Good lighting is essential in a home. The way a room is lit determines not only how the space will be used, but also how it will make you feel. You will feel more comfortable and at ease in a well-lit room. From the entryway to the bedrooms, lighting needs will be different in every space.
Effective lighting creates a warm and inviting atmosphere in your home and keeps you safe. The quality of lighting in your environment can influence task performance, comfort, and well-being.
Light also has an emotional impact, much like a sunny day makes you energetic and a cloudy day makes you feel dull and dreary. Bring your sun inside and brighten your day.
Let’s start with these basics
General lighting is background or overall lighting, often provided by recessed lighting. We typically calculate the amount of light needed in a room by multiplying the room’s length by the room’s width – in feet. Then that number is again multiplied by 1.5. We find that this gives us the number of watts required to provide adequate ambient lighting for my client’s room.
Task lighting is the light needed to do a specific job, usually provided by table lamps, pendant lights, or under-cabinet lights. A good rule of thumb for task lighting is to multiply the room’s square footage by 2.5 instead of 1.5 to find the proper wattage.
Accent lighting provides focus and shape to general lighting. It also can be used to gently brighten a dark and dreary space like a hallway. Wall sconces and spotlights can be a source of accent lighting. Place wall sconces 6 to 8 feet apart and 60 inches above the floor.
Let’s add some jewelry
Lighting is the jewelry that gives a room attitude. It can add interest and drama, it can highlight, it can contribute to the ambiance of a space.
Above, a large white and gold leaf petal chandelier brightens the space, along with gold end tables and gold leaf sconces flanking the wine cabinet. A glass table lamp adds functional lighting and beauty to the room. This room is actually a space in a remodeled basement.
The crown jewel in the room above is the extra-large chrome and white “sputnik” style chandelier. The client wanted a very clean, white, contemporary feeling so even the LED lighting needed to be daylight bulbs instead of soft white. This beautiful chandelier also shows how lighting can be art.
Don’t be afraid to be bold. Making a statement with this room was key for this client since it’s one of the first things you see from the entry. This contemporary chandelier adds beauty and drama to this wonderfully unexpected dining area.
The single best tip to ensure a successful lighting plan is to work with an interior design professional. That way all the decisions you make the first time will be the right decisions for your home and your room.
See how you can lighten the mood!