Lighting is a very important part of decorating your home. Good lighting makes a room comfortable and cozy or accents certain pieces of furniture or art you have. The best light is always natural light, but there is a lot you can do with creating what you want in your home with other lighting. Everyone knows how important paint color, furniture choices and artwork are to interior design. One aspect of design that is often overlooked, however, is lighting. Lighting not only affects the brightness of the room, but it can also change the way a paint color looks, cast shadows in ways that make the room seem smaller and have an impact on the presentation of art work.
Lighting contains decorative elements that either distract from or enhance a room's interior. For instance, the lighting piece may be made of varying types of metal, glass or crystals while the bulb itself can display a wide array of colors. Its design determines its style, such as vintage, oriental or gothic. Types of decorative lighting include chandeliers, wall sconces or floor and table lamps. In general, the lighting's decor should complement the overall space, and the light should represent the personality of the room. For instance, if tasks are to be performed, bright lights are preferable over dim lights.
The first thing you want to consider in lighting design for your home is function i.e. what do you need the light to do? Ambient lighting lets you do everyday functions and keeps your room well lit. Task lighting allows you to do certain tasks like cooking, making crafts or reading. Accent lighting adds flare by highlighting decorative objects such as plants and window treatments etc.
The Right Light for What You Need
Ceiling and wall fixtures provide ambient lighting. Generally speaking, however, track lighting, pendants, desk lights, reading lamps and lights mounted under cabinets and shelves serve as task lighting. Accent lighting should be three times brighter than the surrounding light. Recessed and track lights, up lights and mounted picture lights are common types of accent lighting.
Mood lighting has a strong influence on how a room feels, in terms of its illumination and design. Bright lights are upbeat and stimulating. Low lights have a cozy, romantic feel. The light fixtures themselves add to the mood. A very contemporary metallic light, for instance, suits a lively, bright room. Likewise, it brightens a room that you want to energize.
Lighting design creates harmony by tying together all the elements of a room in a way that's aesthetically pleasing and keeps the lighting from drawing attention to itself. You can accomplish this by using ambient lighting to give an even illumination across the room, while incorporating ample task lighting for the ways in which the room will be used and then filling in with accent lighting that makes the room's special elements pop. Harmony is further enhanced by lighting fixtures with designs that match the room's function and mood and are varied enough in size, texture and intensity to add interest.
Accent lighting is most common in residential interior design because it enhances the room's decor by creating a certain mood and adding a touch of personality, both of which are less appreciated in commercial interior design. For instance, showcasing a piece of artwork may require installing accent lights nearby and positioning the lights so that light and shadow hit the art piece in an appealing manner.
How much natural light do you get in your room? If the room in question faces north, you won’t get as much natural sunlight as you would in a southern facing room. Rooms that face south get bright, natural light throughout the day. Rooms that face east will only have good natural light in the morning hours and western facing rooms will have the most light during the afternoon.
Hanging Light Fixtures
Chandeliers and smaller hanging lamps can be beautiful as well as functional. A trip to the local home improvement store will quickly show you how overwhelming the choices can be. You’ll want to select lighting that blends in with your existing décor. For example, a moose head chandelier in a French themed dining room probably isn’t the best option. If you don’t choose carefully, your lighting may stick out like a sore thumb and become more of an eyesore than a lovely accent.
Recessed lighting is a good choice for a room that needs extra light throughout the day. Because the lighting won’t interfere with the existing decor, it can work in almost any room. It provides abundant light without taking up a lot of space or interfering with other aspects of the room.
Using lamps are a way to add not only additional lighting, but also punches of color. If possible, see how much light the lamp gives off before leaving the store. Many lamps serve as decoration more than as a light source and give off very little light. If you love the lamp, but it doesn’t give off quite enough light, consider changing the shade which will usually solve the problem.
LED Lighting is a Game Changer
An LED lamp (or LED light bulb) is a solid-state lamp that uses light-emitting diodes (LEDs) as the source of light. LED lamps offer long service life and high energy efficiency, but initial costs are higher than those of fluorescent and incandescent lamps. Chemical decomposition of LED chips reduces luminous flux over life cycle as with conventional lamps.
LED lighting can potentially overcome many problems with fluorescent lighting, including those highlighted by the PEARL studies. LEDs perform well in all lighting applications, including recessed lighting, and unlike all but specialized compact fluorescent bulbs LEDs are dimmable. Because of recent advances in optics, LEDs have a quality of light superior to all other types of lighting—and they deliver it more efficiently.
Improvements in managing the LED chip's temperature have contributed to their marathon life span: LEDs can last up to 50,000 hours, more than eight times as long as fluorescent bulbs. The bulbs are also likely to deliver on their lifetime claims because they won't face the same quality-assurance issues that have plagued fluorescent bulbs.
My experience with the LED lighting has been much better for task lighting than the fluorescent. I had my fluorescent bulbs changed out to LEDs in my kitchen and other parts of the house i.e. recessed lighting and my ability to see and do tasks improved greatly. The light is much whiter and brighter. With electricity costs so high I don’t feel as bad when my daughter accidentally leaves a light on all day, even though I still speak to her about it. Also, since LED produces nearly no heat our house is cooler in the summer without the extra heat from bulbs.
Give us a call anytime if you have questions about lighting or anythin else to do with the care of your home.