The interior lighting of any home space contributes hugely to the atmosphere within that space and therefore to your mood whilst you inhabit that space. Every area of your living space needs a mixture of lighting styles, different ones for task lighting, background lighting and ambient lighting. Every room that has a theme applied to it or a particular task performed in it will need as much thought put into the lighting of the room as goes into the décor, furniture and appliances within that room.
The traditional lighting of a room, a pendant and bulb from the ceiling and a wall switch is fast becoming a thing of the past. Whilst wall switches still remain in the majority of rooms many have been replaced by a dimmer switch, automatic movement sensing switch, or daylight detection systems that turn lights on automatically as dusk approaches.
Thought for the environment has also influenced many people to replace their old tungsten light bulb for a modern mini fluorescent that consumes approximately 15% of the energy for the same light output.
Halogen lighting is on the increase. Popular in kitchens and offices where more directional light is required it can also be used to highlight a painting or sculpture. It gives a brighter, crisper light than the traditional tungsten light bulb and highlights features far more clearly.
When completing the design for a room it may be beneficial to include some form of lighting display. Not complex pyrotechnics but a simple fibre optic lamp or a tried and trusted favourite such as a lava lamp, now found far more commonly as they make a come back into fashion after their hey-day in the 1960’s. Not to everyone’s taste but the lighting of an aquarium can make an interesting talking point within a room where social gatherings are held. It provides for the practical needs of the inhabitants of the aquarium whilst also providing a focal point for the room. It is also a starting point for conversation and provides ambient light within the room. There is the proven relational benefit of unwinding in front of a suitably lit aquarium.
Never forget that natural light is the most precious form of light that comes into your house. It can be enhanced using glass ornaments and reflected around using mirrors. The coverings that you use at your windows can affect the amount of natural light that is available. Blinds can help protect from direct sunlight but still reflect light into a room whilst curtains should be tied back away from windows to allow as much light as possible to enter the room.
A more traditional form of lighting is the candle. It can be used on special occasions over a romantic meal to complete the atmosphere in a room or a scented candle can be used to disguise unwelcome odours from pets, smokers and other sources. Some older antique lighting fixtures can be given a new lease of life by having them converted to use candle effect bulbs that appear to flicker in the same way that the original candles would have but do not bring with them the problem of lighting many candles and replacing them on a regular basis.
However you decide to light your home ensure that you plan it out properly before you do it and always use a competent person when carrying out alterations to lighting and electricity supply.
Karen Hughes is an interior decor consultant, get further lighting ideas at Lighting Capital this is your first stop for information about lighting.