Lighting can make or break a room. When planning your lighting consider the basic types; ambient, accent, task, decorative and natural. A properly light room will incorporate several layers and types of lighting, rather than just one lone fixture on the ceiling. The proper combination of all types of lighting makes for the perfect living environment.General or Ambient Lighting - Sets the stage
Ambient lighting is the starting point for lighting a space or a room. It is the base or foundation for lighting a room.
Ambient light can come from recessed lights, ceiling lights, or table and floor lamps. These types of fixtures characteristically give an even, diffuse light level for the space.Accent Lighting - Tells a story
Accent lighting is directional focused light aimed at an object or feature such as paintings or other works of art to make it stand out. Flood lights, spot lights, track lights and even sconces do a good job at this. Accent lighting should be about three times as bright as the ambient lighting.Task Lighting - Just where you need it
Task lighting is directional light aimed at a specific area to provide sufficient light to help you perform a certain task such as reading, cooking, shaving, etc. Desk lamps, ceiling pendants, and appliance lights are all good examples of task lighting fixtures. Task lighting should be glare free. And it should make things easy to see without tiring or straining your eyes.Decorative Lighting - A focal point
Decorative lighting draws attention to itself and adds to a rooms décor. Chandeliers, light strips, pendants, sconces and even candles are all examples of this type fixture.
Natural Lighting - Natures lighting
Natural lighting comes in through windows and skylights. Depending on the time of day, season, or weather, it can vary in brightness and intensity.GUIDELINES:
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- Pendants work best with high ceilings and should be placed out of the way a little above eye level.
- Odd numbers are best for a series of lights.
- Hang sconces about 6.5 feet high on the wall, where they can be enjoyed visually, but not touched.
- Swing arm lights by the bed or reading chair are flexible and great in tight spaces where there is no room for a table.
- LED lighting can be used to highlight artwork or create a colored light path on the floor or stairs.
- Under cabinet lights in the kitchen offer an efficient answer to the need for task lighting.
- Dimmers are a great way to create mood or lower the lights for a media room.
- If a room seems too narrow, washing one wall with light will visually expand it. Lighting up the ceiling helps to make a small room look larger and to create a more intimate feeling in a larger room keep the lighting lower and the ceiling darker
- To avoid shadows, place bathroom mirror lights on the side rather than overhead.