Every homeowner wants their place to look the best. Proper lighting plays a key role when it comes to decorative elements of any living space. It not only has a functional aspect but can actually set a mood. Additionally, it can highlight the assets and downplay the shortcomings of any part of the home. But it goes much beyond the basics and you need to have a keen eye and creative mind to use lighting for adding an element of interest to your living space decor. And if you are willing to experiment with illumination, we have some amazing ideas for you.
Know the types of lighting
Even before you decide how you would want to plan the lighting of various parts of your home, you should know about the types first. It is categorized into three types:
Ambient light: Meant to give overall illumination for a room, ambient light is actually the replacement for natural sunlight. It should light up the space evenly while being bright enough for everyday tasks that are to be done in routine.
Task light: As the name suggests, the purpose of task light is to illuminate areas for specific activities such as cooking and reading. It should be more intense and fall over a smaller area as in the case of kitchen slabs and shelves. Also, it should be placed right in front of the person doing the task so that their body does not cast a shadow over the surface.
Accent light: Accent light refers to the lighting which highlights specific elements in a room. Its purpose is more decorative as compared to the other two types and it adds a finishing touch to the decor of a room.
Ideally, your lighting plan should have a mix of all three types though accent lights may be optional depending on the part of the house in consideration.
Decide the right fixtures
The choice regarding the type of lighting for a specific room determines the right fixtures for it. This is the next step that you need to consider while creating an illumination plan for your home. Before picking the fixtures, you need to ask your contractor about the restrictions on the ones that can be installed in a specific part. Things such as ceiling height, ductwork or insulation can actually decide whether it would be possible to install a fixture in a room.
Further, there are some basics that determine the use of the right type of fixtures for different types of lighting:
Ambient: Recessed downlights, cove/soffit/valance lighting, sconces, wall washers, surface-mounted/under-cabinet lights, pendant/track lights, chandeliers, and portable fixtures
Task: Pendant/valance/ under-cabinet lights and portable fixtures
Accent: Sconces, wall washers, track lights, and under-cabinet lights
While you need to consider the basic types of illumination for any part of the house, thinking decorative is the next step. After all, functionality is not the only thing you are looking for when it comes to adding an extraordinary ambiance to your living space. Decorative lighting creates mood and meaning, while functional is just meant for keeping people alert and performing daily activities.
With a decorative scheme, you can use variations in light sources and levels to indicate what a room is for. Dim lights, for instance, are ideal for rooms for sleeping while bright lights work well for playrooms. Similarly, you can use LED lights to create focal points in the living room. LED Strip Lights at Ellumiglow make a great pick if you want powerful glow along with great quality and lasting life. Installing chandeliers and pendants are another good idea to create a focal point with lighting.
Don’t forget functionality
No doubt aesthetics may be on top of your mind while deciding the lighting scheme for your home, but you shouldn’t forget functionality as well. Consider how you would use the space before planning for every room. Will the room mostly be used during the day, in the evening or at night? What activities do you plan to carry out in the room? What are the specific areas in the room where you would be doing the activity? Prepare a plan considering the answers to these questions.
For example, if you plan to use the room for reading, you will want to have lamps beside the reading spot. For one to be used for television viewing, and overall illumination that is adjustable to different settings would be ideal. And you would also want to make sure that the light sources won’t reflect on the television screen. Similarly, bright and uniform is required for the rooms to be used by the elderly. Remember that functionality needs as much attention as aesthetics.
Consider the decor as well
Coming back to the aesthetics, your lighting plan should also consider the decor and style of individual areas. Basically, the fixtures should align perfectly with the decor style. After all, you cannot expect to mix and match two different styles and still get a great result. If the decor of a room is in contemporary style, stick to fewer lamps and have more built-in lighting to get a simple look. Conversely, lamps, sconces and pendant lights match a traditional decor better.
It would be easy to rely on your instincts when it comes to deciding a match between decor and lighting. At the same time, you can do some research in this context. Alternatively, you can also seek advice from a lighting expert or interior designer to suggest the best for different parts of your living space. A specialist who excels in the art of lighting can have some helpful tips, whether dealing with new construction or a remodel project for your home.
As a homeowner, you should remember that good lighting is not synonymous with bright lighting. What you need is more like an ensemble, with the right level of brightness that offers a perfect combination functionality and aesthetics. Also, make sure that you invest only in quality fixtures that come with the assurance of long life and energy savings. Just follow these tips and you can have an amazingly beautiful, well-lit living space!