You take a lot of care with the appearance of your home: the room layout, furniture selection, the colors the walls are painted. But if you overlook the lighting of the room, then nothing else can be fully appreciated because it’s all hiding in the shadows.
Proper lighting sets the mood, directs your attention, and influences the entire atmosphere of a room. Not only that, it’s also an important factor in the energy efficiency of your home.
Four types of lighting to consider
- Ambient lighting provides overall illumination and is best when it comes from several sources, including natural light from windows.
- Task lighting is extra lighting, focused on a specific area to make tasks like reading or cooking easier.
- Accent lighting is used to draw attention to certain details within a room, define spaces, focus attention on photos or artwork, and create dramatic effects using the interplay of light and shadow.
- Decorative lighting is any lighting that adds aesthetic appeal in addition to functional light, with fixtures designed to enhance the personality and beauty of your room.
We can help you combine and “layer” these types of lighting to create exactly the ambiance you’re hoping for.
Updating Your Home, Refreshing Your Lighting
Lighting your living room is about finding a balance and creating a lighting scheme that’s adaptable for the different activities that happen there. Your ambient lighting should be dimmable, which is now an option even with highly-efficient LED lights. Task lighting, such as a lamp on a side table next to a chair, is needed for reading or other detail-oriented activities. Accent lighting can highlight your favorite photos or artwork.
Since most of the activity in the dining room is focused around the table, the obvious choice is a chandelier or pendant grouping over the table. Make sure it’s not too large so that it overpowers the room or hangs so low that it interferes with conversation across the table. A dimmer will let you adjust the lighting level depending on whether you’re having a dinner party or using the table for the kids’ homework project.
The kitchen requires a flexible lighting plan because of the many uses of the room. Overhead lighting, whether a hanging fixture or recessed lights, is essential and is also nice to turn up when you have extra helpers in the kitchen. Task lighting, such as under-cabinet fixtures, is great for more detail-oriented chores done at the counter. A grouping of pendant lights over the island provides task lighting for food prep or for serving a buffet. Accent lights highlight the work of your favorite little Rembrandt on the wall.
The bedroom typically uses an overhead fixture as the main source of light. Consider a dimmer switch so you can choose to have the lighting soft or bright. Task lighting takes the form of small lamps on bedside tables or to set off a corner for late-night reading or early morning coffee.
The bathroom should be a well-lit space, and mirrors will reflect light throughout the room. A pair of sconces or a fixture above the sink will usually give appropriate light for most tasks such as shaving and applying make-up. Chandeliers are often used to add an extra touch of elegance. Having lights on a dimmer switch can create a more relaxing, spa-like atmosphere in the evening, while still letting you have brighter light when needed.
No matter how much time or resources you devote to making your home beautiful, when you don’t take the types of lighting into consideration, you’re missing an important element. If you’re remodeling, it’s something to think about from the start. Talk to us about how you can have the perfect lighting plan for every room!