Lighting is an essential element when it comes to designing and creating a welcoming, cozy, and comforting space. The right interior lighting can completely transform a room’s vibe by adding warmth, soothing ambiance, and plenty of practical functionality.
Whether you're embarking on an extensive home renovation project or simply looking to refresh your humble abode, this comprehensive guide will provide you with the right amount of knowledge and inspiration – just enough to make informed choices regarding interior lighting!
In Part 1 of this guide, we will explore lighting basics and various lighting fixtures, helping you understand the fundamentals of interior lighting. So, strap on and shine on!
Understanding Lighting Basics
Lighting serves three main purposes: ambiance, functionality, and accenting. Understanding and differentiating all three purposes is key to achieving a balanced and seamless vibe with your interior lights.
Ambient lighting provides overall illumination, ensuring the room is well-lit and comfortable to move around in. The main idea here is that you want a welcoming atmosphere instead of a tense one that can subconsciously restrict you or your guests. After all, who would want to trip in the dark accidentally?
Meanwhile, functionality-based “task lighting” is focused on specific activities, such as reading, cooking, or working. On the opposite end, accent lighting highlights certain features or objects in a room, adding visual interest and creating a focal point. As such, it’s purely “cosmetic,” so to say.
Light Bulb Types
Additionally, you should consider familiarizing yourself with the vast selection of different light bulb types – from incandescent to LED!
Incandescent bulbs emit warm light (similar to traditional candlelight) but are less energy-efficient. And, while affordable, these bulbs have a relatively shorter lifespan, which is definitely worth keeping in mind.
Then there are halogen bulbs, which produce bright, white light and are commonly used in task lighting due to focused and directional light output. Halogen bulbs are, unfortunately, not as energy-efficient as fluorescent bulbs, which use about 75% less energy than incandescent bulbs for the same amount of light output, and even come in various color temperatures.
Finally, we have the king of bulbs – LED. These bulbs are versatile, long-lasting, and available in a wide range of color temperatures. The downside? Well, pricing. Moreover, they emit way more blue light than the other types.
There’s plenty to go around when it comes down to fixtures, such as chandeliers, pendant lights, flush-mount fixtures, and recessed lighting.
For starters, the classic chandelier option adds elegance and makes a statement, perfect for dining areas or entryways, while pendant lights come in a wider variety of styles and can be used as a single fixture or grouped together to create a visually appealing arrangement.
But what about the other two, you ask? Well, flush-mount fixtures are suitable for rooms with lower ceilings, providing a sleek and streamlined look that’s typical of modernized households. Similarly, recessed lighting can offer a clean and minimalist aesthetic, and is ideal for providing ambient lighting throughout the room.
Wall sconces! What are they? Well, they don’t have anything to do with deliciously sweet dairy-based products. Rather, they are versatile fixtures that can add a delicate, subtle touch of elegance and create a pleasant ambient glow. They are often used to frame a mirror in the bathroom, illuminate hallways, or provide soft lighting in bedrooms. Consider the style, size, and placement of wall sconces to ensure they complement your overall design and provide the desired level of illumination.
Table and Floor Lamps
These portable fixtures not only provide functional lighting but also contribute to the aesthetics of a given space. Table lamps are the most common example, and can be placed on bedside tables, desks, or console tables to offer task lighting and add a decorative element.
Meanwhile, floor lamps can be used to illuminate reading nooks, specific corners of a room, or to provide ambient lighting. Consider factors like lampshade style, height, and the lamp's purpose in each room to achieve the desired effect.
If you’re thirsty for more illumination-based guidance, feel free to join us in part 2 of our home lighting deep dive!