Living spaces can become dark and dull when the sun goes down. With proper lighting design, home lighting can bring any room to life by creating interest and adding visual drama. Take our quiz and see whether you are doing everything you can to maximize your lighting potential.
The goal of modern lighting design is to introduce various degrees of lighting to a room, commonly referred to as layers of light.
Proper lighting design can indeed play a part in all three answers to this question. However, lighting design is really all about creating interest and visual drama.
Proper lighting has the ability to highlight architectural features and it can create a cozy feeling. However, the greatest influence of lighting is to set the personality of any given room.
Ambient lighting is your primary light source to illuminate any room. Ambient lighting generally consists of typical ceiling lighting that serves to create diffused, even lighting.
In the majority of homes, ambient lighting makes use of inexpensive incandescent bulbs installed in overhead light fixtures. Compact fluorescent bulbs are a popular green alternative that has the additional benefit of being energy efficient, long lasting and recyclable.
Overhead lighting is practical and functional, but carries a bad reputation as being garish and uninviting. You really cannot live without overhead lighting and you will want to supplement it with alternative lighting options.
The primary function for accent lighting is to provide visual separation as a supplement to ambient light. Accent lighting will help focus the eye on features that you want to highlight.
Accent lighting should be three to five times brighter in order to achieve the desired effect of visual separation. The accented area needs to be significantly brighter than its surroundings to entice an eye to focus on your target.
Express your taste and have fun when you add accent lighting to your rooms. Accent lighting consists mostly of plug and play floor lamps, table lamps, floodlights, track lights and spotlights readably available at your favorite hardware outlet.
Kerosene lamps and candles were considered ambient lighting, because they were the only options available. From its inception, task lighting usually consisted of a humble table or desk lamb illuminated by a single incandescent bulb.
Task lighting normally reduces the requirement for ambient light. Many wise consumers switch on their task-oriented lighting and shut off the overhead lights when they get busy with a project.
Benefits of good task lighting do include the ability of focusing light on a task and can help reduce energy costs, but a prime function is to reduce eyestrain.
Task-oriented lighting finds a perfect home in your kitchen. Have it installed under the cupboards, above the counter, over the breakfast nook and above your cooking island.
Halogen lamps are noted for producing intense and focused illumination. They are a perfect choice for task-oriented lighting as long as the intense heat they generate is not a deciding factor.
Consumers are demanding that contractors include abundant natural light in their home design. People spend more time indoors now than ever before and they demand that natural light reach them when they work at home.
The overriding benefit of natural light is a significant increase in productivity. Natural light will probably make employees happier and it will likely reduce sick days, but the prime benefit for business is a more productive individual.
In the Northern Hemisphere, southern exposure provides the most natural sunlight. Sunlight generates heat by default, so you will need to reduce heat in the summer by using blinds, such as venetians blinds that allow lots of light while reducing direct sunlight.
Pruning vegetation and using mirrors could be beneficial, but the simplest solution is choosing a light-reflective paint for the walls in order to increase natural light from your windows.
Start with your front walkway to welcome your guests and insure their safety. Walkways are a great place for ground lighting to highlight not only the pathway to your home, but also surrounding shrubbery and landscaping.
For increased security, you will likely want to combine motion detectors, photocells and floodlights along with entrance and accent lighting. Try to mimic moonlight without over-lighting your yard and activate the security lighting only at bedtime.