We need light in our homes to welcome us home, guide us in the night and wake us up in the morning. We need light to able to read our books in bed and not cut off our fingertips while preparing dinner. When you consult a lighting expert about lighting in your home, there are three types of lighting you’ll hear them talk about: ambient, task and accent lighting.
Ambient lighting refers to your natural lighting and “normal” indoor lighting. Every room in the house should have artificial ambient lights installed in the ceilings and, of course, windows to let in the natural light from outside.
Task lighting refers to spotlights. These are specifically placed and positioned lights that allow us to complete a task. An example of a task light would be the table lamp on your desk that you use to work with at night. Another would be the mounted downlight underneath the kitchen cabinet that provides a clear vision of the chopping the board or the track lights above the kitchen island.
Accent lighting refers to the decorative lights that are used to create a specific atmosphere in a room and look beautiful at the same time. With these three lighting types, you will achieve a well-lit home that exudes function as much as it does style. Here are some lighting tips to keep in mind when choosing the right lighting for your home.
Let’s start with the face of your house outside. Garden floodlights and spotlights are there to highlight the best features of our garden and home. Outdoor lighting provides more than a decorative feature by also lighting up paths through the garden and to the front door. It also functions as a security feature by deterring potential intruders from sneaking up towards the house.
The tip here is to invest in outdoor lighting because not many homeowners do. Show off your face-brick, shutter windows and flower beds. Transform your outside space into an all-day area with overhead patio lights and accent lights to set up a cosy outdoor living area – all with the power of lights.
Take advantage of natural light
Before you call the lighting experts (and you will), you need to take advantage of all the natural light available to you. Opt for larger windows, insert skylights, use sheer curtains in the living room and choose glass doors where you can.
Encourage natural light to stream into the rooms of your house and bring with it warmth and fresh air. There’s nothing quite like a sunlit room to relax in. At some point, however, the sun will eventually set or hide behind the clouds and there will always be a need for artificial lighting to create a well-lit home.
Layer your lighting
The great thing about having three different types of interior lighting is that it allows you to play around with layers. If you can manage it, the majority of the rooms in your house should be able to accommodate each of the lighting types in order to be completely effective.
Layering your lighting also adds a decorative element to your home. You can layer your recessed lights in the ceiling with geometric pendant lights hanging from the ceiling, as well as incorporate side table lamps or floor lamps into the room. Each lighting fixture can work independently or complementarity with one another and create a room with enough light for any activity or occasion.
This also gives you an opportunity to make the most of the different types of light bulbs that emit light at various strengths and colours to create layered light looks. Filament bulbs, for example, aren’t as effective in emitting light as LEDs are. However, they do have a decorative and interesting bulb design that allows them to be suspended as pendant lights for looks over function. In contrast to recessed LED light fixtures, filament bulbs ace the layering lighting tip.
Install dimmable lighting
A great lighting tip that will allow you to set the mood or focus for work is to install dimmable lighting. Not only does this give you complete control over how well your house is lit on the inside, but it’s a way to save energy on burning bulbs. This will decrease your energy bill at the end of the month which is worth the initial installation cost.
Dimmable lights also extend the life of your light bulbs which means you won’t be spending as much time or money on replacing bulbs and risking a fall off of the ladder. Plus, they’re better for your eyes.
Most ambient and accent lighting are dimmable these days. Task lighting, on the other hand, is supposed to be a fixed, bright and focused light that allows you to complete tasks that require an uncompromised view of the objects in front of you. But your lighting expert will be able to tell you this and recommend where your dimmable lights need to be.