Lighting setup can affect the design and of your house even more than you can imagine. The good news is, you have landed at the right place. Do you want to create a perfect lighting setup in your home? This article is going to be your ultimate home lighting guide. From light colours to bulb and fixture types and perfect lighting for every room, brace yourself for a long journey of lighting basics.
Home Lighting Basics
Types of Lights
There are three main categories of lighting. These categories define the unique purpose and visual effect of the lighting, which are as follows:
General light is the primary source of lighting in the room. General lighting is alternatively known as ambient lighting. It consists of both artificial and natural light, The ones that emanate from light fixtures and windows.
Unlike general lighting that serves as the main source, accent lighting usually illuminates a particular area of the room. It helps to create a mood and enhance the visual appeal of the room. Lighting that focuses on an eye-catching piece of artwork or kitchen island is usually the accent light.
As the name suggests, task lights are an additional source of lighting that will help you perform specific tasks. A desk lamp or vanity lamp is a perfect example of task lights.
It is important to note that sometimes the lighting of the room falls into multiple categories. For example, kitchen islands have a combination of both accent and task lights.
Usually, these three main categories of lighting are layered together to create the desired effect. Layering can add dimensions to the room.
As we have gone through three main categories of light, the next on the list is light temperature. You must be wondering why light temperature matters? The simple answer is, it can create a massive difference in the overall mood and visuals of the room. The temperature of a light bulb is measured in Kelvin (K).
Usually, the lights used in homes range from 2,000 K to 6,500 K. Overall, the Kelvin scale spans from 1,000 K to 10,000 K. The scale for neutral tones starts from 4,000 K to 4,100 K. Temperatures below 4,000 K glow warmer while temperatures above 4,100 K glow cooler light.
Selecting the Right Temperature
The light temperature preferences are personal; however, for interior design enthusiasts, here are a few general rules:
- Use soft and warm light in bedrooms and family rooms. It will make the space look more welcoming and cosy.
- Use bright white or neutral light for bathrooms, kitchens and powder rooms. Bright light will help you perform your tasks better.
- Use daylight bulbs in places where extra light is usually required, such as workspaces, garages, basement or vanities.
Following are the three main types of light tones along with their specific purposes:
|2,000K||Warm Candle Light||Very warm tone like a candlelight.|
|2,700K||Warm Soft Light||Soft, but not as strong as a candlelight. Very cozy and flattering.|
|3,500K||Bright White||Tinged with yellow, great of bright aesthetic.|
|4,100K||Neutral White||Bright white with a subtle tinge of blue or yellow.|
|4,500K||Daylight||Vivid and cool. Mimics the brightness of daylight.|
|6,500K||Extra Bright Daylight||Dazzling bluish hue.|
Types of Light Bulbs
There are different types of lightbulbs available in the market. Each one has its pros and cons, including its lifespan. The five common types of light bulbs are as following:
Incandescent bulbs are one of the most popular choices. They emanate a warm yellowish light which can make a place look much more welcoming. Incandescent bulbs are budget-friendly. However, their main drawback is their short lifespan. Their wattage is turned into heat instead of light. They can make a place slightly hotter. This is why they are probably not the best choice when it comes to warm areas.
Halogen bulbs are akin to incandescent bulbs. However, they give off a bright white light instead of a warm yellow one. Their light is much closer to the daylight as compared to other types of bulbs. The major drawback of halogen bulbs is that their glass is very fragile.
Fluorescent and Compact Fluorescent Bulbs (CFL)
CFL bulbs are 75% more energy-efficient than a standard incandescent bulb. The last seven times longer than halogen and incandescent bulbs. CFL bulbs are available in a wide range of colour temperatures.
LED bulbs are so far the most energy-efficient type of bulbs on our list. They are also long-lasting. Their life span ranges up to 50,000 hours. Although they are slightly more expensive than other types of bulbs, they are worth the cost.
Smart LED bulb
Smart LED bulbs are the successor of standard LED bulbs. It is important to note that all smart bulbs are LED bulbs, but not all LED bulbs are smart bulbs. Smart LED bulbs can be easily controlled with the help of remote or mobile applications. You can easily change its colour, dim it or turn it on/off when required. Smart LED bulbs are efficient for conserving energy.
Lights for Ceiling
The style and design of lighting you choose for your house is also dependent upon the placement of lighting. If you opt for ceiling lights, then there is a wide variety of options to choose from. Some of the most popular ones are as follows:
For ages, chandeliers have remained on the top charts when it comes to lighting. A chandelier can instantly add a touch of luxury to your space. For example, a timeless crystal chandelier is a great fit for literally every other interior design theme, be it modern, rustic or farmhouse.
Over the years, the traditional round massed chandeliers have evolved. These days you can find chandeliers in all sort of shapes and forms. A chandelier can be the best statement piece you will ever have in a room. Dining rooms and living rooms are ideal hosts of chandeliers. Depending upon the taste and size of the room, you can either go for a large chandelier or stick to small, subtle ones.
As the name suggests, pendant light hangs down from the ceiling like a pendant. A pendant light is attached to a rod or wire. It keeps the lighting more focused. The best thing about pendant lights is that they are flexible in their placement. A pendant light is effortless to pull off. You can add multiple fixtures to the room.
Pendant lights are ideal for the dining room, bathroom, entryways, study room, porch and bedrooms. If you add numerous pendant fixtures in one room, then the general rule of thumb is to keep each pendant light at least 24 to 30 inches apart. Although pendant lights are usually pendant-shaped, there are a myriad of styles to choose from. You can go for a glass pendant light or a farmhouse lantern-style pendant light.
Flush mounts are fixated over the ceiling. This makes them quite suitable for low ceilings. Flush mounts come in different styles. A semi-flush mount is one of them. However, it hangs a few inches below the ceiling, not as much as a chandelier or a pendant light. Flush mounts are a good option for wardrobes, basements, bathrooms and entryways. You can choose the design of a flush mount ranging from sleek to more ornate ones.
Recessed lights are known for spreading an even amount of light in all areas of the room. They usually work great for rooms that have low or vaulted ceilings. Recessed lights are typically paired up on the ceiling. The ideal distance between each recessed light is 6 inches. This type of lighting is quite common, especially to create a layer of illumination in the room. It is used alongside a chandelier or a pendant light.
What makes this an option worth considering? The answer is that recessed lights serve the function well without interfering with the interior design. This type of lighting is commonly used in bathrooms, kitchens and living rooms.
Do you want to highlight specific areas in your room? How about your favourite art piece or a sculptural sofa you just bought? If you’re going to highlight the unique aspects of the room, then nothing serves the purpose better than track lights. They create a trail of light like a track. You can opt for multiple lightheads and use them as either accent light, task light or ambient light. Above all, track lights are highly customizable.
Lights for Walls
Gone are the days when wall lighting was just an after-thought. Keeping the latest trends in view, wall lighting is as essential as ceiling lights. Pairing them up is what will enhance the beauty of your interior design by two folds. Following are some common wall lighting options that you should try:
Bathroom Vanity Light
Are you tired of the insufficient lighting? No matter how many bulbs you install, the lighting is never enough, especially when it comes to vanity tasks. If you want to cut short all the hassle of light-searching, go for bathroom vanity lights. These lights are usually mounted above the mirror.
Vanity lights have two common styles. One is bar light, and the other one is scones. For the optimal illumination level, install the vanity lights about 75 inches on the wall from the floor. Believe us; these vanity lights are going to make your life a lot easier!
Are you looking for a perfect accent light? It is only one scone away! Be it bathrooms or vanities, reading nooks or entryways, a wall scone can fit just anywhere. When paired up with statement pieces like artwork or a chandelier, they can spruce up space instantly. Wall sconces are the ultimate style chameleons. They go well along with both contemporary and traditional styles of interior design.
Are you a bit eco-conscious? Do you want to save bills and the environment at the same time? LED mirrors can be an excellent match for someone like you. LED mirrors are an unconventional style of lighting that is more inclined towards adornment. However, that doesn’t mean it does not serve the purpose well. An LED mirror is encircled with LED light. LED mirrors can instantly upscale the look and feel of your room. Here’s a catch! They can last up to thousands of hours.
Lamp and shade
What crosses your mind when you first think of wall lighting? You must be thinking of lamps and shades. After all, these traditional wall lighting pieces can never go out of style. They are not only long-lasting but easy to replace. You can change without hassler them the instant you revamp the interior design of your room.
Above all, lamps are easy to integrate with any interior design theme. You can match or contrast the colour palette of your interior design with the lamp base. Lamps come in all shapes, sizes, styles and finishes. You can opt for either a floor lamp or a table lamp depending upon the look you are trying to create or the purpose you want it to serve. For reading nooks, bedrooms and offices, table lamps are a suitable choice.
Lighting by Room
As we have covered the basics of lighting so far, it is essential to note that no size fits all. Having that said, each room is unique in its right, and therefore the lighting of the room should be planned accordingly. Here are a few basics of lighting according to the individual rooms in your house:
Generally, kitchens host more lighting sources than any other room in the house. As an epicentre of major household activities like cooking, eating, cleaning and storage, the lighting options for the kitchen are endless. Why? Because you combine different types of lighting for various purposes.
When choosing the lighting for your kitchen, make sure that it makes your kitchen appear more open and bright. For general lighting of the kitchen, go for recessed lights or mounts. For accent and task lighting, choose island and pendant lights. Also, don’t forget to install light fixtures under the wall cabinets to cast away shadows. By layering together all these different lights, you can make your kitchen a more welcoming and charming place.
While choosing any sort of lighting for your bathrooms, make sure that the fixtures are well rated for damp areas. Like the kitchen, you can pair up different lights together to enhance the visual appeal. Some reliable options are recessed lights over the bathtub or shower area, sconces, vanity lights and LED mirrors. Scones are ideal for providing even light in all bathroom areas, while vanity lights are a good option for small-sized bathrooms.
Your dream chamber has to be all comfy! Unlike bathrooms and kitchens, bedrooms do not necessarily have to be brightly lit. You can opt for either more warm and simple lighting options or go for brilliantly decorative fixtures. A ceiling light paired up with scones, and a table lamp can simply do the trick. For a more ornate look, floor lamps, recessed lights and track lights are ideal.
The living room is the place that requires light layering the most. Ideally, you should create a perfect harmony by layering general lights, accent lights and task lights. While lighting in the kitchen and bathroom is all about practicality, the lighting in the living room is all about showcasing your refined tastes.
For a classic look, go with ceiling lights and mounts. For a more luxurious look, choose a large chandelier and pair it up with recessed lights. Highlight your favourite nooks and corners of the room with track lights.
First impressions matter the most. This is why you should mindfully invest in the lighting of entryways and hallways. For creating a welcoming appearance, choose a chandelier or pendant light for halls. In the case of lower ceilings, you can also opt for recessed lights or flush mounts. Scones and track lights can also do the trick.
Like bathroom lights, outdoor lights should be well rated for dampness on the safer side. When it comes to outdoor lighting, the number and style of fixtures usually depend upon the size of your home, garage or lawn. For the garage, go for wall lights, carriage lights or scones placed above the eye level. For porches and patios, ceiling lights are more feasible. For your lawn or yard, choose path lights. A path light will highlight the walkways well.
Lighting by Interior Design Style
The type of lighting you opt for depends on the interior design theme you have chosen for your house. Here’s a quick overview of which lighting will go well, along with the most common interior design themes.
Like the farmhouse theme itself, the lighting has to be a bit rustic to enhance the overall appeal of the interior design. Simplicity is the way to go. Bright lights with clean lines are suitable for a farmhouse theme. Antique white, matte black, iron, and wood finishes are also good choices. If you follow the farmhouse theme of interior design, then flush mounts, chandeliers, pendants and sconces are your safe bet.
The key concept behind modern lighting focuses on bold statement pieces featuring glass, black, shiny chrome or metallic finishes. Clean lines are at the heart of contemporary lighting. It is important to note that modern lighting is not about additional ornamentalism. It revolves around minimalism to create a statement. For modern lighting, track lights and flush mounts are pretty suitable.
As the name suggests, transitional style is transitory and borrows style elements from other themes as well. The same rule applies when it comes to transitional themed lighting as well. The best part about this interior design theme is that you can mix and match various lighting fixtures to create a unique aesthetic.
The classic themed interior design never goes out of fashion. This should also reflect through the lighting choices. Timeless traditional finishes like polished brass, bronze, satin nickel and brass should be emphasized. Since this theme is ideal for highlighting extra details and adding character to space, you should opt for lighting options like candelabra bulbs.
The cottage theme is all about antique finishes. These finishes include wood, white and iron pieces. To complement the vintage aesthetic of your house, go for eclectic lighting fixtures. Hanging lamps, wicker bulbs, lanterns, Beachwood chandeliers and arm wall sconces are some of the best options.
The industrial style is based on boldness, minimalism and utilitarianism. That’s how we sum up industrial interior design. Emphasizing sleek lines, the lighting fixtures should accentuate the shape of bulbs. The perfect finishes for this theme is white, chrome, brass and black. You can opt for an Edison bulb, floor lamp with pulleys, piping chandelier, rope pendants or spherical pendants with wire cage.
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