How To Design A Successful Lighting System
Your lighting scheme at home can make or break the look and feel of your entire interior design aesthetic, so it’s absolutely essential that you take the time to sit down and plan it out properly, room by room, taking into account what you use the various spaces around your home for, the size of the rooms themselves and how much natural light comes flooding in.
There are three primary lighting types you might want to familiarise yourself with before you start writing your lighting plan: ambient, task and accent/mood lighting.
You may also hear this referred to as background or general lighting and it is this that gives a room its overall illumination, through the use of the likes of wall lights, sconces, downlighters, larger pendants and so on.
Passive light sources should be your initial go-to for rooms that are mainly used during the day, so exploit that beautiful natural light as much as you can. Maximise the amount you have through the use of mirrors, which will reflect and amplify the light coming in.
Your choice of paint colour can also help reflect light around the room, so if your living spaces are on the smaller side, it might be wise to go for a lighter palette, as well as increasing the sheen level of your paint.
You need this kind of lighting to provide you with the targeted illumination you need to carry out certain practical jobs in the rooms you’re in. As such, what you plan to use the room for will dictate what kind of task lighting would be most appropriate.
Task lighting comes in different forms - downlighters in the ceiling, desk, table and floor lamps, cooker hood lights and so on… although it’s important to remember that just because they’re there to be functional and serve a purpose, it doesn’t mean that it has to be unattractive.
Accent or mood lighting
This kind of lighting is used to highlight certain aspects or objects around the house, whether that’s an original architectural feature you want people to notice, or your latest art investment.
It’s important, however, that you ensure the lights you choose are positioned far enough above your focal point that the light hits it at the right angle, showing it off properly rather than overpowering it.
Once you’ve carried out a full assessment of the size of your rooms, as well as the amount of natural light and how you intend to use each space, you’re ready to devise your lighting plan.
Start by walking methodically through your house, asking yourself how you’ll use the space, if there are any furnishings you want to show off, who will use the space, what time of day the room will be used and from which direction the natural light enters the room. From there, you can draw up an actual plan of the room and see where best to position your lights.
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