Saturday, November 15, 2014

And the lights came on.....

Most decorators and designers will tell you that the correct lighting can make or break a room.It is one of the most important factors in good design.   Unfortunately in many cases it is the last thing on people's minds when undertaking a new re-decorating or renovation project.  Space planning/layout is one of the first before purchasing furnishings and then you should look at where the lighting should be an how much of it depending on the activities that will take place in that space.  Poor lighting will affect how we function in the space as well as lack of it can leave it flat and without personality.  Lighting can create a lovely atmosphere in your home.  It offers functionality as well as mood.

To have the most effective lighting scheme, you will require a combination of all three types of lighting, comprised of task, ambient and accent.  The ambient light will provide a general even balance of light throughout a space such as a chandelier.  Task lighting will focus on a specific area such as a lamp positioned for reading.  Accent lighting will draw attention to a particular area and add depth and drama, such as a picture light or a recessed pot light directed toward a piece of art.

When planning your overall lighting you need to consider the mood you want to create and the tasks to be performed in each specific room.  When selecting your fixtures, obviously you would want to compliment the style of your room’s d├ęcor.   The type of lampshade can also affect your lighting.   The shape, material and opacity of the shade will affect the direction and diffusion of the light by sending it up or down and reducing glare.  Using dimmers gives you more control over the brightness and mood. 

These days, we cannot speak about lighting without mentioning the importance of Energy-efficient light bulbs. The original Compact Fluorescent lamps (CFL’s) that were introduced with the coils which appeared less attractive that the standard incandescent light bulbs we were used to have now been redesigned.  They also gave off a slightly cooler and duller light than an incandescent but again manufacturers have worked on making them warmer and brighter.

When planning your lighting, it is important to speak with expert lighting suppliers in order to be certain that your final plan will serve your needs.  The new LED's are amazing and having attended two seminars on this topic, it is definitely worth your investment to read about them and seek information from the experts. The latest way to select the correct amount of light for your space is measured in lumens.   I have learned quite a bit recently about wattage, lumens, halogen, cfl and leds,  but do not consider myself a complete expert so I defer to the many notes I have and the lighting experts.

All I can say is that lighting never looked so good!!

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