An important part of lighting your home really is just common sense.
I often find though that clients think that plunking down a lamp on each end table completes the lighting for their room. In the words of Karen Carpenter, we’ve only just begun!
When you take a bit of time to really analyze where your lighting is both wanted and needed and you put lighting into your room with economy and flair; then that is what adds the icing on the cake to your room and your home in its entirety.
Three Main Types Of Lighting
There are three main types of lighting that are usually used in a room.
Task lighting illuminates a particular area of the room where most of the activity will be taking place such as reading, sewing, preparing food.
Individual fixtures are usually used to direct light right onto a work surface.
Directional fixtures can also be aimed at a wall to provide a wash of soft light. An example of a directional fixture is a goose neck desk lamp. I like to place one of those on the top of an armoire, twist the light up to the ceiling, and place a plant in front of it. Presto changeo, you now have a soft glow to your ceiling! Now your task light becomes an accent light.
Ambient or General Lighting
Ambient lighting fills in the undefined areas of a room with a soft level of light. Ambient is just a fancy name for that inexpensive globe light that the builder gave you in the bedrooms of your first home. It helps you find your way around a room, watch TV, or find that button you dropped on the floor. Ambient lighting usually comes from indirect fixtures that provide a diffuse spread of light.
Accent lighting consists largely of directional light (like task lighting) but is primarily decorative. An example of these would be those gorgeous Murano glass shades that you often see suspended over a kitchen island.
Accent lighting such as spot lights can be used to focus attention on artwork, highlight architectural features, set a mood, or to provide drama. This is the lighting that I find is often overlooked. It is the one that will add sparkle and that WOW factor to your room.
You probably have task lighting and ambient lighting in most rooms of your home. Your homework assignment for the week is to take a look at how you can add that wonderful accent lighting to your rooms to help kick things up a notch.
Go forth and light up your world!
In a world full of beauty….
Gail K Allen
Interior Design Consultant