With the flip of a switch, lighting sets the mood, directs your attention, and influences the entire atmosphere of the room. Lighting makes a big difference in not only the ambiance but also the energy efficiency of your home.
Ambient lighting provides overall illumination and is best when it comes from several sources, including natural light from windows. Task lighting is extra, focused lighting on a specific area to make visual tasks easier. Accent lighting is used to draw attention to certain details within a room, define spaces, focus attention on photos or artwork, and create dramatic effects using the interplay of light and shadow. Decorative lighting is any lighting that adds aesthetic appeal in addition to functional light, with fixtures designed to enhance the personality and beauty of your room. We can help you combine and “layer” these types of lighting to create exactly the ambiance you’re hoping for.
Lighting your living room is about finding a balance and creating a lighting scheme that’s adaptable for all the different activities that happen there. Your ambient lighting should be dimmable, which is now an option even with highly-efficient LED lights. Task lighting, such as a floor lamp or a lamp on a side table will help you with reading or other detail-oriented activities as you sit on the couch. Use lamps with different colored shades or bases to give the room a little extra personality. And accent lighting can highlight your favorite design elements or artwork. The light source itself for accent lighting should seem almost invisible – consider hiding it behind crown molding or above cabinets and bookshelves.
The kitchen requires a more complicated and flexible lighting plan because of the diverse uses of the room. Overhead lighting, whether a hanging fixture or recessed lights, will help when doing general cleaning and is also nice when you’re entertaining or have helpers in the kitchen. Task lighting, such as under-cabinet fixtures, is great for more detail-oriented chores, like food preparation. A grouping of pendant lights serves dual purposes of providing task lighting and accents for working at an island or dining at a breakfast bar. Accent lights highlight wall decor or the work of your favorite little Van Gogh.
Since most of the activity in the dining room is focused around the table, the obvious choice is a chandelier or pendant over the table. Make sure it’s not so large that it overpowers the room or hangs so low that it interferes with conversation across the table. A dimmer is a great choice here so you can adjust the lighting level depending on whether you’re having a romantic dinner or using the table for the kids’ homework.
The bathroom should be a well-lit space, and is often overlooked. A pair of sconces generally give appropriate light for most tasks such as shaving and applying make-up, and mirrors reflect the light throughout the space. Chandeliers are being used more and more to add an extra touch of elegance. Lights on a dimmer or a dusk-to-dawn automatic night light are easier on the eyes for those late night trips to the bathroom. Additionally, dimming lights in the evening can create a more relaxing, spa-like atmosphere, while bright lights in the morning can help you wake up.
The bedroom typically uses overhead lighting as the main source of light. Task lighting takes the form of small lamps on bedside tables and on dressers. Consider a dimmer switch so you can choose to have the lighting soft or bright. Use accent lighting to show off special mementos or to set off a corner for late-night reading or early morning coffee.