"Stunning interior design lighting relies on three types of illumination."
Well planned, interior design lighting incorporates multiple layers of light. Illuminating your space in this way produces a rich level of sophistication and ambiance.
There are three main types of lighting:
Layer all three types of illumination in a room for phenomenal effect. Create style personality with your choice of lighting fixtures. Save money and conserve the natural environment by choosing energy efficient light bulbs.
Let's first take a look at the main lighting types...
This type of interior design lighting is the source of general illumination in a space. It’s the room’s overall splash of light. Examples of ambient light include lamps placed around the room, overhead lighting (such as recessed lighting within the ceiling), as well as ceiling mounted lighting fixtures.
Imagine ambient lighting as the basic level of lighting for any room. During the day, sunshine streaming through a window plays this role. Other examples of ambient lighting include:
• Pendant Lights
• Suspended Uplights
Task lighting is used to illuminate a specific area for a more practical reason – reading, for example. A desk lamp used to light a work table and an under cabinet light used to illuminate a kitchen counter would be examples of this type of interior lighting.
Task lights are focused on a limited area for a specific purpose. They provide the extra level of illumination that ambient lighting alone can’t adequately provide.
Other examples of task lighting include:
• Swing Arm Lamps
• Wall Sconces
• Adjustable Floor Lamps
Accent lighting provides a way to focus attention on architectural or decorative aspects of a room. An illuminated wall niche or spotlights focused on a painting draw your eye to these features. Track lighting or recessed "eye ball" style lighting can be used to illuminate interesting wall features or simply provide a wash of light across the painted surface. A wall wash can be very dramatic in itself!
Even a simple collection of flickering candles qualifies as accent lighting. Plus, you get the added benefit of a wonderful aroma to further enhance the atmosphere. Now, I'd say that's a great value lighting solution!
With the types of lighting fresh in your mind, carefully examine the kitchen photo above to see how all three types were used together to awesome effect.
A big key to versatile interior lighting, in my opinion, is being able to adjust the level of illumination through a dimmer switch. Most of the new lighting fixtures I had installed in my home are adjustable. Dimmer switches are easy to install and give you the power to fine tune the lighting level. I’ve found this can create dramatic, night time effect.
Lighting fixtures themselves play an important role in defining the personality and style of your space. I think this is second only in importance to ensuring you are incorporating the three layers of light. A glass chandelier lends an feeling of classic opulence to a space and dresses it up. Similarly, a streamlined, metallic fixture can help create a modern feeling in a space.
For ideas and information oriented specifically toward interior design lighting fixtures check out
. I have found some handy advice there. (Note: Link opens a new window)
You can help conserve natural resources when you choose energy efficient light bulbs for your interior design lighting plan. Not only is this a more eco-friendly approach, it can be a cost savings to you in the long run as you reduce your energy bills.
Look for Energy Star certified light fixtures as well as bulbs like the compact fluorescent light (CFL). CFL bulbs use 75% less energy than typical tungsten bulbs, according to the US Environmental Protection Agency. That's more money in your pocket over time.
In summary, a well organized, interior design lighting scheme uses all three methods of lighting for best effect. The style and personality of the scheme is largely determined by your choice of fixtures. Remember to choose energy efficient bulbs. You will save some money while also having the satisfaction of knowing you are playing a part in protecting the environment.
Return from Interior Design Lighting back to Interior Design Tutor homepage.