Choosing the right lighting for your home is just as important as finding the right furniture. Gone are the days of just a simple floor lamp or ceiling fixture. Lighting has become a key part in interior design. It can evoke mood, drama and visual interest. Simply put, when considering interior lighting design ideas, there’s more than meets the eye.
Things Related to Interior Lighting Design
Types – The key to tackling interior lighting design is to know the types of lighting. According to the American Lighting Association there are three basic types of lighting: general, task and accent. General lighting replaces sunlight and provides an area with overall illumination. Task lighting helps you with specific tasks, such as reading, sewing, cooking or homework. It should not create glare or shadows and should be bright enough to prevent eyestrain. Accent lighting creates visual interest by spotlighting paintings, houseplants, sculptures and other prized possessions.
Lighting Rules – Carl Giese of Shelton’s Gallery in Baton Rouge, Louisiana said there are some general tips to follow when choosing lighting for rooms in the home. Giese said, “The No. 1 thing you must consider when choosing lighting for the kitchen is ceiling height, room size and function of the fixture.” In today’s bedrooms, most fixtures are ceiling fans. The best option is a light kit on the bottom of the fan, Giese said. Recessed fixtures can be strategically placed around the room if you don’t want to use a light kit. The lighting design goal for bathrooms is to achieve lighting all around the mirror. Bathroom lighting can be supplemented with a lamp on the vanity, recessed fixtures or lights over the tub. For dining and living rooms, ceiling height is critical. New homes are at least 10 feet high and up and older homes may be 8 feet. Room volume must be considered when choosing lighting as well. “One of the rules of thumb is to have the fixture 12 inches shorter than the width of the table,” Giese said. “So if your table is 48 inches wide, then you can do a 36-inch-wide fixture. You also want it 30 inches above the table top.”
Fixtures – Chandeliers are used mainly for dining rooms but can be placed in bedrooms, foyers or living rooms. They add sparkle and style while giving general lighting. Wall sconces provide shadow-free decorative lighting that transforms a functional room or hallway into a cozy retreat or dramatic passageway. Pendant lights are suspended from the ceiling over dining tables, game tables, kitchen counters or other work areas. They are equipped with globes or shades which provided both task and general lighting.
Ambiance Lighting – Track lighting is perfect for highlighting architectural design, artwork and collections. It provides general or task illumination for an entire room. Create a hospitable atmosphere, while providing general lighting with foyer lights. These lights greet guests and assure safe passage into other areas of the home. Ceiling lighting is ideal for use in hallways, bedrooms, utility work areas and stairways.
Green Lighting – “Going green” has taken over the nation because saving money and energy is very important, especially in the home. Lighting fixtures can be found with the Energy Star option. Energy Star is government-backed energy efficiency program that helps consumers easily identify high-quality, energy-saving products all while protecting the environment.
Lighting counts as a key component of interior design. It highlights important areas in a room, adds mood and enhances the overall decorating style in the room. Several different types of interior lighting design exist; all should work together to bring the best possible light to the area you’re working with.