Lighting is one of the most important elements when it comes to home decor. It is the engine that drives the attitude of the room; from intimacy to performance Many don't think about it but in order to create the proper effect we must understand the different types of illumination and their affect, on our attitudes. There are four basic types of lighting in the home.
The first is natural lighting:
This one is free, fickle and not timely as it is only available during daylight hours. It is fickle because the hues and intensity will vary with the time of day and outside weather conditions. It is 100% natural and provides the absolute best lighting for projects like painting. It is non-existent once the sun sets.
The second is Ambient lighting or general lighting.
This is general lighting for the entire room. General lighting should be designed to provide the proper amount of illumination for people to see and use the room for its designated purpose. The overall intensity of general lighting can and should vary slightly from room to room depending upon the rooms function. For example more general lighting is desirable in a kitchen than in a general living space.
The third type is Task Lighting.
Task lighting is used to insure that tasks like reading, cooking, food preparation and shaving or make-up application have enough lighting to provide a well illuminated area for the task at hand and not cause any eye strain while the task is being performed.
The fourth, Accent lighting is an essential decor item.
Accent lighting is light with ornamental purpose, usually placed to illuminate an art object, wash a wall, reflect off the ceiling or brighten a dark corner. It does contribute to the general light but it provides more intensity in selected areas.
Utilizing the above information one can then effectively plan the homes lighting after analyzing each rooms function and any tasks that might take place within that room. Do not hesitate to use different types of lighting. Actually, this is desirable and can create very interesting effects. Also keep in mind that lighting can alter the dimensions of a room, making it look smaller or bigger.
As you continue your journey of understanding home lighting you should come to realize that there are practically hundreds of ways of lighting that can be applied to a room. When deciding how to choose the lightings, think of them from two perspectives: ambiance and functional.
Functional, the lighting will assure the correct type and quantity of light need for the purpose in mind. Ambiance, lighting can be configured to create the desired atmosphere At this point you may be thinking this article is okay if I am building but this is an old home with fixed fixtures and would be hard to remodel. Nothing could be farther from the truth. Task lighting additions for the kitchen, without remodeling will be addressed in a future article. Lighting for the other areas of the home can be addressed with a few simple steps and are available to you right now.
When trying to choose lights for your living-room consider:
- Placing a lamp about 3 feet behind every armchair
- Use an accent light to emboss a painting or as an up-light for a plant
- Another accent light can underline the contour of your bookshelves.
- Be sure that the general light is adjustable.
- Use indirect light to cover the walls with light. Place them on the floor, in little spaces behind furniture and allow them illuminate the walls.
- Add a dimmer switch any overhead lighting
All of the above items are available as plug in fixtures that even the oldest homes can accommodate.
The modern era of LED bulbs, especially dimmable LED bulbs allow the use of bulbs with higher lumen output to be used in older fixtures without overloading the fixture wires or the outdated circuit to which it is attached.
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