Nothing is more important for creating atmosphere, or for efficiency than good lighting. What is more, home lighting needs to be flexible, having the capability to be changed or adjusted for various needs.
Light levels that work well for daily activities such as cooking and cleaning, may be too bright for relaxing or for a romantic dinner. Computer screens and televisions require a light placement that will not create a glare the screen.
Stair wells, closets and cupboards need to be lit so that users can correctly place their feet or locate items. Various types of work may require specialty lighting. And, of course, there is also using accent lights as part of interior or exterior decorating.
When planning to install home lighting, it is advisable to first consider the various types of lighting that is available. Here are a few of them:-
- Direct: Usually created by a strong light placed in the ceiling or in a location that will illuminate a specific area. There is nothing subtle about direct lighting. It is strong, bright, and efficient.
- Indirect: Indirect lighting may be placed behind a screen or above a ledge. It adequately illuminates an area, but is usually a softer light. This type of lighting may be used to create a more relaxed or restful atmosphere.
- Accent: These may be pretty lights that incorporate coloured glass or plastic shades, string lights, neon lights or even seasonal decorations. The lumen output from these lights is usually lower than that of standard lights. Accent lights can also be used to draw attention to special features, such as a photograph wall or a unique plant. Swag lamps and chandeliers could also be considered to fall into this category.
- Incandescent: Once the most common of household electrical light bulbs, incandescent lighting has fallen somewhat out of fashion. Although the bulbs are still available, and are needed for some fixtures, the curly energy-saver bulbs have largely replaced this household standard. Incandescent light bulbs are a filament that is encased in a vacuum tube.
- Florescent: Old style florescent lights came in long tubes and required a ballast. They had a tendency to hum, and to flicker. Fortunately, the little energy-saver bulbs do not share these problems. Although they are a florescent light, they do not require a ballast, thus eliminating the annoying flicker and hum. They tend to last a good long while, and use less energy than an incandescent bulb.
- Natural Light or White: The type of light emitted by a light bulb is also important. White light is good for discerning colours or doing detail work, but lighting that is more closely related to natural light is often more pleasant over a long time frame.
- Ceiling Fixtures: The most common placement for general lighting is a fixture in the middle of the ceiling. Although this does a good job of illuminating a room, it is not necessarily the best placement for all purposes. Corner lighting may do a better job, in some cases.
- Floor Lamps: This is a type of lamp that can be easily moved about a room. These are most commonly a central pipe that is held erect by a weighted stand. A floor lamp can be used to brighten up a dim corner or placed beside a favourite chair.
- Table Lamps: Just as the name indicates, a table lamp is a light that can be placed on a table. They come in a wide range of colours and styles. Like the floor lamp, they can be used to brighten up a dim corner or as a light for reading or doing hand work. They also are useful beside a bed so that the owner can turn off the light after retiring.
- Desk Lamps, Work Lights and specialty lamps: A goose-neck lamp on a desk has almost become a cliché. There’s a reason for that. A lamp with a flexible neck allows the user to position the light to “just right” over ledgers or hand written items. Work benches and art tables sometimes have a light built into the table. Readers, especially those who love to read in bed, may go so far as to have a little battery operated light that can shine directly on their book.
Whatever type of home lighting you choose, good lighting reduces eye-strain, prevents headaches and can even alleviate some types of depression. Most homes benefit from a flexible mixture of types of lighting fixtures, enabling users to select the light level and location for their activity of the moment.
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