What is it that makes a particular house what it is, that provides it with a personality, that makes it a home? Some would say it’s the framing. After all, without a stout frame, no house can stand up to nature’s assault.
Others would say it’s the architectural style since that is what people see first. While still others will say it’s the little things: the wallpaper, drapery, throw rugs, artwork, photos, antique hutch and crown mouldings all working together.
The Many Ways Lighting Design Creates a Home
With all due respect to those fine suggestions, however, we believe it’s the lighting design that turns a house into a home and gives that home its distinctive character.
Why is Lighting So Important?
Even if great care went into the selection of colours, fabrics, furniture and paint colours if the light doesn’t work to enhance those things, or actively clashes with them, they won’t be able to fulfill their intended role within the decor. Good lighting design is dependent on the following:
Proper Colour Management
The type of light bulbs you use can drastically alter the colours in a room. You may have chosen a particular colour to achieve a particular effect but if you choose the wrong light the effect you want will be nullified.
To make sure you get the colour effect you’re after keeping the area you are painting illuminated with the type of bulb you plan to use. If it’s not going to work you’ll see pretty quickly and you can either adjust the paint colour to work with the light or find a different light that will work with the paint colour.
Well Considered Directional Lighting
Artificial light has one of two purposes within a space: either it works to help illuminate the entire room or it’s employed to highlight specific decor elements such as artwork, furniture or tables. If you ignore this type of accent lighting the room will feel flat and uninspiring.
Even your expensive art objects won’t carry the weight they should because they’ll just blend into the rest of the decor. Always make sure your rooms have well considered directional lighting.
No Superfluous Lights
Every light in a given room should serve a purpose. If it doesn’t it’s just a waste of electricity and will also undermine the aesthetic objectives of your decor. Chandeliers often look impressive but if they serve no actual function they just look strange.
If you’re going to use pot lights they too need to serve a function. Simply illuminating the room with 2 dozen pot lights isn’t lighting design, it’s overkill. If you’re going to use them make sure each one has a purpose, such as generating an illusion of space or creating a focal point.
Know Your Light Bulbs
Before you get into the specifics of designing a lighting scheme you need to know the different types of bulbs, what they do and how they’re typically employed.
Incandescent bulbs are a fast-dying breed but they can still be found if you look hard enough. Incandescents are the lights most of us grew up with and as such that warm, yellowish glow has enormous emotional potential. It can also drastically change the colours around it so employ them wisely.
Standard fluorescent bulbs have no place in home decor unless you want your home to have the emotional resonance of a prison cafeteria.
Compact Fluorescents (CFLs) are designed to take the place of the outgoing incandescent bulb and typically do a good job of mimicking the warm tones of the incandescent. As such you should consider them anywhere you might have considered an incandescent.
LEDs are the way of the future. Except they’re here now. They are extremely long lasting, use virtually no energy, produce a clean, glare-free light and are available in a wide range of colours, configurations and intensities. No contemporary lighting scheme should be without them.
The lighting design you settle on will go a long way toward determining the look and feel of your home. It’s not something that should ever be left to chance or poorly thought out. Make sure you seek the help of a qualified Toronto ElectricianHotwire Electrician before settling on a lighting scheme for your home.