Like all home furniture and fitting, when thinking about lighting you are going to be treading the fine line between personality and functionality. Whilst the right type of lighting will have aesthetic benefits and will create the right mood, you must also be aware of its functional role in illuminating the important areas of your home.
Nowadays, your choice of modern lighting is endless. With designers from all over the world merging form and function in their own special way, it is especially important for consumers to take the time to think about what they want and make a plan as to how they are going to get it.
What type of bulb to use?
Light bulbs now come in a number of different shapes and sizes, and the quality tends to vary wildly between different products. As a general rule, it’s probably best to try and avoid the cheaper, mass produced (and inherently more unreliable) varieties.
Different types of bulb will also produce different effects. Low energy (or energy saving) light bulbs can last up to 12 years and manage to use a lot less energy than other bulbs, although the light they give off is often far less intense. This means that they are not good for rooms such as the kitchen where bright lighting is essential (unless you want to go chopping off your fingers when trying to chop carrots!)
Incandescent light bulbs are the ones we all know and love, and have been doing the job for years and years. New halogen bulbs give off a much more enticing white light similar to natural sunshine but the cost both of buying and using them is likely to be higher.
What kind of light effect to use?
What kind of mood do you want to create in a particular room? Most interior designers highlight 3 main light effects that you can utilise to give a room a distinctive character.
The simplest is the use of ambient light. Ambient wall lights and lamps, when used in communal rooms like living and dining rooms can produce a relaxing, soft feel.
The next lighting effect is the use of accent lights, which can be used to highlight particular features of a room. For instance, if you want to draw attention to a piece of art on your wall you can make it stand out with a dedicated downlight or uplight.
The final effect is called task lighting and should be employed in areas such as the kitchen, office or study. The idea here is to illuminate work surfaces as brightly as possible to help you work better.
What room is the lighting for?
Every room in your house should have its own distinctive character and using light is a great way to do this. However, every room requires a different approach to bring out its best qualities.
In hallways, you should use soft lighting to create a relaxing and welcoming atmosphere, whilst the living room lights should be easily controllable and functional. Kitchens should always be filled with task lighting effects while bedrooms should be ambient with additional lamps for individual use.
Have you got any more lighting tips? Let me know below!
Estelle Page is an interior designer with a passion for great design. Throughout her career, Estelle has been searching for that elusive balance between aesthetics and functionality.