The one design element that has the biggest impact on a space is lighting. Proper lighting makes a great design standout, while a poorly lit room can cast shadows over the room making it less inviting.
When planning the lighting scheme for your space, remember you are lighting a home, not the local emergency room. Keep the lighting soft, and avoid overly bright, garish lighting. A room should be welcoming and serene, with hardly any notice paid to how perfectly diffused the light is.
There is no need to light every corner or every surface of a room. Layered lighting is best. Each layer should blend in with the next, for a soft gently diffused atmosphere. Use different light sources, such as overhead ceiling lights, floor lights, wall sconces and table lamps. Layer the light with low- wattage bulbs to keep down the brightness. Installing a dimmer switch for the overhead light is a must. Dimmers help create a mood by letting you control how low the light is. Turn down the lights for a cozy feel or leave them bright for a more stimulating mood. Dimmers also allow for more energy efficiency and extend the life of a bulb.
Another consideration is the function of your space. Will you be reading, watching television or surfing the computer? How your space functions determines the need for more task lighting verses general illumination. In the kitchen, use under the cabinet lighting. It makes general kitchen tasks easier to see.
Try to avoid fluorescent tubes. They are terrible on the eyes. A better choice for bulbs would be LED’s low wattage Halogens or Compact Fluorescent bulbs. Just be careful when disposing the CFL’s.
No matter what bulbs you choose to go with, know that the fixtures you choose are equally as important to the overall look of the room. You will want to pick fixtures that provide the right amount of up lighting and down lighting to illuminate the space effectively. Pair form with function for the right look stylistically.
Photo by spigoo
This is a guest post by Fares of Vancouver General Contractors. Find out more about VGC here.