Effective and practical lighting is the most essential element to any attractive and functional living space. Whether it is a living room or study the lighting has a huge role in creating the atmosphere in the room. Consequently, when you are considering any interior design projects be sure to consider the lighting plan well in advance of the final touches.
Firstly, it is important to identify the various activities that will occur within the space and where exactly these will take place in the room. Whether it is preparing food, reading, watching television or sleeping the lighting effect required will vary dramatically. Secondly, you need to find all the electricity points and lighting fixtures already within the room. Hopefully, the current lighting plan will enable you to implement your desired design. If not, you may have to employ a professional to move or add light points where necessary.
Once you have listed all your lighting requirements it is then time to choose the best light fitting for each area. For general lighting choose spot lights or a bright and proportionately sized ceiling light which can be suspended from the centre of the ceiling. For long, narrow rooms it may be necessary to include two ceiling lights to ensure the darker end of the room is still well illuminated. Another key consideration when choosing ceiling lights is the shade or decoration which can severely affect the level of light emitted into the room. For ultimate light emissions, choose glass, metallic or pale coloured shades. For a more moody, sumptuous atmosphere choose darker and larger shades to soften and restrict the level of light emitted.
To complement this light source, wall lights and picture lights are an effective way to illuminate the edges of the room or particular features within it. This option is also a softer alternative than using ceiling lights during relaxation times when full brightness is not required.
Once you are happy with the general light level within the room you then need to consider the task lighting required for areas where significant illumination is required such as kitchen surfaces, reading chairs or desks. For these spaces consider using lamps, spot lights and down lighters.
The key benefit of using lamps and spot lights for this purpose is that they also double up as an attractive accessory within the design scheme. When choosing lamps, whether they are floor or table sized, consider the stand and shade in relation to one another, other lighting in the room and the design in general. For a contemporary feel choose simplistic metal, reflective or sculptural bases which offer high style with minimum frills. Consider using materials and shapes that resemble other elements of the room whether it is furniture, soft furnishings or accessories. For a more traditional feel, choose more ornate bases or a more elaborate and elegant shade. The choice of shade can even help inject another pattern or colour in to the room or pickup elements from within the cushions etc. Be sure to choose a combination that don’t clash or compete with each other too severely as this not only looks unsightly but is also likely to reduce the lighting impact of the device.
These initial considerations and forward planning ensure your design is as effective and practical as possible. Use your lighting to highlight the most attractive and well used areas of the room to ensure the most attractive and atmospheric impression is created.