Lighting For The Home

January 30, 2014
Lighting For The Home

Every room in your home needs to be carefully considered when it comes to lighting. Lighting plays a major impact on the functionality of a space and the atmosphere within that space. Depending on what room in your home you need lighting for, will depend upon the mood you want to create and in turn the lighting options you ultimately choose from.

Direct or Task Lighting

Direct or task lighting is applied in areas of the home where specific household tasks such as cooking are carried out.

Ambient or Indirect Lighting

Think of ambient and indirect lighting as the overall lighting of a room, where no specific tasks are required. Every room in the house either requires direct or task lighting, ambient or indirect lighting or a combination of the two.

Entrance Foyer and Hall Lighting

The entrance foyer is the first impression your guests have of your home’s interior so, not only do you want the space to be inviting, it also needs to be functional to allow ease of entering. Keep in mind natural lighting as well as powered lighting – the difference a solid front door versus a front door with window panels can make is vast. Furthermore, a hallway serves a specific purpose of getting you from one room to another and therefore needs to be functional. Hallways generally speaking are not exposed to a great deal of natural light so when selecting your lighting type, be mindful not to flood the space with too much lighting as this can then become sterile.

Kitchen Lighting

It’s imperative to have adequate direct and task lighting in the kitchen as if this is not addressed efficiently, it can result in a safety hazard given the daily tasks that are carried out in the kitchen. Consider your kitchen design and your primary working stations when planning your lights. For example, direct lighting will be required at the cooking, preparation and serving areas. Be mindful of where you stand in all these areas as you will need to avoid casting shadows on the space. Also keep in mind natural light – sky lights can be a fantastic addition to a kitchen.

Bathroom Lighting

Many bathrooms can result in being overly lit and in turn; can feel quite cold and clinical. Ideally, a bathroom would have plenty of natural light during the daytime and at night, have terrific task lighting. Be mindful of the reflective surfaces found in the bathroom, such as glass and mirror, as this will affect the way your room is illuminated. The bathroom mirror should be adequately lit so that your face is not cast in shadow as this will make grooming challenging. Generally speaking, a light on each side of the mirror will help ease this problem. Also be attentive to bathroom lighting over a shower as this will need to be waterproofed.

Bedroom Lighting

The bedroom, typically, should not be an overly complicated space to light. A couple of bedside lamps or pendants to assist with reading, and a few fixed light fittings with low voltage globes, should be sufficient. When selecting your bedside lamps, keep in mind the height of your bed and bedside tables and the size and material that your lamp shade is made of. The last thing you want is to be lying in bed and not having adequate lighting, be it too bright or to dull, to read your pages. If your bedroom is also used for study, working at a desk or perhaps even watching television then further direct and task lighting would be recommended.

Living and Dining Room Lighting

The living room, in most cases, is usually the largest room in the home and a place where lots of different activities can take place. As such, a combination of direct and task lighting along with ambient and indirect lighting would be preferable. When planning your lighting design for the living room, take into consideration the amount of natural light streaming through windows and skylights and referred light, light whose primary source is from other adjoining rooms or hallways in the home. Directional and task lighting is advised above the dining room table however, if using pendant lights be aware of how far they fall as you don’t want them blocking line of sight over the dinner table. Another suggestion for the living and dining room lighting design is the installation of a dimmer switch which allows for ease of adjusting the ambience of the room.

Decorative Lighting

Decorative lighting is a fantastic lighting solution if you’re looking to highlight beautiful decorative objects, artwork on the walls or shelving. There are specific functional and stylish picture spotlights, coloured lights and similar task lighting available that will help create that visual impact your wanting to achieve.