How to properly light your home
Design your house with light so you can enjoy all of your rooms.
Illuminating your home correctly is an important aspect when it comes to interior design. Lighting can be used to create specific atmosphere's as well as determine the usability of the environment.
The layout design of the luminaries must not be left to chance, but must be designed thinking about the activities that will take place in that particular environment.
For us there are three different types of lighting:
- diffused lighting: a light that spreads evenly throughout the room thanks to a chandelier or a floor lamp that uses high power bulbs
- directional lighting: is dedicated to illuminate restricted or well defined area, such as a desk or a kitchen work surface, but can also be used to highlight a particular corner of the room or an aesthetic object. It consists usually of spotlights, desk lamps, LED strips with varying intensities of lighting.
- reflected light: a light source is projected on a wall or the ceiling so that light spreads around, softening the impact of the powerful lamp, which sometimes is excessive. It is a soft and uniform light, but it requires powerful bulbs; it can also be side-by-side with direct light points, to create contrasts or areas of interest.
How to choose the right lighting
It is important to consider two aspects: the decor of the room and the type of activities that will take place there.
In the living room you can play with diffused and direct light depending on what you plan to use the room for. A bright light, for example, spreads around the room and is best suited to receive guests, while the arrangement of directional lamps can facilitate activities such as reading or watching television.
In the dining room it is common to find a chandelier that illuminates the table, to highlight served dishes, and so it is wise to choose very powerful bulbs. On the other hand you may prefer a softer lighting to create a cozier atmosphere.
The bedroom is an intimate place where the atmosphere is calming. You bedroom is your place of refuge where you are able to wind down after a long day of work. Bedside lamps or directional luminaries and create discrete light, which can be useful, for example, to read. It is also important to have a bright light that you can use when it is darker so that you can choose the best color combinations of clothing when getting dressed. It is also important to avoid pronounced contasts, which may distort shapes and colors.
Even in the study you can play with diffused and direct light, to improve the way you work.
Warm or cold light?
There are many types of lamps, from traditional to low consumption, from neon to halogen lights: each one can be characterized primarily by a different power and then by more or less marked effects of light.
When we talk about warm light we can imagine a hue that has yellow undertones which is used in interior design lighting as well as in photography. It is a light that creates a particular atmosphere, smoothing contours and softening contrasts. However, warm light can distort the perception of color and therefore it is important to remember this when you areas such as the dining-room, in the walk-in closet or in the studio.
Cold light, in contrast, turns blue; it is said to be more similar to sunlight, but when an environment is illuminated with this type of light the environment completely changes. Details are more defined, colors stand out but the general atmosphere becomes more cold. It is has been suggested that this type of light should be used in places that where color and detail are essential.
Which light output is better to choose?
In the past the typical reference for lamps was Watts yet, today this has changed with the introduction of lower energy consumption lamps. What used to be knows as Watts is now know as lumen - measure of the total quantity of visible light emitted by a source.
We can define three slots of brightness:
- from 250 to 600 lm: it corresponds with the range of traditional lamps from 20 to 45 watts; these lamps work better in environments where you do not need a very bright light or for chandeliers with many light bulbs.
- from 700 to 1300 lm: it is a bright light, great for both directional lamps in environments that require well lit areas, and to illuminate a room widely and uniformly.
- over 1300 lm: are very powerful lamps, which are recommended only in very large environments or in cases you want to take advantage of a reflected light.
Furnishing with lamps and chandeliers.
Lighting systems are not only useful, they are often the focus of attention so they should be integrated well with the furniture and the style of the room in which they are located.
The choice of a lamp should always be well thought out and not be chosen impulsively but rather, with care considering all aspects such as the design and hues of light it will create.
The first step is to determine what kind of lighting you will use in each room and where you will place it. Secondly, you need to evaluate how the lighting will complement the furniture of each room.
Finally you should remember that dimensions are critical. If one were to have a big chandelier in s very small room it would most likely look completely out of place so it is important to use the space well.