A lot of factors go into making a house feel like a home and creating the right atmosphere is vital. One of the best ways to set a mood is through the lighting that is used. Whatever the room and whatever the mood you are after, lighting can make your space work for you.
The Role of a Room
Before you start installing your lights, take a few moments to consider the space you are lighting. Lighting has many functions and in many instances it has to be as practical as it is sensory. As such, it stands to reason that different rooms require different lighting, or even different lighting for different moments.
Take your kitchen, for example. Bright ceiling lighting is a vital factor for cooking and cleaning, but as the evening winds down the softer glow of underlighting is much more preferable to enjoy a late supper in. Similarly, in a living room you will require lights bright enough for reading and lower lighting for when you are watching a movie or merely relaxing at the end of a long day.
Lighting Choices Galore
While the selection of lighting available is prolific, designed to cater to every taste and every situation from an extensive array of ceiling lighting to bright table lamps, it can be simplified into a few (often overlapping) categories:
Task Lighting: Task lighting (or practical lighting) is a vital fixture in most rooms, illuminating areas with the sufficient level of brightness required for that area. It may not necessarily be the most appealing of fixtures (think of the fluorescent ceiling lighting overlooking your kitchen) but it is by far the most useful and the most used in day to day life.
Decorative Lighting: Decorative lighting, on the other hand, is all about the look. Decorative lighting is not so much about its power to glow but rather its ability to complement a design scheme, even act as a striking piece of art. From fantastic crystal chandeliers to small bedside lamps, the role of the decorative light is to be seen.
Mood Lighting: All lighting, whether you are aware of it or not, plays a part in creating the mood in a space. Too bright and a room can seem unwelcome, even clinical in the glaring light, too low and the room resembles a cave, with corners made eerie in the dark. Make a space cosy and welcoming with soft, ambient lights that draw people in, highlighting seating areas and pieces of art. Alternatively, create an active space with bright light that reflect off surfaces, making people feel refreshed and energised.
Lights do so much more than simply provide illumination. Lighting is a design feature that is as vital to a room as its furniture and one that is largely responsible for how a room feels and how it is used. Whether it is practical ceiling lighting or the soft glow of a table lamp, lighting is key to creating the perfect atmosphere in your home.
Mary Yohanan is an interior designer who regularly writes on the subject for a number of online magazines and blogs. Her knowledge includes an extensive range of ceiling lighting, which comes in particularly useful in all of Mary’s decor and design projects.