A complete guide of 5 dos and 5 don’ts when it comes to getting your home lighting right!
Buy a lamp, plug it in and flip the switch – that’s probably how simple homeowners and renovators think it is to light living space. When in fact, home lighting can make or break the ambiance, Zen, and even functioning of your home.
Don’t believe us? Well, when was the last time you felt your eyes strain, corners in your home looking dull and felt grumpy because you just couldn’t put your finger on what was missing to bring a room together? What was missing was getting home lighting right.
As many interior designers and architects would aptly put it: Home lighting can make or break your living space.
To help you with getting home lighting just right, we’ve compiled a list of do’s and do not’s for anything and everything about lighting!
- Layering Lights:
There are three broad categories of lighting elements:
- General or Ambient Lighting
- Task Lighting
- Recessed or Accent Lighting
A common mistake most homeowners are guilty of is preferring one category of lighting over the others, usually general lighting. The name suggests that it might be ‘enough’ for the entire room. However, ambient lights only provide overall illumination. Whereas task lights and recessed lights provide their dedicated functions.
Layering refers to harmoniously incorporating all three categories to not overpower one element.
For example; if you were to hang an overhead fixture (say a pendant light) in your living room and call it a day. You would only be incorporating ambient lighting. Other corners of your living room such as a reading chair or art pieces will be left looking dark.
Make sure you map out every corner of a room before incorporating any lighting element there. For reading corners and such, add task lights. For decorative elements, you want to bring focus to, add recessed or accent lights. For overall illumination, add ambient lights.
- Installing Dimmers:
Take the room you’re currently in as an example for this one: How does the lighting there work? You flip a switch and the light turns on, you flip it again and it turns off. Not much to it.
While this might ‘get the job done’ it is by no means the sole way (or even the right one, actually) to incorporate lighting. Dimmers allow you to play with the intensity of lighting in a room. This comes in handy particularly when you’re using a room for a different function.
Say you’re in your bedroom: During the daytime, you can easily compensate for lighting with natural light, by evening you might need brighter light and at the end of the day, you want it as dim as possible.
Be wary of how room functions and incorporate lighting elements and their additional parts accordingly. Otherwise, your room will feel much less of a sanctuary than it ought to be.
One easy way around this is also to leverage on the latest LED technology, where some lamps comes with remote controllers to adjust the brightness and colour temperature of the lamps.
Measuring Spaces (Not Just Eyeballing):
Get This Look: Jozua Contemporary Spherical Glass Shade Pendant Lamp
When renovating a home or decorating it for the very first time, homeowners are often pumped up and ready to tackle the responsibility all by themselves. They let their creative side run wild and start prepping to DIY.
However, it is important to understand that whether you’re installing lighting fixtures yourself or hiring a professional to do so, you need to be able to make accurate calculations (heights, width, and dimensions). Eyeballing is strictly advised against.
For example; overhead lighting such as pendants needs to be at least 35 to 40 inches above kitchen tops and chandeliers are to be hung 60 inches above surfaces. These are the recommended guidelines by professionals who take glare, stress, and eye-sores into account when ascribing these measurements.
As aforementioned, to get home lighting right you need to incorporate all three categories of lighting elements. To elaborate more on task lighting, let’s talk about corners.
Every corner of your living space holds a specific purpose, even if it’s free space. You can dedicate corners for creative work, workouts, home offices and so much more. The gist of it all is that you’re performing a dedicated ‘task’ in these corners.
Task lighting creates a ‘hot-spot’ of illumination and thus lights up any corner of the room to allow homeowners to get their job done as efficiently as possible.
Considering A Space’s Purpose:
You cook in the kitchen, eat at the dining table, entertain guests in the living room, and relax in your bedroom – each room holds its purpose as it should. Hence, before you go ahead buying lighting elements and mapping out ideas, you need to consider the purpose of a location.
For example; for the kitchen, you would need lights that are both a mix of natural lighting as well as dedicated lights for cutting, chopping, and cooking. Similarly, for your bedroom, you might require general lighting with a dimmer.
It is important to consider how you plan on spending your time in each corner and dedicating lighting fixtures, stands, and lamps accordingly.
The Do Not’s
This becomes particularly important when homeowners are lighting bathrooms. By having an overhead fixture, light, or any element over the mirror, you’ll create a shadow on your face each time the light is switched on.
Not only does it look unappealing, but it’s also an eye-sore and has no function. Instead, you can incorporate scones on either (recommended: both) side of the vanity to get bathroom lighting right.
Choosing a Form Over Function (Or Vice Versa):
Shop This Product: Dorotea Innovative Birdcage Design Vintage Pendant Lamp
There are catalogs upon catalogs of various kinds of lighting elements; table lamps, standing lamps, sconces, pendant lights, and so on. For each kind of lighting element, you’ll find various designs of it.
Decorative lighting is becoming popular, and rightfully so. They add more flair and ambiance to a living space and are sought after. However, don’t let form deter you from the functioning of the element.
Form and function go side by side – your lighting element needs to look attractive enough as well as make other items in your room look attractive if you’re looking to achieve perfect home lighting.
Decorative lights include pendant lights in various shapes, sizes, and forms. As well as chandeliers, table lamps, and numerous other lighting categories. Decorators try to incorporate individual aesthetic to appeal to homeowners.
For lighting fixtures, stands, and many other forms that look good and do good – go to Light Vault and browse through our catalog for the right fit for you!
Ignoring Natural Light:
Home decorators, interior designers, architects and every expert in the field will tell you one thing:
Never compromise on natural lighting.
Natural lighting is the best kind of lighting. Imagine light coming in from the window every morning as you wake up: the serenity felt right it is unachievable by artificial lights.
However, this isn’t to say you can rely solely on natural lights (when the sun’s out, the power’s out). Hence, it’s important to incorporate both forms of lighting alongside one another.
To incorporate more natural light:
- Invest in larger windows.
- Buy translucent drapes.
Going Off Theme:
As aforementioned, there are catalogs upon catalogs of lighting elements in various decorative forms. These forms are made to correlate with a homeowner’s aesthetic, be it modern, minimalistic, vintage, industrial, and so forth.
To get the right home lighting, you would also have to consider the existing theme of the space. If the space is minimalistic, it wouldn’t make much sense (or do good) to incorporate a heavy vintage chandelier.
The element will look out of place and space will feel off-putting because of it. Hence, make sure the theme of the room stays intact when you’re incorporating lighting into it. Unless of course, you’re willing to redecorate entirely.
Too Much Of The Same Thing:
We started with layering lights and we’re ending it with adding lighting elements in the right amount. That is, you should not rely heavily on the same type of lighting. For bedrooms, you cannot add table lamps on every surface. When it comes to kitchens, you cannot add pendant lighting in every corner. For bathrooms, you cannot add recessed lighting everywhere. You get the point.
Too much of the same thing serves no purpose and is off-putting. Hence, to save yourself the hassle, try reading up on architectural and design blogs and magazines. Get in touch with trends to make better use of your living space and get home lighting right!
Home lighting is an important aspect, if not the absolute most important aspect when it comes to decorating a home. Homeowners often undermine or disregard it’s importance entirely – leaving them with gloomy, dark, and unsettling lighting.
To get home lighting just right, follow through with our list of top 5 tips: The do’s and the don’ts. There won’t be another dark moment at your house!