Choosing the right lighting for your home
Lighting affects the ambience and mood of a space and is an important in creating a beautiful, functional space. The right lighting can promote productivity and can also make people feel relaxed and comfortable; it helps define spaces and draws people together.
Lighting affects how we perceive textures and colors, tweaking the overall feel of a space. Feeling overwhelmed? Fret not, today, we’ll brief you on the basics so you can have the knowledge and tools to create your own lighting design plan.
Main factors to consider
There are factors to consider when choosing lighting for your home, with the two main principles being efficiency and design. With lighting taking up a sizeable portion of the average household electricity bill, the more energy efficient and well-designed the lighting, the more savings you can make and the more energy you’ll conserve.
For example, do you know that LED bulbs consume at least 75% less energy, and last 25 times longer than incandescent lamps? This translates to energy efficiency and electricity bill savings for consumers.
Types of Lighting
Ambient lighting is soft lighting that puts out an overall ambient glow. It should be as natural and flat as possible, without any harsh glare. Ambient light creates a calm, relaxing environment when used correctly.
Ways to create ambient lighting: For ambient lighting, look for lights pointing in different directions.
- Recessed and track lighting does its job as a low-profile ambient and direct lighting source.
- Sconces and wall lights are great in hallways, and patios, as they can direct light up or down depending on their design.
- Chandeliers and pendants can create great ambient lighting with the added bonus of making a statement in high ceiling areas
Task / Directional lighting is used to provide light for certain activities, like reading a book or doing your make up in front of a mirror. These lights are never used to brighten an entire room, just a small area of the room.
Ways to create task lighting
- Portable lamps are great for distributing light wherever it is needed and can be placed on the floor, or anywhere else that may require a little extra light.
- Pendant lights work perfectly over dining table, making dining a more enjoyable experience.
Accent lighting is the most decorative lighting in the room. Used to create focal points, it is designed to draw your attention to something, such as a painting.
Ways to create accent lighting
- Wall lights allow you to highlight both big and small pieces. They work beautifully when pointed at art or photographs.
- Recessed lighting can be placed at the bottom of a feature wall to illuminate beautiful textures.
- Spotlights can be used to illuminate a big oversized wall painting.
For the most effective lighting scheme, you’ll need a combination of all three types, something designers call “layering”.
- Plan it out.Consider your lighting preferences during the initial design phase of renovation. These should be taken into account before construction starts.
- Narrow Down Your Style. Start by narrowing down your overall aesthetic. Is it industrial minimalist or retro style that you like? After defining your style, start searching for fixtures that fit within that design style. A little contrast and mix and matching is fun too!
- Consider ceiling height. Ceiling height is important when selecting hanging light fixtures. As a rule of thumb, the bottom of a light should hang about 12 to 20 inches below a standard 8-foot ceiling. Don’t get stuck with a light that hangs too low or too high.
- Color temperature LED bulbs come in a range of warm or cool hues.
If your walls are in cooler tones, you might choose warm LED lights to warm them up. Conversely, you may want a cooler glow to brighten up a darker space.