Lighting is one of the most important elements of interior design. Good lighting doesn’t just make your home look nice, it also makes you feel safer, promotes feelings of wellbeing, and allows you to perform day-to-day tasks such as cooking, reading, or writing more easily.
The lighting you should choose for each room in your home will depend on the size of the room and what it is used for. Here’s a quick look at the range of lighting choices that are available to you.
The Living Room
Ideally, you should lay out your living room to take advantage of as much natural light as possible, so that it requires minimal lighting during the day. Most living rooms are multi-purpose rooms, where people spend time relaxing, watching TV, working, and practicing their favourite crafts or hobbies.
The multi-purpose nature of this room means that you need a good variety of lighting options. A central chandelier is a good starting point, and a nice form of decorative lighting, however extra lighting is needed to ensure that everyone in the room can see clearly, and that there are no ugly dark corners in the room.
Use multiple light sources, and choose the strength and type of each light carefully. Central lights should have a high lumens value (meaning that they glow brightly), while decorative lighting in the corners of the room can be softer and dimmer. In most cases, energy saving light bulbs are a good choice for the living room. If you suffer from migraines, however, then you may want to use halogen instead of CFL based bulbs.
Halls and Stairways
Halls and stairways aren’t places that people tend to spend a lot of time in, but that doesn’t mean that you can skimp on lighting in them. For safety, you should make sure that your stairways are well-lit.
A single pendant light will provide adequate lighting for a small porch, but stairwells require more than one light source. Place lighting fixtures eight feet apart. Consider matching the design of these light fixtures to the chandelier in your hallway for a stylish look.
Lighting in the kitchen must be both functional and decorative. Opt for fluorescent under-cabinet lighting to minimise shadows in your work area. Add strong recessed ceiling lights around the walls, and pay particular attention to the amount and quality of light near your sink, oven, and anywhere else where you will be doing a lot of work.
Choose light that is glows brightly and is as close to the colour of daylight as possible (such as a halogen light) so that you can see clearly while preparing food.
Opt for multiple lighting sources in the bedroom. Consider a single pendulum light in the centre of the room, lamps with dimmer switches on either side of the bed, subtle down lighting near your dressing table, and lights around your wardrobe and mirror.
The bedroom is the only room where having an absence of light is a good thing. Use heavy curtains or blinds to block out light from outside, and make sure that the light sources you introduce into the room are not overly harsh.
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