Lighting a room is not as simple as just flicking a light switch. When used correctly lighting improves the look and creates the perfect mood for your home. Follow these lighting tips to improve the ambience of your home.
- Plan the lighting
If you are in the planning stages of your home, whether building or re-modeling, take some time to consider your space and what activities each area will be used for. Various activities will require different lighting as will various features you may want to highlight. Thinking about the style, scale, output, and color temperature of each light will save you from making rash decisions at the last moment.
- Consider the height
Hanging light fittings are not always adjustable, so take the height of your ceiling into consideration for each area. The bottom of a light should hang 12 to 20 inches below an 8 foot ceiling, and for each foot of additional height you can add 3 inches.
If the hanging light is meant for over a table or kitchen island, the distance from the bottom of the table to the light should be 28 to 34 inches. If the light is smaller, it can be moved a little lower and larger lights higher.
- Create interesting lighting layers
Using different light sources within one room can create points of interest. Hidden lighting can be complemented with a hanging light and table lamps; all helping to create points of interest to different areas of a room. These can be used together or separately, depending on the mood to be set. Remember, clusters of lights make a room cozy, up-lighting makes a room feel larger, while low hanging pendant lights make a room’s ceiling look higher.
- Lighting is your best task assistant
Choose the lighting for each room according to the tasks that will be performed there. The kitchen needs concentrated and bright lighting that can be created with a combination of down-lights and recess lights. Areas where tasks like reading and fine work are to be carried out will require flexible lighting that can be directed toward or away from you. On the other hand, bathrooms need down-lights and side-lights that can be used together or separately. In all areas lighting must offer a solution and not create shadows over work areas.
Dimmer switches are fantastic because they allow you to change the atmosphere in each room according to your needs.
- Not all bulbs are the same
When buying bulbs, always consider brightness (measured in watts), color temperature (warm lighting as opposed to cool lighting), energy efficiency (almost everyone is using LED), and design (candle bulbs and other designs that make interesting focal points). Cool lighting is ideal for brightening darker spaces, whereas warm lighting creates a warm and inviting glow to a room.
- Highlight special areas
Lighting can be used to highlight special features of your homes design or prized possessions. The center of your dining room table can be lit with spotlights to give an inviting glow, or place accent lights above works of art. A very effective way to give a seating area a sophisticated look is to hang a mirror above the fireplace and to light it with wall mounted lights on either side.
- Night lights show the way
Floor level lighting is an effective way to ensure that any midnight strolls around your home are not disrupting everyone. These can be added to your toe-kick in the kitchen, on stair treads or risers, and in hallways. They will not only guide you safely but create a subtly lit home at night that is never completely dark.
- Keep the theme consistent
All the lighting in your home should be consistent in theme and color. The simpler the theme the easier the lighting will be on the eye. You can use a brightly colored fixture to add a splash of color to a neutral room and lights can also be used as a decorative feature to enhance the mood of a room without any wall art.
- Size does matter
Measure your space before going to purchase light fittings because they often look much larger in the store than when you bring them home. The right size chandelier is the room’s height and width added together, in feet. That number in inches is how much the diameter of the chandelier should be. In a dining room the chandelier must be one foot smaller than the table’s narrowest width.