Whether you realize it or not, lighting plays a huge role in your day to day life. Not only does lighting allow you to maneuver around your space, it also helps you to maintain your lifestyle, cook, and go about your daily activities. Not to mention, lighting can create a mood in the room. Some might argue that it’s equally as important as the color pattern or any other decor in the room. Studies have shown that lighting can affect someone’s mood and the Lighting Research Center says that lighting should be “comfortable, easily controlled, and energy efficient.” All that considered, your lighting also needs to be a representation of your personal preference and style. There’s a wide variety of shapes, styles, designs, fixtures, colors, and bulbs to decide upon when picking your perfect lighting. If you are just starting out, choosing your ideal lighting can be confusing. Never fear! We’re here to break down how to decide which lighting best suits your needs and unique style!
Consider Ceiling Height
It’s best to know your limitations before purchasing a lighting fixture. With this in mind, you’ll want to start by determining your ceiling height. This knowledge is helpful because your lighting can easily overwhelm the room if improperly measured. Not to mention, the light distribution is directly affected by where lighting is placed in the room. If your chandelier is only 3 inches from your 9 foot ceiling, your overhead lighting will essentially be useless.
Ceiling height will also help you to determine placement of lighting fixtures. Placing sconces or lamps is made easier by knowing how your lighting will play together. Since most rooms have multiple light sources, it’s important to know how light will be distributed based on ceiling height and where the main lighting source will be placed. From there, you can determine what lighting sources are still needed to fill the room. Consider using lights that can bounce off the ceiling rather than recessed lighting, which can create a much moodier space. Bouncing light off the ceiling can actually create a brighter, more illuminated space.
Natural Lighting Aspects In Your Home
Natural lighting can be used as a main light source, believe it or not. This all depends on what natural lighting you have in your home. If your home has lots of large windows or open space which allows for a flood of natural light, then consider smaller, strategically placed, more complimentary artificial lighting. A typical room with natural lighting is the kitchen. A great way to utilize both natural and artificial lighting in a room like this is to strategically place different kinds of lighting.
A kitchen usually has several task oriented spaces, needing light that is more directed towards assisting in those tasks. For example, under cabinet lighting is wonderful to help illuminate particular work areas. A simple mounted light, such as a fixture above the island, can provide some ambient light for the afternoon and evening when natural light is diminishing. This same approach can be used for other rooms in the house where natural light is abundant. A dimmer can be a great accessory here as well, to regulate necessary artificial light being used.
Spacial Restrictions and Allowances
The amount of space provided in a room is a huge consideration when choosing lighting. It is important not to overwhelm an area with too much lighting or be unable to complete daily tasks due to sparse lighting. Smaller spaces, such as entryways and hallways require much less lighting than rooms such as the family room or a bedroom. If you have a particularly small space, stick to ambient lighting, such as a single chandelier or mounted fixture.
Like with the consideration of ceiling height, you’ll want to focus on lighting fixtures that bounce off of walls to create more illumination. Recessed lighting will create a darker, moodier atmosphere. If this is your goal, then stick with these lighting options. However, if you’re looking for a brighter ambience in your day to day, focus on wall lamps that illuminate upwards or fixed mounted lighting.
Each room has its unique and individual feel. You really need to consider exactly what type of message you’re hoping each room sends to its residents and visitors. Lighting plays a huge role in this and can make or break the way someone experiences a room.
For example, you never want to have harsh overhead lighting on a bathroom vanity without accompanying lights along the sides. Otherwise, you’ll have exaggerating shadows which are unflattering to everyone. When a guest looks into your bathroom mirror, they want to get an accurate look at themselves. As do you, when you are getting ready. Lighting is crucial to getting this balance right. A great way to make sure your ambience is always appropriate is considering dimmers where appropriate. This way, you can control the mood of a room depending on the time of day and event.
As with all decor, it’s important to represent your overall style, personality and preference. While keeping up with trends and styles is fun and important, it’s most important to feel at home in your own space. Understanding which lighting options best compliment your existing decor will be the best design tool you can have. If you love modern or contemporary or minimalistic approach, consider lighting that’s less adorned. Perhaps consider unique forms of recessed lighting, as seen in the photo above. If you have a more dramatic or traditional style, consider more ornate fixtures, like a chandelier or floor lamps.
Additionally, ask yourself what goal do you have for the space. Think about the daily happenings in each room and narrow down what lighting will best accomplish those tasks. Keep in mind that lighting should not only be functional but fashionable as well. It’s the icing to your decor cake!
Whatever lighting you choose, it’s important to remember that lighting plays a different role in every room. What serves your bedroom won’t necessarily serve the same purpose in your kitchen. You can truly increase the balance and depth of your decor by choosing a variety of lighting options. You don’t have to get stuck on one distinct style, you can play up multiple aspects of the room through your use of lighting. Don’t be afraid to have fun with it! You’ll find that you are able to enjoy your space more when function and style compliment each other perfectly.