Creative home lighting
Home lighting is more than a functional aspect of decoration. The right lighting can transform a room from dull and cold, to warm and inviting. It can create different atmospheres for relaxing, working or showcasing the other features in a room. There are so many products available to create effective home lighting and there are just a few rules to remember about how light behaves in different environments. The best way to ensure you fulfil all the practical and atmospheric requirements for a room is to use a combination of different types of lights. Direct lighting can be used for reading or other close up tasks, highlighting lights to highlight a specific item such as artwork or mirrors by creating a pool of light, or more subtle sources of light to create a cosy atmosphere.
When decorating a house or room, home lighting should be one of the first considerations, as you will need to plan in advance where you need sockets. Floor sockets are a good idea and they prevent unsightly and unsafe leads trailing everywhere. The colour and types of surface in a room will affect how light is reflected. Light and highly polished floors and furniture will reflect a lot of light back, but a dark and matt surface will absorb most of the light. For this reason, a room with dark, matt furnishings and dark carpet will need extra light to compensate for this, whereas a room full of light reflective surfaces does not require as much light.
Home lighting comes in a wide variety of options, each offering a different attribute. Tungsten lights give a warm glow; halogen lights are white and crisp and give you the closest thing to natural light. They show up true colours, so are perfect for close up work. Low voltage halogen lights are warmer. Fluorescent lights are whiter than tungsten, but not as sharp as halogen. Be aware that fluorescent lights deteriorate from day one, so try to source fluorescent tubes with a high phosphorous content to counteract this. LED lighting has improved dramatically in recent years and is capable of producing equivalent levels of light as other light sources. They are excellent options for feature and guide lighting.
Clever use of lighting can alter the way a room looks. Tricks of the eye with lighting can make a small room appear larger by using wall washers and up lighters to reflect light onto the ceiling and walls. A small room can be enhanced by lighting all four corners and a room can appear longer by using panels of light at one end. This draws the eye along towards the light, making the room seem longer. A room can be made to appear taller by using vertical beams and hanging pendant lights quite low. A flexible approach to lighting will allow you to create many different moods. However, if you are going to have multiple light sources in one room, make sure you can control each separately and try to install dimmer switches where possible to give you even more control over the brightness of a room.