22 Jun The Importance of Lighting in a Home
Lighting is the key to bringing out the best in your home. Interior details such as wood carvings, painting, wallpaper etc. can be accented with the correct lighting. Both the aesthetics and the mood of your home can be established by using beautiful lights.
A room that looks dull, cold or uninviting can be transformed just by adding or updating a few light fixtures.
However, you can’t just add light willy-nilly. Lighting needs to be placed correctly. The first thing you need to do is establish what the function of the lighting is in a particular space. The next thing you need to do is look at the colour of the room. Good lighting will enhance the colours of your room. Test the colours of your room with various lighting options. You might find that white lighting suits your room better than the warmer, yellow lighting or vice versa.
Natural light can also be used to enhance the beauty and spaciousness of a room. Good natural light will always make a room feel bigger and airier.
Types of Lighting
Ambient Lighting – Ambient lighting brightens and enhances the glow in a room. Dimmer switches can be used to alter the mood and create the look you are wanting. Wall sconces and standing lamps can also render effective ambient lighting.
Accent Lighting – This type of lighting is used to accent features in your home. For example, a light placed above or directed at, a painting or a wood carving.
Task Lighting – This is lighting that performs a specific function in the home such as hanging lights over a dining room table or pendants over the kitchen island. Recessed lighting or lighting underneath kitchen cabinets can help to illumine areas where you need to be able to see well without affecting the overall aesthetic of the room.
Natural Light – Natural light brings freshness and life into a room. If the light is too harsh it can be tempered with soft gauze curtains that can filter it gently into the room. If you are renovating your home, it is a good idea to increase the size of your windows to allow more natural light to enter. Skylights are another way to increase the natural light flowing in.
Ceiling Height – When choosing a light fixture make sure that it is not going to hang too low. Some fixtures come with adjustable cables, but others don’t. As a general rule, the bottom of the light fixture should hand roughly 12 to 20 inches below a standard 8-foot ceiling. Add 3 inches for every additional foot.
Island Hopping – When you are hanging a light above a kitchen island or dining table, it is recommended that the distance from the bottom of the fixture to the surface of the island or table be 30 inches (or thereabout). However, if you have small lights, they can be moved lower; a larger light might look better being hung a bit higher.
Planning – If you are doing a renovation don’t forget to plan for the lighting. Once construction starts it is much harder to make changes than if everything is thought of in the design phase.
Up and Down – While downlights are great, don’t think of them as your only lighting option. Wall sconces and uplighting create wonderful ambience with a much softer light than harsh downlighting.
Glow – Remember that the light fitting might be gorgeous on its own, but what bulbs fit into it? The bulb is just as important as the fixture itself. There are a range of bulbs that come in warm or cool hues. Often it is better to put a cooler hue in bathrooms and kitchens, while warmer hues work best in lounge areas and bedrooms.
Jazzing It Up – If you want to be extra fancy – and functional too – think of adding lighting to the risers of your staircase. This is both beautiful and helps you negotiate climbing the stairs at night. You can also look at toe-kick lighting – this is lighting added to the underside of base cabinets. This lighting creates a great night light look.
Colour – Don’t be shy of using colour. A light fixture doesn’t just have to be metal or black or white. A little colour hanging from the roof can brighten up an otherwise boring room. Standing lights come with wonderful fabric lampshades that can add that extra pizzaz to your home.
Uneven – Try not to do the straight stripe pattern. Contrast and diversity in lighting is a great design choice. One way to achieve this is to hang lights at varying heights and have ceiling lights shine in different directions.
Lighting is fun! It is a wonderful functional yet decorative element in your home. So, when you are planning your next renovation, don’t forget the lights!