Lighting Up Your Space
by H. Iacobacci-Miller
One aspect of decorating that many people may not think about is
lighting design. We might add in our table lamps and call it a day,
but lighting design is much more than a couple of decorative table
lamps. So, before you run out and buy the first lamp or fixture
you like, think about how it will function in your space.
Lighting design incorporates 3 types of lighting to create a welcoming
and functional space with dramatic style and interest.
The 3 Basic Types of Lighting Are:
or General Lighting: General lighting is the all-purpose typeof
lighting that creates a comfortable, safe environment.
Task Lighting: When you think of task lighting, think of
the type of lighting that focuses on a certain spot that makes working
much easier, like under-cabinet lights in your kitchen. This type
of lighting is essential for kitchens, home offices, reading and
Accent Lighting: Accent lighting is used to highlight certain
features or aspects of your home to include artwork, niches, built
in bookshelves or simply to create a sense of drama. Accent lighting
is not designed for room illumination so it should be used in conjunction
with both General and Task lighting for balance. There are several
forms of accent lighting that can be used to create mood and style.
Lighting: Lighting that evokes movement such as the soft flicker
of candles or the romance of a lit fireplace. Kinetic Lighting
can also be lighting that comes from lava lamps or mirrored balls
Indirect or Up Lighting: This type of lighting is similar
to general lighting and uses fixtures to throw the light onto
ceilings or upper portions of the walls. This is a great way to
reduce glare in your home office or living room.
Wall Washing: This type of lighting design highlights
a vertical surface. Think of the recessed lights that throw a
single beam of light downward to highlight a piece of artwork
or flank a fireplace. The light can be placed on the floor directed
upward as well.
Once you understand the types of lighting, it's time to take a
look at your space and determine your needs. If you're designing
a lighting scheme for your kitchen, you know you will need to incorporate
task lighting with your general lighting. Think about where you
do your food preparations and the light you need over your cooktop.
A great example of task lighting in the kitchen would be using recessed
ceiling fixtures directly above an island area. The same type of
lighting design should be used in a bathroom. Your task area will
be your vanity space.
Another important aspect of lighting design is understanding that
the fabrics, colors and surfaces in a room all contribute to the
feel of a room and often reflect light differently. It is important
to consider all aspects of a room from the materials used to the
lighting source in order to create a comfortable room that comes
together in both function and style.