Whether you’re having a romantic moment, a party or just need to see in a dark room, light and ambiance means a lot to any room. A romantic setting, for example, may require dimmer lighting, perhaps provided by candle light or dimmers, and a party may require bright colors and lots of bright light.
Knowing the different kinds of lighting can influence the vibe and tone of the whole room you’re trying to light.
Natural light tends to be the most inviting forms of light for any room. The best part is it’s from the sun, which means you’re not spending resources on electricity when you have natural light seeping into your home.
Natural light can also vary depending on where you live, the weather, and the time of day. A combination of task lighting and natural light is ideal for any workplace.
There are several ways you can maximize the amount of natural light in your home or office, both small and drastic:
- Hang mirrors opposite the windows so that more light bounces off the walls
- Use gauzy, transparent or translucent window dressings to help diffuse light. Use blinds to shut out harsh light.
- Make use of light-reflective surfaces, such as glass, pale carpets and bright furnishings.
- Enlarge windows by dropping the sills and removing the chunk of wall below. This way, it won’t change the structural integrity of the wall.
- If you have any flanking walls that are blank and unused, add a window to it.
- Build in a sky light or roof light.
Also called background lighting, this kind of lighting is generally used during the daytime. The source usually comes from a central pendant light.
Used alone, ambient light could create a bland effect, but combined with other forms of light can turn your room lighting into something dynamic. Walls light, ceiling-mounted globes and standard lamps such as the Tiffany lamp are all typical sources of ambient light.
Accent lighting is all about giving your room highlights of light in certain spots. Accent lighting is ideal for rounding out your room’s lighting scheme, lending texture, shape and focus to the room. It also adds a lighting dynamic, as accent lighting can create shadowy corners with pools of light in other areas.
Accent lighting can be formed by downlighters, uplighters, recessed or halogen spotlights, and table lamps. Accent lighting is typically used when you want to highlight certain aspects of the room, such as a bookcase, artwork, plants or decoration.
Task lighting is often aptly called desk lighting, as it is used for specific work, such as reading, writing, computer work, or any task that requires focus and light at your desk.
Desk lamps and Tiffany style table lamps are examples of task lighting.
Be sure to place task lights opposite your writing hand, as to avert any shadows caused by your hands. Also, using a too-strong light can cause uncomfortable glare from other surfaces, so be sure it’s a warm, soft light from halogen, tungsten, or fluorescent bulbs.
These tips should get you started on what kinds of light to include in your home or office.
Staff Writer: Carolyn Johnson