When you consider how much money is spent on renovations every year, it’s really a shame to realise how much home decor can be improved by implementing clever lighting solutions. The way that a home is lit up has a huge impact on the way it feels as an inhabitant of that space, and the right lighting can set a comfortable mood as well as provide safety and security for your home.
We’re going to look at a few simple methods for improving the look of your home, and how the right lighting can make a huge difference in atmosphere. Consider this article before you take to the wall with a sledgehammer for some renovations.
Different types of lighting
The type of lighting you’ll need will depend on what the room is, its place within the design of your overall house, and what you plan to be using the room for. Generally speaking, designers break lighting schemes down into three categories:
- Ambient (or general) lighting,
- Task lighting, and
- Accent lighting.
Ambient lighting is the cornerstone of the room and provides the overall illumination of the space, generally through the ceiling, wall, or recessed lights. Task lighting is used for specific tasks (e.g. reading, cooking, homework, and so on). Accent lighting is employed to illuminate key aesthetic or architectural features and bring depth to a room. Well designed lighting schemes should have a combination of all three lighting types available, depending on what the room is, of course.
Lighting different rooms
As every room is employed for different tasks (unless you’re the sort of person who likes to eat dinner in the lounge room, bedroom, and bathroom), every room has different lighting needs. By understanding these needs you can effectively put together a lighting scheme that complements your whole house.
Although there’s probably a trail of thought that suggests dark, flattering light might be the way to go, for a bathroom you want really strong task lighting combined with good ambient lighting. You’ll also want to avoid shadowy corners in showers or baths, and light mirrors from either side.
Remote control accessories really expand the lighting options for a bedroom. You’ll need mood lighting as well as lighting for dressing tables, wardrobes, and bedside tables. Children’s bedrooms also need nightlights.
Accent lighting works really well in a lounge room and can give it a cosy feel. Having lighting that’s adjustable is also a good idea, allowing you to have feature lights for when you’re entertaining guests, and dimmer lights for when you’re watching TV. Ambient lighting from side table lamps is a little bit softer and can help contribute to a relaxed mood.
When you’re putting together the lighting scheme for a kitchen, you’re going to need recessed downlights and task lighting to help when you’re cooking. Feature lighting also provides you with a great way to show off any clever design features while you’re entertaining in this part of your home. Candle lights might seem a bit corny, but they provide one of the most effective ways to add a sense of mood and warmth to dinner times.
Often overlooked, hallways need to be safely lit with accent lighting on design features like paintings or treasures. You’re also going to need to light staircases from above to ensure safe navigation.
The cheapest (and often best) way to implement a new lighting scheme to your house is often a means of making a more effective use of the natural light at your disposal. Little things like hanging mirrors opposite windows, sheer window coverings, and painting with a lighter colour palate can maximise the amount of light that’s coming into your house.
By the same token, if you need a little less light to be coming in then use filtering blinds or darker wall textures and softer fabrics for the products in each room.
The right type of unnatural light can transform a room, and there’s a huge range of light bulbs available from energy efficient to halogen and LED. Generally in residential design schemes you’re going to want to go for a globe that emits a warmer sort of light that gives your room a more comfortable feel, but it really does depend on the surrounding features of your house and what the room is used for.
You can also make use of lighting tricks like vertical lamps to make a room feel taller, or table lamps to make a room feel cosy (by reducing the light going to the ceiling). It really does depend on the design scheme of your home and what you’re going for.