Lighting is one of the most critical elements to any interior or exterior design. Lights serves a dual purpose of décor along with improving the aesthetic feel of the objects in a room. When not in use, it serves a decorative piece to the room. When in use, it helps to improve the look and feel of the room. Whether it makes a statement on its own as a dramatic and classic piece, or accents some of your prized possessions in the room, lighting allows you to beautify your home and create an atmosphere of your choosing that will ultimately express your personal decorative style.
Here are a few basic questions you should ask yourself when designing a lighting concept:
- How big is the room? It is extremely important to understand how the lighting will affect the mood and atmosphere of the room. The bigger the room, the more complex the lighting is allowed to due to adequate space. In a smaller room, the lighting will have to be chosen to accommodate the room’s purpose and atmosphere.
- What is atmosphere I want to create? For example, a reading room would only need moderate lighting in appropriate areas as to avoid light pollution and create a more isolated and cozy environment. It is important to know whether you are aiming to simply light up the entire room, or perhaps trying to accent an area or object.
- While many projects are DIY (do-it-yourself), always keep in mind that certain lighting projects will require a lighting professional or certified electrician in order to minimize risks to yourself and your house.
- Don’t forget that the lights that you purchase to light up your house need to serve both purposes of décor and lighting. If it looks fantastic in the evening but terrible in daylight, you’ll have another design issue on hand.
- Consider how your windows are positioned and what direction the sun will enter the room. This could very well play a role in how you place lighting so that it matches up with the sunlight and your lights are not doubling over the effect.
- If you are trying to create a comfortable and intimate setting, you’ll want to aim for gentle downlight on a dining table. This type of lighting will serve to illuminate the food and create a more flattering environment.
- Larger parties on the other hand enjoy a more evenly distributed bright light since it will encourage movement and energetic conversation.
Once you’ve established the basics above, the following are a few tips on how certain types of lights can really help to achieve your designs:
- Up-lighters: Set these up on the floor behind furniture in order to add light on a wall and highlight the visible objects. This is an easy, quick, and cheap way to attract the viewer’s attention to your design.
- Lamp shades: Many people overlook the importance of this detail. Fact of the matter is, if the lamp shade on your lighting looks dilapidated and worn out, no amount of lighting will help. Besides the obvious solution of buying a new lamp shade, other ways to spruce up your lamp shade includes redecorating them to give them a new invigorated look.
- Get a ceiling fan. Since having multiple lamps around the room can cause clutter and take up space, the ceiling fan will serve a dual purpose of aiding with lighting while helping reduce your energy bills! While this is a more expensive option that may not necessarily be easily done on your own, it’s still an option to keep in mind!
- High, low, and in between! Dimmer switches will do wonders for the lighting in your room. Instead of worrying about bulb brightness and needing different lamps, dimmer switches will allow you to set the mood for any situation you need! (Not to mention the fact that it increases the life of the bulb since you’re not always running it at its maximum wattage.)
- The glamorous chandelier! If price is not too much of a worry when it comes to the cost of the light and the energy bill, nothing says brighten my day up like a chandelier.
As a final note, here are some random light and light bulb facts that may prove useful to you.
- Incandescent light bulbs enhance yellows, reds, and oranges.
- Daylight bulbs enhance blues and greens.
- Clear halogen lighting is great for intense colors and vivid multicolor décor.
- Halogen lights are most like direct sunlight, thus they are best for those rooms lacking sunlight.
- White walls will help increase the lighting in the room since they reflect light better than other colored walls.
- Incandescent lights (or even candlelight) is best for low-lit rooms.