From a Designer: How to Transform Your Home Using the Secrets Of Good Lighting

Any experienced designer will tell you that lighting is an essential ingredient when you’re designing a living space — not the afterthought that many of us consider it. The right light lifts the mood, inspires productivity and motivates us. At home, light enlivens the little things — our daily routines, or the moments we spend with family and friends.

Here are a few guidelines to achieve the correct balance of lighting.

Layered Illumination is the Key Most designers agree that you need more than one source of light in a room. Think layered illumination: Every room should have a good mix of lighting, including overhead, indirect or recessed, accent and task lights.

In the living room, you might begin by hanging a decorative ceiling fixture near the center of the room. Then we look toward the outer walls for downlighting that can gently wash the walls, curtains and art with warm, functional brightness. This can be achieved with soffit or valance lighting, or even concealed recessed LED lights. Few plug-in floor lamps can be used that bounce light off the ceiling.

In the living room, you might begin by hanging a decorative ceiling fixture near the center of the room. Then we look toward the outer walls for downlighting that can gently wash the walls, curtains and art with warm, functional brightness. This can be achieved with soffit or valance lighting, or even concealed recessed LED lights. Few plug-in floor lamps can be used that bounce light off the ceiling.

In dining rooms, a sculptural centerpiece above a table provides depth, while accent lighting amplifies warmth. A corner hanging light or an self illuminating are fact also may be used in living rooms to create an interesting corner and give an enthralling effect to any interior space.

Depending on a room’s layout, accent lights could be used to highlight art, and table lamps could be placed beside seating to add another layer of light. Bed sides could even have hanging lights above the side tables. This not only frees up the side table space but also adds the glamour value to the bedroom. And for extra ambience recessed LED lights in the ceiling create a mellow and serene and tranquil look to any room.

Bathrooms especially need a lot of attention in terms of lighting. The worst option is a recessed fixture over the sink, as it casts shadows that defeats the purpose of the light. You should opt for wall-mounted lights which will help cast even illumination across your face.

You can use motion-lighting at the vanity base which creates “a very subtle glow” like a night light if you wake up in the middle of the night. For luxury bathrooms, to create a sense of intimacy and spa-like luxury, consider installing a sculptural chandelier above the tub. it will not only create a focus to the free standing bath but also the light itself is a beautiful object that meets the eye on arrival to the room.

Bright Kitchens One place where bright light is more important than ambience is the kitchen.

The three types of lighting are Ambient, Task and Accent

1. Ambient: This will be your main source of light—whether in addition to natural light, or to fill in for lack of it. You want to cast as much of it as evenly as possibly from your ceiling. You can do so with a combination of recessed or surface lights.

2. Task: While ambient lighting is used to enable you to navigate throughout the kitchen, it often leaves shadows in areas that require more focus. With the help of task lighting, work surfaces and cabinetry are properly illuminated so you can safely prepare meals, read recipes, and easily spot ingredients on a shelf. Common kitchen task lighting options include strip lights and puck lights.

3. Accent: Consider these flourishes the highlights of your well-designed kitchen: toe kick lights, cabinet lights and any other light that might accentuate your favourite elements. They also might cross over into ambient and task lighting as well.

Which Color of Light should be used? Most bulbs will advertise color temperature on the package.  This will tell you how warm or cool the color of the light is.

2700K – 3000K – This is the warm or soft white range, best suited for areas in the home where you want to relax or entertain.

3500K – 4500K – This is more a neutral white light range, giving a balance between warm and soft color light. Ideal for bedrooms.

Over 5000K – Generally referred to as daylight and best suited for use in offices, workshops, bathrooms or other areas where high detail visibility is important. It can also help energize you in the morning.

The key is to create contrast between the light at the center of the room and around the perimeter, and the darker spaces in between. Without the darker, quieter moments, everything is flat and boring. It’s the subtle interplay between light and dark that creates appeal.

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