Ask anyone how to turn a house into a home, and they'll tell you to think of your decor.
Yes, lighting is part of your decor. But what about lighting design? Definitely worth the focus since thoughtful lighting makes a world of difference.
Read on for practical lighting design tips for those looking to turn your house into an oasis!
Tip 1: Layer your lighting
In lighting design, there are three general "layers" of light to keep in mind. We've used some painting analogies that may be helpful. These are:
The Background (Ambient or General lighting)
Ambient lighting is the "backdrop" of light that fills your space with an even fill of light and sets the stage for everything else.
Fixture types for general lighting:
- Overhead Recessed Lighting (recessed cans of all sizes, but mostly 4-5")
- Floor lamps
The Midground (Accent Lighting)
Accent lighting illuminates and brings attention to specific architectural elements in your space.
Fixture types for accent lighting:
- Track lighting
- Smaller overhead recessed cans (3")
- Wall sconces
The Foreground (Task lighting)
Task lighting illuminates the task at hand. For example, task lighting can be a floor lamp when reading on the couch or a table lamp to illuminate your desk while working
Fixture types for task lighting:
- Floor lamps
- Desk lamps
- Table lamps
Those are the three primary layers of lighting. Try to use all three (or at the very least, two) of those layers in each room.
Tip 2: Plan your light
Be intentional with your lighting. What do we mean by this?
This means having an understanding of what gets done in each room of your home. For example, you'll probably want brighter, whiter lighting in your kitchen than in your bedroom. This is especially important since most of our customers aren't too keen on smart circadian lighting (lighting that changes color temperature according to time of day)!
The workaround here is to have multiple fixtures and lamps each with the type and color temperature of bulb you'd like for each room and time of day.
Leading us to the next point:
Tip 3: Be flexible: use dimmers and different color temperatures
Part of being intentional with your lighting is being flexible: having the ability to dim your overheads and having multiple floor and table lamps where you can easily swap out bulbs is key!
What is Color Temperature:
Artificial lighting temperatures range from warm 'soft whites' (2700-3000K) to 'natural whites' (3500-4100K) and finally 'cool or daylight whites' (5000-6500K). Each temperature range has its own effect and can impact our mood/wakefulness and alertness. Read more about light color temperature here
For example, warmer color temperatures have more red light wavelengths in their spectrum and promote peace, relaxation, and coziness. In contrast, cooler color temperatures have more blue light wavelengths in their spectrum and promote alertness and wakefulness.
For example, you won't want a light that is too bright or too cool in your bedroom, or it can prevent you from falling asleep at night. Read this article on lighting and its effect on sleep to learn more!
Dimmers and Brightness:
The brightness of your lighting holds just as much importance as color temperature. For this reason, we always suggest installing high-quality dimmers on all overhead lights so you have the greatest flexibility and control over the brightness of overhead lights throughout the day. We recommend you check out the above-linked article on lighting and sleep! Otherwise, know that your overhead lighting should be max brightness in the morning and throughout the day, and you should begin dimming them a few hours before bedtime.
Tip 4: Use plenty of table lamps
Table lamps are a home's best friend. They're easily transportable, can direct light as you see fit, and make it easy (and inexpensive) to switch out light bulbs.
Especially if changing out the larger fixtures in your home proves costly or time prohibitive, but you need light, like now, this is your answer.
For example, we have many customers with various vision and/or photo-sensitivities that are unable to use the current lighting setup in their home or rental. Table (and floor lamps) make it possible to quickly and painlessly start incorporating Chromalux® bulbs as soon as possible into their daily life while figuring out arrangements for their other lighting fixtures!
💡Thanks for reading!
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