

In a timber frame with enclosed-beam ceiling, a lighted ceiling fan and subtle recessed lights create a cozy ambiance

These log homeowners creatively tackled the challenge of adding lighting to an exposed beam ceiling. They affixed inverted galvanized buckets with a single bright lightbulb to a board between the Douglas fir rafters supporting the pine tongue-and-groove ceilings. Over the island, they hung an antique olive bucket they fashioned into a light fixture. They were surprised to find online the matching small reproduction olive bucket fixtures they use over the sink.

Log home owners often choose fixtures made from antlers. This massive light matches the scale of an open floor plan greatroom, kitchen and dining area. Track lighting, an accent light and pendant fixtures light the kitchen area.

This tip presentation was created by Molly Cooper, Design Consultant, Cooper & Co. Designs, and Claudia Johnson, Marketing Director, Honest Abe Log Homes.

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