When building a new home, renovating, or updating the look of a room, you may spend hours choosing the perfect wall, floor and window coverings and yet overlook the powerful impact lighting may have on the design of your room.
'The lighting you choose should be considered for its functionality'The lighting you choose should be considered for its functionality, its ability to enhance the mood you wish to create in the space and highlight specific features or statement furniture. It’s also important to think about what you’ll be doing in the room and how the lighting will be used.
Here are the primary functions of lighting to consider when shopping for your space:
1. Ambient lighting:
Also known as general lighting, it provides an area with overall illumination. It’s either the natural light from your windows, or the lighting that substitutes for natural light, radiating a comfortable level of brightness that allows you to move safely from one space to another. As the main source of light it will include chandeliers, ceiling or wall-mounted fixtures, and recessed or track lights.
2. Task lighting:
This is supplementary to general lighting and allows for more specialised tasks such as reading or food preparation and cooking in the kitchen. Task lighting works best when used in conjunction with general lighting. Examples include desk lamps, under-cabinet lighting such as fluorescents or LEDs and reading lights over a bed.
3. Accent lighting:
Provides drama and interest to the room. It’s used to draw the eye to specific areas or textures. In order to achieve this you need at least three times as much light as you’d use for general lighting. Examples of this type of lighting include recessed, spot and track lighting, as well as wall scones or picture lights.
4. Kinetic lighting:
Lighting that’s "moving". Examples are a burning candle or a lit fireplace. This type of lighting adds ambience and warmth to a space. There are endless options when it comes to displaying candles, from tea-light candles in jars and hanging glass balls to wooden table holders.
So remember to keep the functions of lighting in mind before making your final selections. Try to create a “layering” effect with the various lighting alternatives available. With all the options you might find the process overwhelming and confusing. If in doubt seek the help of a lighting expert.
-Renée de Waal (interiorcreators.com)
*Interior Creators offers specialised online interior design services for homes as well as office/retail space, promoting and fulfilling the “do-it-yourself” and “buy-it-yourself” trend. Interior Creators also provides access to products and service providers to allow clients to fulfil their design needs, in terms of finishes as well as furniture, both new and refurbished.