Nothing turns a room into a home faster than lighting. Lighting in interior design is not only used to create ambience and a comfortable, aesthetically pleasing space. Lighting is also essential so rooms are functional and equipped for the tasks for which they are designed. In short, lighting gives a room purpose. Check out our basic how and why of interior lighting to help you make the brighter choices when it comes to lighting your home.
Three types of lighting
All rooms need a variety of lighting and in interior design, lighting is often broken up into three main categories. Creating a balance between these lighting options will transform any room into a luxe, lighting haven you won’t want to leave.
Provides a space with overall illumination so you can perform tasks and move around comfortably. This is often talked about as the base level of lighting on which all other lighting types are layered. You can create general lighting through ceiling and wall-mounted fixtures, recessed or track lights and through table and floor lamps. When choosing your ambient lighting, consider when the room is most used and for what purpose.
Is generally used in work spaces to aid in performing daily tasks like reading, writing, cooking, homework or putting on makeup. Task lighting will illuminate smaller areas and should be intense, but not so bright to give anyone eyestrain! Think a table/desk lamp in a home office or by a reading chair in the living room. Or a suspended ceiling pendant above a kitchen island/breakfast bar. All of these task lights will provide the perfect amount of illumination to read a book or cut the carrots.
Is used to highlight special features in a room. This may be an architectural feature, textured wall or an artwork/photograph and can be created using track, recessed or wall-mounted lights. Accent lighting adds a certain amount of drama to a space and is a visual point of interest – not to mention it can help highlight all the hard work you have put into your home and décor! One of the important things to remember when choosing accent lighting, is it needs to be about three times brighter than your general lighting to really have any affect.
Quick lighting tips:
- Dimmer switches are versatile and enable you to provide a range of lighting options from a single source. They also save electricity!
- Vary the heights of your lighting sources. This adds depth and interest to a space by creating areas of light and shade.
- Lighting a room from the ceiling will make a room look larger, while floor and table lamps will light from below create a more intimate atmosphere.
- Dark colours absorb light, so more light is needed in a room decorated with dark colours than in a light coloured room.