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Often the home lighting design is the very last thing people consider when designing a room. Lighting is a very important part of home design and should be considered as integral as spatial planning and decoration design. You could have a stunningly decorated space, but if it isn’t correctly lit, all of that beauty, ambience and energy will be lost.
Home lighting design is an incredibly broad topic; from colour temperature, lumens and glare control to ambience, mood and aesthetic. Whilst lighting is a complex subject, with careful planning it isn’t difficult to achieve a very successful home lighting design in your home. For now, we will concentrate on the types and functions of lighting in a space. This will enable you to contemplate how you will use your space and what ‘Task’ lighting you will need. It will look at the focal points that you have in a space and what ‘directional’ lighting you will need. Finally it will establish the overall ‘Ambient’ lighting that you need for general illumination.
Where the space allows, all three types of lighting should be used in a room to create the correct level of function, ambience and illumination.
This type of lighting is quite self explanatory; it is the light that is required to help you perform a specific task. That could be cooking, working on homework, reading, playing games, applying your make-up etc. Task lighting can be provided by any source; pendant lights, under cupboard strip lighting, LED, table lamps, floor lamps, track lighting, recessed lighting.
The key consideration is that you choose a lighting source that will helps you perform the tasks you undertake in any given space. If you like to read your book in bed at night but only have a central pendant light fitting, you will be missing an opportunity to wind down with softer more focused lighting (such as a table lamp or reading light) that will help you see the pages without waking you (and your partner!) back up. Task lighting is generally glare free and bright enough to prevent eye strain.
This type of lighting is how you add the visual interest and drama to a room. It is the lighting you use to accentuate a sculpture or painting. It is the lighting that will draw your eye to a certain area or item, it can be used to show the texture of a wall, highlight a window treatment or any other element that you wish to showcase.
Directional lighting generally needs to be around three times more intense than the general illumination of the space, to provide the necessary effect and contrast. Fittings that can be used are wall lights, recessed lights, track lights and so on.
This refers to the general illumination of the space. The lighting that you need to see and walk around safely and effectively. The ambient lighting of a space can be accomplished by chandeliers, ceiling pendants, wall mounted light fittings, track lights, recess fittings. A source of ambient lighting is essential to a good lighting plan.
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