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When it comes to the ambiance of your space, interior lighting is everything. But it doesn’t just affect your aesthetic, it can also drastically affect your mood. On today’s blog, we explain the different types of lighting and explore how to choose the perfect fixtures for a well-lit home.
For many homeowners, lighting is just an afterthought. But, as many professionals know, lighting is fundamental for any interior design. It’s easy for people to be intimidated when it comes to choosing the best fixtures for their homes, so we created this foolproof guide to help eliminate that stress and make sure you have a well-lit home.
Color temperature describes a light’s color appearance and indicates the look and feel of what its light will provide.
Light is measured in degrees Kelvin (K), on a scale from 1,000 to 10,000. A lower number means that the light will appear more yellow and high numbers mean that the light will be more blue-white. Typically, commercial and residential lighting is between 2000K and 6500K.
To figure out what color temperature is right for you, it’s helpful to understand the three main categories of light:
This color temperature ranges from 2000K-3000K and offers a cozy, inviting ambiance. Table and floor lamps, wall lanterns, and pendants are best suited for this type of lighting.
This type of lighting is often bright and vibrant, emitting a cool white glow. Its color temperature range is between 3100K-4500K. This lighting works best in basements, garages, or work environments.
Any lighting above 4500K offers a color temperature closer to that of daylight. This lively and uplifting light is best used in display areas, security lighting, and task lighting.
Types of Lighting
When it comes to figuring out the best kind of lighting for your space, it’s important to understand the three main types: ambient lighting, task lighting, and accent lighting.
Ambient (or General) lighting
Indoor ambient lighting is used to light up an entire room. Its visibility ensures safety and ease of traffic by illuminating as much of the space as possible, such as chandeliers, LED downlights, and floor or table lamps.
Outdoor ambient lighting allows for increased visibility and safety near buildings. Illuminating the exterior of buildings, stairwells, and entrances through spotlights, canopy lighting, and post lanterns, can eliminate possible injury.
Task lighting helps illuminate certain tasks, like cooking, reading, or writing since brighter light is required for increased visibility. Task lighting is directed to a certain area for a sharper focus on detail, so it’s best to avoid harsh lights that can create shadows. Desk lamps and pendant lights provide task lighting.
Accent lighting focuses on features and specific points of interest to draw attention to an object or area. This type of lighting can add a dramatic effect and gives the impression of a larger space. Typically, accent lighting is used to highlight plants, art, or architecture. To best incorporate effective accent lighting, use three times more light on the focal point than ambient light would generally provide. Examples of accent lighting are track lights, wall-mounted fixtures, and directional recessed lighting.
Lighting Guide For Different Rooms
Most designers will tell you to layer your light sources. To create the most aesthetically pleasing room, incorporate a combination of accent, task, and ambient light. Depending on the room and its role, you will need different types of lighting. Here are some standard room-by-room lighting layouts to help inspire your interior design.
The best lighting for utility rooms is ambient and recessed lighting. Utility rooms also require task lighting, like pendants or track lighting to illuminate workspaces and appliances, such as your washers and dryers.
Since entryways are used so often by family and guests, it’s best to use a dramatic pendant light or chandelier to provide ample visibility. If you have decor or artwork, consider using an accent light to highlight the feature.
Kitchens are used for many things other than cooking, such as for work and socialization. This room requires lots of ambient light as well as some task lighting. It’s best to use recessed lighting to brighten the space while adding undercabinet lights around sinks and stoves to benefit work surfaces and add interest. Pendant lights or chandeliers should be used to lighten up kitchen islands or tables.
The dining room is typically the easiest to light and its fixtures should be elegant and alluring. People tend to use chandeliers or pendant lighting above their dining room tables. If there are dark corners, wall scones or floor or table lamps can help to brighten them up.
Since this room usually gets the most use, it’s essential to have lighting that works best for you. Track or recessed lighting is recommended for this room. Floor lamps are best to illuminate the dark corners in this room. Consider using dimmable light to adjust the ambiance of your living room. Also, keep in mind the placement of your TV to ensure there is no glare on the screen from lights.
For many, lighting in the bedroom is a personal preference. Generally, an overhead light source accompanied by lamps on nightstands or dressers will provide ample ambient and task lighting. Adding a dimmer to this room would help control the lighting levels to match your mood.
As more people increasingly find themselves working from home, the need for a home office space has grown in importance. It’s recommended that the main source of light should come from overhead or recessed lighting. Depending on the color of your office, you may need to bring in more ambient light. To incorporate task lighting, use a desk lamp for your main workspace.
Other Things To Consider
- Dimming controls help to create ambiance and also save energy
- Natural light will affect lighting levels within a room. It can also positively affect your health so utilize it as much as possible
- Depending on your desired atmosphere, use lighter color temperature to create a more inviting space. Reflective surfaces, such as mirrors, help contribute to a brighter appearance