Home lighting can greatly enhance the ambience of your surroundings. It is not only cinematographers and lighting designers who can use lighting to enhance a room. You too can enhance your environment by using the same tricks that these professionals do to make a room look more dramatic, cozy or romantic.
If you are after a dramatic look then the key is to choose lamps that have light bulbs with a high strong beam and that can be directly focused to highlight only certain objects. Drama is created using light through contrasts so the idea is to not have too much ambient or “stray” light. The best type of lighting to create dramatic effects is created with halogen bulbs. You can find all kinds of styles of halogen lighting online or in stores but the most versatile style will resemble an octopus with bulbs at the end of the arm. Usually these are made of bendable metal so you can angle three or more of the light sources wherever you want in the room. To create a dramatic effect, try aiming these bulbs so that they specifically highlight a display of flowers in a vase, a valued piece of freestanding art or a favorite photograph on the wall.
Another example of a very dramatic lamp is the style from the seventies that features a long wire arm that extends like a fishing pole with a globe shaped glass lampshade on the end. This is the ultimate in seventies retro right now and very much in fashion if you want to make a strong statement.
To create a cozier look you want to choose lighting that is smaller and that has large shades crouched over the bulb. This means choosing a more traditional lamp with a stem and that has a glass or paper shade. It is nice to place these types of lamps near an armchair where people spend a time reading or on top of a high piece of furniture such as a piano so that an ambient, soft glow is cast over the entire room.
Choosing lamps that have yellow or cream shades also helps add to create this cozy effect. Another good choice is a lamp with a Tiffany shade, which has colored panes of glass that spread a soft warm glow.
Creating a romantic effect with lighting can be a bit more complicated depending on what type of effect you desire. Most people want this type of lighting to be quite dim so freestanding wire lamps that are covered completely with round or cubic shaped Japanese rice paper shades can create the effect that the “lights are turned down low”. The odd glowing shapes that this style of lamp have are most commonly available at Ikea and Japanese shops.
You can also buy lamps that have bulbs shaped like candlesticks that are on dimmers and that can be adjusted to the quality of light that best suits you. Lamp shades that cast a pink or rose light are said to be the most flattering to skintone.
Another rule of thumb is that the broader or more conical the lamp shade shape is, the softer and dimmer the light emanating from it will be.
Lamps and lighting can have a huge impact on the mood of your room so make sure you plan how you are going to utilise light fixtures in your home.
Lauren Tyler is a writer for LampLightWorld.com .