The Fine Art of Lighting Up Your Home
When you add lights to your home, you can either go with the basic fixture in the middle of the ceiling or you can get a bit more creative. There are a number of ways to turn lights into a focal feature of your home and to use them to create a more exciting space.
Whether you’re looking for something to spice up your lighting system – or are building a home and dreaming of an artistic array of lights – you’ll learn everything you need to know below.
There are three main lighting types that you should be aware of before you start designing the lighting in your home. These are:
Ambient Lighting: General or ambient lighting is the lighting that is used to illuminate the room. It can be anything from a central chandelier to a pendant light or a basic lighting fixture to track lights or even wall sconces.
Task Lighting: This lighting is used to help you see better as you work on something. It is commonly seen in the kitchen, where you may have under-cabinet lights to really cast plenty of light on the counter where you are working. Desk lighting is another common place to find task lights, but you can use it anywhere you’re working on something. Some people even have task lighting over a favourite chair where they sit to do needlework or read.
Accent Lighting: This is light that is used to create a spotlight or focus on a specific area. You’ll see this type of light most often used to showcase a statue or painting or even a bookshelf. These lights tend to be fairly bright to properly illuminate the area and they cast dark shadows around the object, creating a nice contrast.
Under these types, you’ll find individual things such as spotlights, sconces, and other fixtures. It’s important to note that most lights these days are LED lights, which means they will last far longer than incandescent bulbs and they’re more ecologically friendly, as well. They use less energy, but still create the perfect lighting system in your home.
Most people prefer LED to the traditional bulbs for a number of reasons. Not only do they come in a variety of designs and sizes to fit any light fixture, they are also available in colours. These colours are also referred to as temperatures as they range from cool to warm. You can do quite a bit with LED lights, so they’re worth installing.
Light Temperature Colours: What They Mean
Did you know that light bulbs come in different colours? They can be cool white or warmer, depending on what you prefer and which room they’re in. First, you need to understand exactly what each temperature colour is about.
Under 2700K: Extra Warm White
If you’re looking for mood lighting, this is the bulb you want. It gives you a softer, warmer light than others and is more like a candle or small lantern. You’ll probably want to mix lights if you use this in a room, so you can switch between the two and bring up the brightness and whiteness as needed.
Extra warm white light is best for bedrooms, dens, and lounges.
2700-3300K: Warm White
If you want a space that feels comfy and cosy, then you want a warm white light. It’s usually a good idea to include regular neutral white lights in the same room if you wish to switch between them. However, this is a nice comfortable lighting that works well for everyday living.
Warm white lighting is mostly used in hotel rooms, living rooms, and similar settings.
3300-5300K: Neutral White
For spaces where you need to work and get things done that require concentration or specifics in colours, you’ll want neutral white light. This gives you a whole new look at the colours in your space and shows up extra details, as well. This can be used throughout your home if you prefer to see everything clearly and don’t want to give a room a cosier feel.
These lights are used throughout most spaces, including supermarkets, offices, and retail shops, as well as homes.
Over 5300K: Daylight
This light is designed to give you the same light as outdoors. It’s cooler and ensures every colour pops. It is very good for anything you need to concentrate on and will help you perform better. It’s also great for working on details.
Daylight lights are best for schools, labs, and hospitals, as well as offices.
You can use a mixture of these lighting options to create the perfect lighting design for your home.
Make a Lighting Plan
Now that you know what kinds of lights are available and how to use them, you’re ready to make a lighting plan for your home. You should go room by room to determine how each room is used and what you’ll need for lighting. Will you use warm or cool lighting? Will you be layering the lights? This allows you to give the overall warm look, with a cooler light for task work or highlighting art on the walls.
Layering your lighting may mean you need more lights, but it can actually give more personality to a room and you’ll have lights that are high and low to create the feel you’re looking for.
The type of light you use will also help make the room feel different. For example, wall sconces that are pointed up will help the space feel low and wide. Hanging lights and pendants will give you the illusion of a taller room with a cosier feel to it. There are many ways to manipulate the lighting to give your space the perfect touch.
You can also use spotlights to make a room pop and to draw attention to your favourite elements. If you have some art on the mantel that you love, aim some spotlights on it. Have a fancy sofa you want people to notice? Add a light that highlights it from behind. You can get quite creative with your lights and build the perfect room.
While each room is designed separately, you should be careful of too many different styles throughout the home. This can create confusion and ruin your overall look. Instead, stick to similar types of lights and fixtures throughout the home. This will create a nice continuity, even if you change the warmth from room to room.
Tips to Enhance Your Lighting
If you already have a full lighting set up, it doesn’t mean you can’t change things up. In fact, you have a lot of options. Even if you are renting a home and can’t really do much to change the light fixtures or their position, you can use many of the following tips to get your home looking the way you want.
Add mirrors: Mirrors on the wall will help enlarge a small room and create a more beautiful space. Put the mirrors opposite your windows and they’ll really enhance the space. They also reflect back the light in the room and can help you make the most of a few fixtures. The effect is elegant and bright.
Add lowlights: It can be tough to stumble around the house in the dark, so consider adding some low lights in the house along the main hallways for the evenings. You’ll light the way to the bathroom and no one will stub their toes on furniture.
Wash your windows: The cleaner your windows are, the more natural light will flood your rooms. It’s best to have clean windows so the light will be clear and fresh looking.
Choose the right furniture: The lighting you choose should be reflected in the furniture. If you’re looking for a nice, cosy room with warm lighting, aim for warm neutrals or rich, darker colours that will enhance the cosy feel. If you are going for a brighter, minimalistic feel, then white or light furniture coupled with daylight fixtures will work well together.
Lighting is a very important part of interior design and it can make all the difference in how you view your home. If you want to set the mood for something, you just need the right lighting. It should be considered a big part of your design plan.
Are you looking for the perfect lighting in your home? Once you have a plan for the lighting, contact Interlink Lighting for a contractor to come help you set it all up.