Lighting is one of the basic principles of interior design, but is often neglected by people when doing their own home projects. There are different lighting purposes, but proper lighting can enhance the overall look of your space and your furniture. Bad lighting on the other hand, can easily drain the life and energy out of a room. To understand how lighting works, we should analyze the three layers of home lighting: ambient, task, and accent.
Ambient Lighting is the most basic type of lighting. It is the natural light during the day and the lights that come built in with your home. It is the ceiling fixtures, chandeliers, light kits on ceiling fans, track lights, torchieres, and wall sconces. Most people understand this kind of lighting, but unfortunately stop there.
Task lighting is exactly what it sounds like. It is lighting used for specific purposes: reading, studying, cooking, or applying makeup. Table lamps, desk lamps, swing arm lamps, under counter lights, pendant lights, directed track or recessed lights, vanity lights, and adjustable floor lamps are some examples of task lighting. I suggest making a list of the different tasks you may perform in each space before buying anything. This also avoids conflict in design and over lighting.
Staircases are often forgotten when thinking about lighting. Simple LED lights discretely places every few steps or so within the walls is perfect for guiding your steps specially during the odd hours of the night when it’s the darkest. If you have an architecturally pleasing staircase, this will add emphasis and ambience to it.
Accent Lighting is often understood as mood lighting, which it is. It is also much more than that, however. Accent Lighting is used to highlight architectural features and showcase unique details of your furniture and art. It is used to emphasize the good, and take away attention from the bad. Accent lighting serves quite an important purpose but it the most ignored kind of lighting. Picture lights, candlelights, directed tracks or recessed lights, niche lighting, chandeliers with dimmers, wall sconces, lighting inside glass or wire door cabinets, and light bridges on media furniture are examples of Accent Lighting. Having dimmers on your Ambient Lights can easily turn them into Accent Lights when needed. The direction of lights can also affect this kind of lighting. Before buying accent lights, ask yourself how you want the room to feel, and what elements and features you want to emphasize or hide away.
Accent Lighting is perfect for a formal Dining area. Too much light can make everyone look washed out, and too little light would be too dark. Accent lighting can highlight the food to make it look more appealing.
Spotlights can be very effective accent lights as well. Think about placing them in corners of the room that’s usually poorly lit. This can turn a room from dramatic to cozy in an instant.
On a concluding note, despite having amazing furniture and architectural features in a space, it would seem less than ordinary if used with the wrong lighting. Think about the different functions and the mood you want in every space in your home before making any lighting purchases. Keep in mind, there are also eco-friendly lighting options out there. Find the right lights that fit your lifestyle. Too much lighting might make you look like a light store. Be careful!
Consult with Jackie Connolly at 905.271.4224 or email at firstname.lastname@example.org to analyze your space and determine what lighting is perfect for your home.