‘’Light is the magical ingredient that makes or breaks a space, it is one of the most important elements…’- Benjamin Noreiga-Ortiz.
And we couldn’t agree more. Good lighting is absolutely integral to space, its functional and most importantly it creates ambiance & mood. Just look at restaurants and hotels- the feeling of relaxation & comfort or glamour come largely from lighting design- it’s the mood setter, the ‘something ‘that every space needs, the je ne sais quoi, if you will. Having said that there are many types of lighting that serve many different purposes.
‘’A room is not a room without natural light’- Louis Kahn. A room’s natural light is one of the first considerations when planning a lighting layout- as the day light progresses and as the seasons change the room takes on a life of its own as sunlight or reflected daylight moves around the room. Natural light is one of the single most important lighting types to have in your home and office as it is vital for your health and wellbeing. Having loads of natural light will:
Lower Expenses: lower your electricity bill
Spaciousness: make your home or office feel larger & spacious,
True Colour: colours of furniture and finishes will appear to be more truer and natural
Fresh Air: Natural light will make the room fresher- diminishing stale smells & growth of mould, mildew & bacteria that cause dank smells.
Comfort: Over lit & artificially lit spaces can lead to anxiety & discomfort, natural light aid in calming and naturally harmonizes your sleep-wake cycle.
Nature is always timeless: Naturally lit homes and spaces cannot go out of fashion- unlike artificial lighting.
So how can you add natural light to your space?
Make the window bigger
Add more windows
Remove object that obscure lights
Change your window treatments
Ambient lighting, also known as general lighting refers to the lights that create overall illumination of the entire space. The goal is to create even lighting throughout the space without obstruction. It is usually a central source of light in the form of chandeliers, ceiling or wall-mounted fixtures, recessed or track lights.
With this one the clue is in the name. Task lighting is used in very specific areas to perform very specific tasks. It is usually only in a handful of areas for tasks such as reading, dressing- make up & eyebrow plucking, cooking food, doing homework, working on hobbies, playing games, office work, or it could be that one area of light you go to when you’re darling gets a nasty microscopic splinter & you don on your bifocals whilst navigating the tweezers. This lighting can be achieved through the use of recessed and track lighting, pendant lighting and under cabinet lighting, as well as floor and desk lamps.
Decorative lighting is often used as the focal point in a room. The main goal is to be so beautifully magnificent that you can’t help but take to it like an insect in deep summer. Examples of decorative lighting are the ones that give you that awe-inspiring ‘must have’ feeling and can be found in the form of chandeliers, decorative candles, light from a fireplace, and stunning decorative floor lamps, decorative table lamps, dramatic pendant lighting and cluster lighting.
Accent lighting is a specifically directed light that highlights a specific object. Art galleries are the best example of spaces that use accent lighting- the same techniques can be applied to artwork in any given space. Accent light usually have a cover of some form to direct the light to a pot plant, a wall texture, a picture, a sculpture or up lights for wall textures, dramatic ceiling designs etc. The most important function is to highlight something very specific in the design of an interior.
Not every room in the house needs all types of lighting. The key is to be specific, keep it simple and plan, plan, plan! It will take some planning but if you get the lighting in your house right- the space will sing! A quick trick to achieving any mood in the room is to make sure that most lights are connected to a dimmer- that way light sources can be moderated to set the scene however you like, when you like!