James A. Wood's Blog
One decorating principle that’s a huge help for any homeowner is that of layered lighting. This is the different aspects of lighting that you’ll use in different rooms of your home to complete your lighting needs. The layers of light create a basis for the design of the room. These three main aspects of lighting also have a practical purpose which is nice as well. Below, you’ll learn more about the three main components of lighting for any room of the house and how to best use them.
Ambient lighting is often the base of where people start with their lighting design in a room. This type of lighting allows you to get the overall feel for a space. The brightness level should be good enough for anyone to walk through the room without walking into things. The illumination may not be bright enough for activities that require a lot of focus like reading or chopping vegetables.
If you think of a retail store and how the shiniest things have the brightest lights focused on them, you’ll discover that you can use this type of lighting right in your home. Think of a chandelier hanging over a massive dining table. Accent lighting is usually for decorative purposes. The lumens that are given off are typically not enough for any other purpose than to attract attention to the item the light is shining on. This type of lighting is best used for things like display cabinets, statues, and china closets. The bottom line is that the accent light will add some drama without actually adding much practical use.
This type of lighting is important because it’s what ensures that you won’t chop your hand off while you’re chopping up vegetables in the kitchen. Task lighting varies widely from room to room and can be anything from a desk lamp to a reading lamp to lights on the vanity for shaving and putting on makeup. Task lighting is all about being functional. When you’re trying to decide where to put your task lights think of everything from safety to convenience. The last thing you should worry about with task lighting is the look. While these lights are great under cabinets, for example, so the more creative you get with where to place your task lighting the better the look will be.
Using this simple yet useful design principle can help you to light your entire home correctly. The right lighting can truly transform a space and give it the depth that it needs.
There’s a certain recipe for successful home lighting. Lighting can make a room feel smaller or larger. There should be a mix and match of about 4 layers of lighting throughout the house. These layers should be:
- Ambient light
- Task lighting
- Accent lights
- Decorative lights
These 4 layers of lighting are perfect to mix and match for a well lit room. Ambient lighting includes natural light sources like windows, pendant lighting and overhead light fixtures. Task lighting includes under-counter lighting, desk lamps and reading lamps. Accent lights include recessed lighting and adjustable lighting. These lights will highlight certain areas of a room. Decorative lighting includes chandeliers and other types of ornamental lighting. After you have your layers set up, you’ll want to use your lighting to the advantage of your home’s decor.
Bring The Drama To A Room
You can highlight anything you wish in a room using the right kind of lighting. It can be a fireplace or a painting or a ceiling. Use a soft spotlight to highlight a painting. Uplighting adds a softer effect to the scheme of a room. You can create this effect with wall mounted sconces or rope lights. You’ll see quite a warm glow.
Dimmers Are Your Friend
Installing dimmer switches on your light fixtures can help to save energy and will allow you to bring down rather bright ambient lighting or help you to create a different kind of lighting scheme with the flip of a switch. As a plus, a dimmer will extend the life of your light bulbs and will maximize the time you need to change lightbulbs that require a ladder to reach.
Don’t Put All Of Your Lights In One Place
Don’t just stick one or two bright lighting fixtures in a room and say that it’s all set. You’ll get more shadows and glare than would be desirable. This is where our blend of lighting recipe comes into play. Using that 4 step-formula will help you to spread your lighting out accordingly. This way no type of lighting will be overwhelming.
Remember to use the daylight. Natural daylight is the best type of lighting. It brings in fresh color and complements any landscape. You can add natural light to your home through installing skylights, widening windows or thinking about how to redress the windows that you already have.
Choose Quality Fixtures
High quality light fixtures are better all around. They’re clearer and the fixture will be more attuned to your home’s style. When choosing lighting make sure that you see if the shade covers any part of the light, is made of good materials and that the connections are sound.
When it comes to creating a well-lit home, you need to look everywhere from the windows to the ceilings. You want to be sure that your lighting is set up to be energy efficient and practical. Consider the many different kinds of lighting that are available and plan each room to ensure that you’ll have all the light that you need.