Lighting is one of the most fundamental factors you should consider when decorating or designing a house. In this article, we provide some of the most important lighting tips you should follow to have a more ambient, interesting-looking house.
Make a Plan
If you’re redecorating a room from scratch, create a lighting plan. The plan should tackle all essentials and consider factors like:
- Activities that take place in the room (eating, working, studying, relaxing, etc)
- Key features you want to highlight
- Architectural boundaries
Before deciding on anything, consider the style, scale, and color temperature of the lights you want to buy. Early planning helps you avoid any impulsive decisions. It also saves your time and money.
Layer the Lights
Use different light sources across different levels to create interest and ambiance in the room. Mix and match task lighting to decorative LED lighting to complete the layered approach to the room.
Uplighting can make the room feel larger, while low-hung pendants create the illusion of height. Cluster s of lighting make large spaces feel cozy. For the best balance, use at least three light sources in every space. In small spaces, you can reduce the bulb wattage and fixture sizes to accommodate fewer square feet. Don’t forget the accent lights, which highlight interesting points in your room.
In the end, though, less is more — too many different layers and styles can be confusing to the eye and will cause unease. The key is to keep finishes consistent and simple.
Speaking of highlighting interesting areas in a room, use lighting subtly to focus on fine-looking artwork on your wall. Maybe highlight an architectural feature of your house, or turn your guests' attention to a luxurious key possession, such as a sofa or a winged armchair.
You can also use spotlights to make your guests feel welcome — point them at the center of the dining table to draw people in.
Leverage Natural Lighting
Apart from using electric lights, leverage natural lighting. As they say, “you don’t light for the light; you light for the shadows.”
With natural lighting, you can create drama, art, and illusion. Check your lighting plan to determine what you can illuminate naturally before layering with additional lights.
Try Dimmer Switches
Dimmer switches can control the brightness of any light fixture in your house, not to mention help you control your electricity bill. Install dimmer switches in any room you can and with as many fixtures as you like.
This way, you gain more control over your lighting. Dimmers can change the mood and balance artificial with natural light.
Use a Lighting Control App
These days, you can install light bulbs that you can control using smartphone apps — use them. Not only do they make your home “smarter,” but they also provide a lot of conveniences.
These lightbulbs often feature dimming and intensity controls; you can also change their color temperature or set “scenes” that fit your mood. If you’re going on vacation but don’t want the house to look empty, you can schedule the on and off times of the lightbulbs.