Home Design Guide – Lighting

Successful lighting schemes are based on a balance between natural and artificial light, together with the interaction of function and design.

The choice of light fittings available is immense, so much so that the sheer volume of types and styles may prove quite daunting. A good starting point when making a decision is to consider the function the light needs to perform. Is it going to be used to provide background lighting, to create a mood, or is it intended for a more practical purpose, for example, to light a work area in the kitchen.

Generally, lighting can be divided into three main categories: background lighting, such as table lamps, up lighters, and wall and ceiling lights; accent lighting or lights which create a sense of atmosphere and may also illuminate something unusual, interesting or valuable in a room, such as a special picture or piece of attractive porcelain; finally, there is utility lighting, where practical considerations are paramount.

These various lighting functions demand different light fittings. Gentle diffuse light may be excellent as background lighting, but is useless or even dangerous, where food is being prepared and what is needed is a bright light directed at a specific area.

Besides the fitting making a difference to the quality of light, the light source should also be considered carefully. The various light sources commonly used in homes include fluorescent, tungsten halogen, and tungsten. Of these the latter is the most commonly used.

Tungsten bulbs have the advantage of being widely available, cheap and of throwing a rather pleasant, warm, yellow light. There are also various tinted bulbs available, although in general it is better to use lampshades to get different effects rather than varying the color of the bulb. Another advantage of tungsten bulbs is that the light they throw will not have a detrimental effect on other colors in a room, such as the walls, flooring or furnishing fabrics.

Halogen bulbs are more expensive than tungsten bulbs, although they should last longer. They throw a much brighter, white light, which has a rather pleasant crispness about it and which will not interfere with other colors. They are particularly effective when used en masse and in a modern setting, for example dotted around a kitchen ceiling.

Fluorescent bulbs have improved a great deal over the past few years and do not have such of an institutional feel about them any more. While old-style fluorescent tubes had an unpleasant effect on surrounding colors, the newer daylight-simulation types throw a much more sympathetic light. There are also removable covers available which help create a more dramatic effect.

The style of light fitting you choose will depend on the overall look of your room. There are so many different ranges on offer, from Art Nouveau to minimalist modern, that everyone can find one to suit their needs. Do not be afraid to mix and match – often a minimalist contemporary style will look quite spectacular in an otherwise period room, lifting it from being a traditional style to a vibrant living space.

You would also like to know how to replace light switches and to conserve energy, how to maximize the use of daylight. Please use safety measures when working with lighting system of house because it could be dangerous.

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