Contributed post by Ross Geller
If you’ve recently bought a new house, you might be having a hard time changing the lighting fixtures installed by your construction agency. Or you might be re-modeling your current apartment and are planning to introduce new furniture and lighting. Either way, lighting is a crucial part of the home decor process. Placing the fixtures strategically can transform the ambiance of your room drastically.
Each room in your house serves a different purpose. It can be a place to unwind after a stressful day, a place to work on your computer, to cook a delicious meal or even play with the kids. The lights in these rooms should reflect what it’s intended for. There are a thousand types of lights that are available in the market, but they belong to one of three major categories, i.e., ambient lighting, task lighting, and accent lighting.
Ambient lighting adds a blanket of light over your entire room without giving off a bright glare. It is often substituted by the term ‘natural light’ as it fills the room as if sunlight was pouring into it. Task lights are specifically designed to help you see while you’re performing specific tasks or projects like studying, cooking, reading, etc. These kinds of lights help you focus on the task at hand and improve your efficiency at doing the same. Accent lighting, on the other hand, is used to highlight certain pieces of art or furniture around your house and helps in adding volume to your space.
Now that you know that different lights serve different objectives, here are 7 tips you should remember while changing your home lighting.
Lay out your lighting goals clearly
This should be the first and foremost task when you decide to have a makeover. You should choose how bright or somber you want the space to look, study the electrical plans of your building or apartment and formulate a budget for the same. On completion of these tasks, you can start choosing lighting options from the categories as mentioned earlier.
Illuminate the exterior of your house adequately
Walkways, hallways, and patios leading up to your house should be well-illuminated to ensure safety and security in the evening and night hours. Dull walkways increase the risk of injury if you arrive at your place late at night. Moreover, these act as an invitation to intruders or trespassers.
For wide hallways, you can consider exterior wall sconces to pump up the look and provide for a dramatic evening look. If you’ve installed security cameras around the house, you should ensure minimum glare on their lenses. Installing motion-activated floodlights around the exterior can also help deter intruders from breaking into your home.
Use a variety of light sources at a single space
Ambient lighting is essential to every room as it provides a majority of the illumination. While recessed lights are the ideal choice for brightening the atmosphere, you can consider an array of track lights positioned at particular angles to achieve the same effect.
When you’re thinking of a particular room, say the kitchen, you can add pendant lights over the kitchen top or counter lights to illuminate your work area. Similarly, a bright downlight above your dressing area can function as a great task light.
Accent lighting is key
Do you own a piece of art that is so magnificent, it deserves a light to its own? Or a glass shelf with wax figurines meticulously placed on it? If you want to draw attention to these things when you host a fun-filled evening, there’s nothing better than accent lighting, which can help you achieve that goal.
Accent lighting can be done using a variety of fixtures, from simple spotlights to ornate sconces and devoting a considerable amount of time while the kind of lights you’d want can beautify your home like nothing else. Not only does it add volume to space where you install it, but it also causes a few heads to turn towards the object highlighted. There’s nothing that can’t be brought into focus using accent lighting, be it your make-up stand or a thousand dollar painting from a renowned art gallery.
Ensure night lighting in rooms
Another important factor while changing your home lights is the presence of some form of night lighting in your bedroom. While you might not feel the need for it as an adult, it is undoubtedly a requirement for your infant’s or kid’s room. Not only does it reduce the fear among children at night, but it also assists you in navigating around their room in the case of a nighttime emergency. Something like a dim table lamp or a detachable bulb would help you and your child sleep peacefully.
Formal spaces require extra research
Formal spaces like the dining room and the living room require you to have the best lighting fixtures, as these form the heart and soul of your house. Any visitor at your place would gather his/her first impression from these spaces. Thus, you must put extra effort in searching the most suitable lights to be installed.
You would want to ensure that your dining room lighting is composed mainly of task lights like pendant lights or chandeliers, which focus the light on the dining table. Alternatively, you could use faux candles to make for a soothing ambiance.
Cove lighting would be ideally suited for your living room, as it provides both ambient lighting by making the light bounce off the walls and accent lighting, by highlighting intricacies in the ceiling design.
Use decorative light fixtures to fill empty walls
Wall mounted light fixtures add an urban look to your home. If you’re confused about hanging something on an empty wall, say in the hall or in a shaft that runs down the apartment building, these fixtures will solve all your problems. Moreover, they act as accent lighting fixtures since they highlight themselves.
Changing your home lighting can be a very tedious job, especially when have little to no knowledge about this stuff. However, with these tips in mind, you’ll end up with the most elegant illumination of your home.