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The Importance of Lighting in Interior Design

Redecorating a room is a project that some people love doing while others absolutely loathe it. Whichever side of the fence you’re on, there’s no denying that paying careful attention to detail when it comes to the interior design of your home is absolutely vital. There are many important aspects that need to be taken into consideration, some of which include scale and proportion, color scheme, lighting, contrast and balance.

Let’s take a look at some of the different forms of lighting and how significant they are when it comes to undertaking any interior design project:

Accent Lighting
Often referred to as  ‘highlighting’, accent lighting is used to attract attention to a particular object, such as a sculpture, some artwork, a plant or bookcase. It can also be used outdoors as a means of highlighting a statue, a water feature or a beautiful tree or plant. Recessed or track lighting are ideal for accent lighting as they allow light to be projected onto a specific object. When designing any room in your home, accent lighting should always be at the forefront of your plans, as there will most likely be specific areas of it that you want to emphasize.

Natural Light
Natural light can create an effect that cannot be equaled by any form of artificial lighting. You should first consider the source and amount of natural light that a room gets. It’s a good idea to design a room in a way that will take advantage of the position of the sun at different times throughout the day. Natural light is affected by the seasons so you should also give this some thought. The key is to let in as much natural light as you possibly can by installing large double-glazed windows and beautiful b-fold doors.

Ambient Lighting
Also referred to as ‘general’ lighting, ambient lighting provides a given area with an overall illumination. It radiates a comfortable level of brightness that is free of glare allowing for safe walking and easy seeing. Ambient lighting can be achieved thorough the use of ceiling or wall mounted fixtures, chandeliers or lanterns. In order for a lighting plan to be effective, it must include at least one central source of ambient light.

Task Lighting
Task lighting is quite literally forms of lighting that will enable you to perform specific tasks like cooking food, reading, playing games and grooming. Portable floor and desk lamps, pendant lighting and under cabinet lighting are all excellent forms of achieving task lighting. The light that’s achieved should be bright enough to prevent eyestrain but should also be free of shadows and glare. Task lighting can be successfully combined with accent lighting to produce attractive effects.

Planning the layers of light in a room is an essential component of interior design. You should start by considering the natural light first and then think about forms of ambient, task and accent lighting afterwards. Just with the flick of a switch, lighting can totally transform the ambiance and look of a room so make sure it’s something that you give some time and effort to when planning.


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