You take a lot of care with the appearance of each room of your home: the furniture selection and layout, how all the colors used coordinate with each other, the perfect art for the walls. But if you overlook the lighting of the room, then nothing else can be fully appreciated because it’s all hiding in the shadows.
Four kinds 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.
Combine and “layer” types of lighting for flexibility and ambiance.
The kitchen is a busy room and requires several different kinds of lighting. Overhead lighting, whether a hanging fixture or recessed lights, is essential and is also useful to brighten the whole room when you have extra helpers in the kitchen. Task lighting, such as under-cabinet fixtures, is needed for detail-oriented chores done at the counter. Pendant lights over the island provide the task lighting for food prep or for serving a buffet. Accent lights highlight special serving pieces on the shelf or your art work on the wall.
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 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 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 your next project!