Lighting is one of the most crucial elements of interior design. Choosing the right lights can dramatically change the ambiance of your home. In the grey and gloomy days of winter having thoughtfully placed lighting can cheer up the darkest days. Not only do we need to give thought to where we place lights, but how we utilize the natural light in our homes. As the famous designer Benjamin Noriega-Ortiz said “light is the magical ingredient that makes or breaks a space; it’s one of the most important elements in all my interiors” so how can we utilize the space that we have and use lighting for creating an atmosphere rather than just functional use?
Let’s consider the different types of lights available:
With the prevalence of working from home these days it is important that we can see the task at hand. We need an appropriate level of light to be able to complete daily tasks, work on a computer, DIY, cooking, etc. Just because it’s ‘functional’ doesn’t mean we need to settle for boring, or lifeless.
Kitchens, study areas, and hallways all need satisfactory lighting. Dimmers, pendants, and floor lamps are all options for directional brightness.
When considering what lighting to use, it is useful to enter each space and think about what you do there. Will you need one or several forms of light? Is the space used for more than one task? If you have an open plan kitchen/living space perhaps it would be useful to consider investing in a dual-action lighting option. A brighter option when cooking or playing games, and an alternative when engaged in more restful activities.
This type refers to non-direct and background lighting implemented to create an atmosphere.
As the home experts at the BBC point out “ by experimenting with different types of lighting, the mood of a room can change from calm and romantic to energizing and vibrant” using LED and fairy lights can change any room into a calm and relaxing oasis. Candlelight can create a calming sanctuary for those cold winter nights, and a romantic glow when spending time with a special person in your life.
If you are looking for a more dramatic statement to add to your home it would be worth considering investing in some state of the art technology Ellumiglow offers e-wire and laser wire lights, perfect for a sensational effect. These state of the art lights are ideal for use at events and parties with a variety of options to choose from. They can be functional, or ambient, depending on the occasion.
Ambient lighting allows light without being imposing as commented at modern. Place ambient lighting “works to provide a comfortable level of illumination without too much glare. This allows you to navigate an entire room safely too.” A good starting point is to decide where you want your lights placed. It is best to do this when the room is at its darkest (at night). Try to ensure that each part of the room is illuminated when making your choice. Decide what ‘look’ you want for each given room. Are you trying to achieve a classic style or super modern? your style preference should influence your choice of lighting to avoid an uneven appearance.
Accent lighting is used as a focal point and emphasizes certain objects or areas of a room. It adds dimension and draws the eye to artwork, plants, or anything that one chooses to take priority.
There are many options to create accent lighting: track lights, under-cabinet lights, picture lights, LED tape lights, wall lights, and many more.
Accentuating natural lighting in a room should not be overlooked. Using the right colors, flooring, plants, and furniture can extend natural light flowing in from windows.
Artificial light can be used to enhance, but not take over the room. Use artificial light to brighten up dark corners that natural light can’t reach. Indirect light aimed upwards can compensate for lack of light as dusk falls.
The experts at apartmenttherapy.com suggest using “full-spectrum light bulbs (they’re designed to simulate daylight) to the light fixtures in rooms with poor lighting to quickly brighten up your home with some soft but warm artificial light” full-spectrum light bulbs have been designed to simulate the sun. In the absence of enough natural light, these light bulbs can offer similar health benefits to the sun, improving mental health, focus, and aiding vitamin D production.
Suitable outside lighting during the long days of summer can create beauty, as well as a warm and inviting space for guests and family. With more days at home, our gardens have become an essential escape from life’s stresses.
According to ylighting.com “the number of people who believe their outdoor space is an important extension of their home is growing. (…). Creating these areas and designing enhanced light schemes around them can greatly increase the value of your home and give your family years of pleasure to come”. Never has this been more true than in 2020! Pleasure in one’s home has become paramount in an ever-changing world.
There are several options for lighting outside of your home. Garden spotlights are useful for a specific focus, such as an area of decking or a summer house. Lanterns create a magical feel, ideal for cozy get-togethers or family meals. Wall Lights are good for overall lighting that helps safe movement outside during nighttime hours. Ground and decking lights are aesthetically pleasing displays that can add a little opulence to the area. Solar lights are cost-effective solutions that are good for the environment and a flexible option if you want to alternate the location of your lights. Fairy light and string lights are relatively cheap and good for one season, they are a warm and cozy option for summer or winter.
So, whatever your reasons for sprucing up your home, make lighting a priority. Not only will it do wonders for your mood, getting the right lighting in a house will increase its value for any future sale you are considering. By doing lots of research and preparation, overhauling your home doesn’t need to be a pricey venture. Happy DIY everyone. Let’s make our homes beautiful!