Lighting is an often overlooked but very important element of good interior design. After all, there`s little point in creating well-designed rooms if you can`t see them. Correct lighting is also essential for creating the ambiance you want in a space.
Three primary types of lighting are used by interior designers, each one providing a different service. Here are a few considerations to keep in mind when choosing lighting for your home.
General lighting, also referred to as ambient lighting, provides a space with overall illumination. This type
of lighting radiates a comfortable level of brightness and allows you to see objects in the room so you don`t run into them at night.
Having a central source of ambient lighting in every room is essential to a good lighting plan. Both ceiling-mounted and wall-mounted fixtures can provide general lighting, but ceiling lights are typically safer for stairways, hallways and utility work areas.
General lighting is often accomplished with track lights, recessed lights and chandeliers. Other decorative
options include wall sconces and Japanese paper lanterns.
Task lighting is designed to help you perform specific tasks, such as doing homework, prepping and cooking
meals, working on hobbies, grooming and reading. This type of lighting only illuminates the sections of the room where you expect to be performing those specific tasks.
Task lighting is often provided with pendant lights, under-cabinet lights, desk lamps, recessed lights, portable floor lamps and track lights. Task lighting should be bright enough to help prevent eyestrain, but it should also be free from distracting glare.
Accent lighting includes any light fixture that adds decorative interest, personality or drama to a space. Accent lighting is frequently used to create a focal point in a room.
Some people use accent lighting to showcase a piece of artwork, highlight collections or accentuate interesting
architectural elements. Others might use it to show off their healthy houseplants.
Accent lighting is commonly achieved with wall-mounted picture lights, recessed lights, up lights and track
lights. Table lamps with opaque shades and halogen spotlights can also be used for accenting items in a room.
Accent lighting shouldn`t be used alone. It really needs to be accompanied with other types of lighting
for a successful lighting plan.
CREATING AMBIANCE WITH LIGHTING
The amount of illumination strongly influences the mood of a space. Brightly lit rooms typically give off
positive, stimulating vibes, while darker rooms have a more cozy or romantic ambiance.
But a room doesn`t have to be one or the other. Try playing with the middle range of lighting to find the right mood for different situations. For example, if you are throwing a dinner party, you need bright enough light that your guests can see what you are serving but soft enough light that there is an intimate feeling.
The correct lighting strategy creates harmony by tying all of the elements in a space together in an attractive,
interesting and unified way. Homeowners often need professional assistance to get the harmony of their home lighting just right.