Monday, August 1, 2011

Spotlight on Lighting

In the dark about your interior design project?
Lighten up!

Libby Langdon, author of Small Space Solutions, says, "Not lighting your space effectively makes it look smaller. If you can't see an area in your room it's as if it's not there! Capitalizing on natural light and bringing in artificial light is imperative."

There are four main types of lighting.
  1. Ambient: The room’s overall splash of light—sunshine, overhead fixtures, chandeliers, floor lamps.
  2. Task: A desk lamp, an under cabinet light, swing arm lamp for reading.
  3. Accent: Lighting that draws the eye to architectural or decorative aspects of a room. Track or recessed lighting, lamps over artwork.
  4. Mood: Dimmer switch, flickering candles.

Layer these types of illumination in a room for phenomenal effect.

Figure every room needs an average of 200 watts for every 50 square feet. The older you are, the more wattage you need to be comfortable. As we age our pupils have less flexibility and demand greater brightness—an average 50-year-old gets as much light from a 100-watt bulb as a 20-year-old gets from a 50-watt bulb!

A small living room could include four table lamps or a triangle combination of floor and table lamps to form plenty of welcoming pools of illumination. The bottom edge of the lamp shade should be at eye level of the person seated near it. If you want a standing lamp to function for reading, stand it behind the chair. Large lampshades create the appearance of greater space and more height. No more wimpy lamps!

Mirrors are great accessories. Angle one with a window, or behind a lamp to double your light source and brighten dark corners. Put a mirror on top of an armoire, bookcase, or above kitchen cabinets to reflect the light from ceiling fixtures. Dazzle everyone!

I can hardly wait to switch on the lights in my new house!
Do you have any brilliant (budget-friendly) ideas?

At home, think big thoughts, but relish small pleasures.


Grandma Cebe said...

Good lighting in the kitchen is a must. If there aren't under cabinet lights in your new home, you can get fairly inexpensive ones at Lowes or Home Depot. Lowes and Home Depot also have a nice selection of floor/table lamps at prices that won't break the budget. Have fun shopping for lamps and such.

Diane said...

After living in Seattle for 22 years, I revel in the natural light here in Utah. It's so true that I need more light now that I'm older.

Paint color also makes a difference in how light a room feels.

Grandma Shelley said...

I had so much fun picking out all of the natural lighting (my windows) and lighting fixture options for our new custom home. I was able to pick just how I wanted it from the very beginning while drawing up the house plans.

We had a total of 88 lighting fixtures before lamps. 17 of those were exterior lights. To that we have added 25 landscaping lights to our front yard.

I love having my lighting options. My kitchen alone has eight light switches!

I also had special outlets with handy switches put in on the exterior and interior (above cabinets and on plant shelves for Christmas lighting options.)

So when is the new house going to be done? Have fun!