Light It Up! Home Lighting 101
Light has a powerful influence over the way your home feels to you and how others perceive your space. It can affect how you use different areas, too. If you’re looking for a quick and relatively inexpensive way to give your home an attitude overhaul, consider a change in lighting. There are tons of fixture options available to help you create the exact look you’re going for without having to make any major changes.
So, how will you light up your life?
The First Order of Business: Choose a Theme
Before you buy anything lighting-related, have a plan. You can play it safe and select standard fixtures, all in polished nickel, or you can be bold and choose fixtures that may fall out of fashion, like shiny brass Sputnik chandeliers. As long as you’re consistent, it’ll be ok in the end.Decide what color your fixtures will be, and, really, what the overall feel you're aiming to create.
The Light Layering Two-Step
In most modern homes, you walk into a room and you’re greeted by one weak light coming from the center of the ceiling. This infirm little bulb is trying very hard to pull the weight of several light fixtures and lamps that should be in the room. One sluggish fixture needs a team to back it up! One light bulb simply isn’t enough; that’s why most interior design experts recommend light layering.
There are three main components to light layering. Your space may not need them all, so feel free to toss out what doesn’t work:
Ambient lighting. This sort of lighting is what that tiny light in the center of the room is trying to be. Ideally, ambient lighting provides a comfortable level of brightness for the entire room. At minimum, you’ll want a multi-bulb central fixture, be that a chandelier or ceiling fan, but some people also incorporate recessed lighting or track lights as well.
Task lighting. You’ll see a lot of task lighting in well-lit kitchens and other work spaces. That under cabinet lighting you were admiring at the home improvement store is a good example of task lighting. It can be any sort of light that’s placed in such a way to make performing a task easier. Just make sure that when you place said task lighting, it doesn’t increase the shadow or create glare.
Accent lighting. Does your house have some really cool stuff in it? Well, this is where you can use lighting to really point it out. You can use accent lighting to highlight artwork, draw the eye to interesting architectural features or simply influence where visitors look around the room. To be most effective, accent lighting should shine three times brighter on the focal point than the general room light.
Small Changes, But High Praise
Simply making small lighting changes can completely change the way your home looks, from top to bottom. Your paint may even be a slightly different shade when it’s all said and done! So many homeowners don’t take advantage of this one simple investment that can give their home such a big boost.