Lighting plays an important role in making a home more comfortable. Home lighting dramatically affects the ambience and mood of a space. With practical planning and proper selection of lights, you’ll be able to create a
Consider Ceiling Height
Knowing your ceiling height is an important consideration when selecting light fixtures, especially hanging lights. When selecting hanging lights, choose those whit adjustable cables. But some lights don’t come with this feature. Don’t install hanging lights that are either too low or too high. As a rule of thumb, keep a 7 feet clearance from the bottom of the light to the floor. If you have 8-foot low ceiling, you might want to consider a flush-mount light to achieve good clearance.
Know the Types of Lighting
There are several types of lighting to understand:
General or Ambient Lighting
This lighting is needed in every room. Its function is simply to provide sufficient and comfortable illumination in every room. Typically, general or ambient light sources are overhead lighting such as recessed pin lights or can lights and flush-mount/semi-flush-mount ceiling fixtures.
Considerations on General or Ambient Lighting Planning:
- Well-spaced LED recessed lights. For example, If you have an 8-foot ceiling, you should space your recessed lights 4 feet apart. Add another half foot of spacing if your ceiling height increases by 1 foot.
- Consider passive lighting or natural lighting first through proper window selection. Reflect natural light.
- Illuminate a room with a central area light. For example, Add a fanlight or a chandelier.
Task lighting allows you to perform a specific task. This lighting illuminates specific areas of your home where additional light is needed besides general lighting. Task lighting includes desk lamps, reading lamps in the bedroom, floor lamps in living room corners, light on vanity mirrors, light above kitchen island.
Considerations on Task Lighting Planning:
- Add task lighting on areas where direct light is needed for detailed work – reading, cooking, working, make-up etc.
- To avoid glare, lighting should be located to the side of the task, not in front of it.
- To stop light shining directly in your eyes, adjust the light downward, onto the task surface (such as a document you are reading)
- Use lights that emit cooler temperature such as those with 3500k to 5000k colour temperature.
- Use LED Strip or Tape Lights under the kitchen overhead cabinet for a brighter counter. At island counters, install hanging or pendant lights above it.
Accent or Mood Lighting
Accent or mood lighting allows you to spotlight interesting features in your home such as decor, art or a wall. Mood lighting typically use different tones and colours of light, as well as different levels of brightness through dimmers. It also allows you to light up certain areas where your general or ambient lighting can’t reach.
Considerations on Accent/Mood Lighting Planning:
- Light only what you want to see. For example, use spotlights if you want to showcase an art piece or a painting.
- Choose dimming capable fixtures. This helps you manage the brightness and create a drama on the intensity of light.
- Use backlighting – Placing light behind an object to create the illusion of depth. Try to use backlights inside coves, under cabinets, beneath furniture, behind wall displays, and underneath stair steps. Most common fixture to use is the LED strip or tape lights.
- Uplighting by using fixtures to direct light up towards the ceiling. Also, you can select wall sconces that also have uplights. This lighting technique is also common in landscapes where a certain element needs to be highlighted or accentuated.
- Choose Table Lamps – Table lamps can be accent lighting too. There are many designs and forms of table lamp that complements your home interior style.
- Accentuate walls with wall-washing. Installing light fixtures such as directional lights and track lights will achieve wall-washing.
Know the Light or Color Temperatures
Light or colour temperature is the colour appearance of a specific light. Temperature is measured by the unit ‘K’ or Kelvin. Here are the common light temperatures in the market:
Warm, similar to soft candlelight: 2,700 K
Warm White: 2,900 K to 3,200 K:
Neutral, lesser warm: 3,500 K
Cool and White. Daylight: 4,000K
Cold and bluish: 5,000 K
In principle, as the light temperature goes lower, the warmer or more red or yellow the light is. The higher the temperature, the cooler the light is as it reflects more blue. Warmer lights are typically used in areas where you want to relax. Bringing in a calmer mood in the space. For example, Bedroom or living area. Cooler lights are used typically for task lighting. For example, kitchen, library or an office.