Designing a home with abundant natural light is always essential but artificial light can also make all the difference. It’s often overlooked but when designing or remodeling your home, it’s important to think about your lighting in the early stages. Lighting can drastically change the look of your space and significantly affect the visual comfort and functionality of your rooms. The last thing you want is harsh or bad lighting in your home office or not enough light on your kitchen counters!
With a little research and planning, you can design a perfect lighting layout that fits all your needs and makes your space look more beautiful with the utmost functionality.
There are three basic types of lighting that all work together in your home. If you plan your lighting correctly, all three types of lighting are combined to light an area according to its function and style.
- Ambient lighting
Ambient lighting is also known as general lighting and its primary function is to allow people to do normal everyday activity. It gives a comfortable level of brightness without glare and provides a room with an overall illumination. Almost every room should have at least one source of ambient light.
- Task lighting
Task lighting illuminates to help you perform specific tasks like reading, cooking, work, etc. Task lighting provides you with better lighting than your normal activity. Task lighting should not have any sort of glare or shadows and should be bright enough to prevent eye strain. The last thing you want is a splitting headache when you’re trying to read your favourite book!
- Accent Lighting
Accent lighting is used to draw attention to certain areas in the room such as paintings or sculptures. It has a more decorative functionality and adds drama to a room by creating visual interest.
All the various rooms in your home have different functions so here are a few tips and tricks for what type of lighting you should be using…
Because of all the tasks taking place in a kitchen, you may need a lot more task lighting than other rooms. As always, you will need a source of ambient light, perhaps a recessed lighting to give an overall brightness. Under-cabinet lighting is perfect task lighting for completing kitchen chores. You could add a bit of accent light to highlight the dining table or the kitchen’s island.
The bathroom is another room that requires good task lighting. The ambient light in the bathroom is best as a ceiling fixture and the task light often comes around the mirror. White lighting compliments skin tones the best so make sure you choose right! You may also need task lighting in the shower so go for recessed lighting for above the shower or tub.
Living Room or Family Room
This room is one that will need many different levels and layers of lighting because of all the activities that happen here. Track or recessed lighting is perfect for the ambient light source or you can go with a more decorative approach and choose your favourite chandelier. The living room will probably have the most accent lighting out of any other room in your home highlighting your paintings, photos, trophies, and souvenirs.
The most important lighting to think about for the bedroom is bedside reading and closet lighting. Try wall-mounted lighting fixtures for ambient lighting. Don’t forget that each bedside light should be able to be operated within easy reach. You don’t want to have to get out of bed to turn off the lights! Ceiling-mounted or recess lights are commonly used for the closets. Because the bedroom is where you want a relaxing and calm atmosphere, it’s best to avoid central ceiling-mounted fixtures with harsh bright light.
Home offices need to have extremely comfortable lighting with no glare or shadows. Reading and computer work is common here so you need good task lighting that won’t give you any sort of eye or head strain. Table or desk lamps work well for task lighting. A good tip is to layer your lighting to reduce any shadows that may appear. Make sure the lighting in your home office is comfortable to work in for long periods of time. You’ll have your family begging you to get out of your office if you do it right!
Hint: Add dimmers for all your lighting features to add flexibility and conserve energy!
So whether you want to improve the lighting in a specific room or give your whole-house a lighting makeover, you should keep these room-by-room tips in mind!