In any type of décor, having the perfect type of lighting is vital. Choosing the lighting for a room is not a complex process, as many people perceive it to be. However, only a small mistake can ruin the impression of a room or the décor theme.
This article is aimed to provide guidance on choosing the type of light fixtures for the home. The first step is to determine if the lighting in a particular room is not appropriate.
How to determine if the lighting in a room is not appropriate
Given below are the signs, which tell that the lighting of the room is in dire need of a renovation.
The light(s) beam upwards
The chandeliers have always been popular. However, some of them have shades, which force the light to beam upward. These chandeliers might not always cast bad lighting. However, they waste a lot of energy. Of course, the light is required downwards not upwards. If one removes the shades under the light, one would immediately realize how much of the light has been wasted.
The chandeliers can have shades; however, the best are those, which are around the light like a lampshade, forcing it downwards.
The light(s) cast shadows
Seeing shadows in the room is a huge décor and lighting flaw. The shadows are cast in a room due to one or more of the following three problems.
– Something obtrusive is directly in front of the light source.
– A source of light in the room is installed at a wrong location.
– There are multiple sources of light in the room, which instead of complementing each other, fight with each other.
The first problem is usually very easy to solve. It might take a little rearrangement of the furniture or accessories to get rid of the shadow. In case of the second problem, altering the wiring plan of the room to change the position of a light source may pose multiple problems. To avoid these problems one may have to move the furniture around. However, sometimes it is also not possible.
The multiple sources of light usually fight with each other if their lights are of different nature. For example, the room may have one incandescent mercury bulb with cool white light and another sodium or halogen bulb with warm yellowish light. In that case, simply replacing all the bulbs with like lights can solve the problem. The intensity of the light sources can be different but the base color that the light imparts should remain the same.
The room lacks a well-lit space for reading/working
I believe every room in the home should have a provision of light to facilitate reading. This criterion is for the bathrooms too. So, if a room lacks light arrangement for reading, it lighting needs renovation or an addition.
Of course, a glaringly lit room is neither required nor recommended. One can place reading lamps at strategic locations to facilitate the readers. If the home dwellers do not like to read, keep in mind that sometimes the visitors may want to read. Be a good host and do not forget the reading lights in the living room and the guest bed and bath facilities, if there are any.
The room is too dark to eat
Many people have dining rooms that are well lit for aiding in eating conveniently. However, the lighting of the living room and the bedrooms too should have a provision to facilitate people if they want to eat. Invest in good dimmers so that the light does not become too uncomfortable when one wants to relax or unwind.
The wall-art and/or accessories of the room are not properly visible
A room lacks proper lighting if its wall art or accessories are hidden in the dark. It can be due to two problems.
– The room has poor lighting overall.
– The location of the wall-art is not properly lighted.
For the first problem increasing the intensity of the general lighting might do. The second problem can be solved with the spot lighting, which is discussed in the next section.
Differentiating between the four major types of lighting
There are four major types of lighting. Learning to differentiate between them is foremost to achieving the most balanced lighting in a room.
The general lighting is the type of lighting used for the overall illumination of a room. The light fixtures on the ceiling and near to the ceiling are the most common types of general lighting. The ideal general lighting should be unobtrusive. The chandeliers and the track lights are the most popular types of general lighting. Very tall stand-alone lamps on the floor are also included in the general lighting because they shine up a room almost like the ceiling lights do.
The main type of the task lighting is the lamps used for reading, writing or crafting etc. Although some lamps are affixed to the wall behind them, however the ideal task lighting comprises only of the lamps that can be moved around. Nevertheless, one worth mentioning advantage of the lamps affixed to the walls is that they do not eat up any space on the side tables.
The night lamps are also included in the task lighting.
The accent lighting is essentially for the highlighting of the wall-art and accessories. There are endless types of spot lights available. Some of the most popular types of accent lighting are track spot lights, mini halogen bulbs, or the pedestals with in-built lights for displaying collections.
The cove lighting is also included in the accent lighting when it is used to highlight the interesting details on a ceiling.
The type of lighting, which is used as an accessory itself, is called the decorative lighting. A pair of wall scones is an example of this type of lighting.
Always keep in mind that any other type of lighting cannot replace the general light fixtures. In the absence of the general light, other types of light will create pools of light in an otherwise dark space, which looks very odd.
“Use What You Have Decorating” book by Laurie Ward
Personal knowledge and experience