Friday, May 1, 2009

Lighting Up Your Space


One aspect of decorating that many people may not think about is lighting design. We might add in our table lamps and call it a day, but lighting design is much more than a couple of decorative table lamps. So, before you run out and buy the first lamp or fixture you like, think about how it will function in your space.

Lighting design incorporates 3 types of lighting to create a welcoming and functional space with dramatic style and interest.

The 3 Basic Types of Lighting Are:

Ambient or General Lighting: General lighting is the all-purpose typeof lighting that creates a comfortable, safe environment.



Task Lighting: When you think of task lighting, think of the type of lighting that focuses on a certain spot that makes working much easier, like under-cabinet lights in your kitchen. This type of lighting is essential for kitchens, home offices, reading and even bathrooms.


Accent Lighting: Accent lighting is used to highlight certain features or aspects of your home to include artwork, niches, built in bookshelves or simply to create a sense of drama. Accent lighting is not designed for room illumination so it should be used in conjunction with both General and Task lighting for balance. There are several forms of accent lighting that can be used to create mood and style.


Kinetic Lighting: Lighting that evokes movement such as the soft flicker of candles or the romance of a lit fireplace. Kinetic Lighting can also be lighting that comes from lava lamps or mirrored balls for example.

Indirect or Up Lighting: This type of lighting is similar to general lighting and uses fixtures to throw the light onto ceilings or upper portions of the walls. This is a great way to reduce glare in your home office or living room.

Wall Washing: This type of lighting design highlights a vertical surface. Think of the recessed lights that throw a single beam of light downward to highlight a piece of artwork or flank a fireplace. The light can be placed on the floor directed upward as well.

Once you understand the types of lighting, it's time to take a look at your space and determine your needs. If you're designing a lighting scheme for your kitchen, you know you will need to incorporate task lighting with your general lighting. Think about where you do your food preparations and the light you need over your cooktop. A great example of task lighting in the kitchen would be using recessed ceiling fixtures directly above an island area. The same type of lighting design should be used in a bathroom. Your task area will be your vanity space.

Another important aspect of lighting design is understanding that the fabrics, colors and surfaces in a room all contribute to the feel of a room and often reflect light differently. It is important to consider all aspects of a room from the materials used to the lighting source in order to create a comfortable room that comes together in both function and style.

1 comment:

Nightingale said...

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