When it comes to thinking about the space, ambience, and flow of space in the home, lighting is one of the most fundamental elements needed.
Most people will know that if you want to create an atmosphere that is more relaxing and sleep-inducing, the softer, dimmed lights are the most effective. On the other hand, if you want to feel more alert and awake to focus, the brighter lights can create an atmosphere suited to this need.
It’s true that something as simple as switching up the lighting in your home can create an entirely different atmosphere, making your home feel bigger, warmer and more inviting.
Here are 7 simple tips on how to use lighting to create different atmospheres within your home.
Create your lighting plan
If you’re redecorating a room or starting a design project from scratch, it will be useful for you to create a lighting plan or a mini brief that covers that lighting plan to cover the basics in lighting. Really make sure that you take the time to think about the activities that take place in every room that you’re going to be working on. For example, working, relaxing, cooking, and eating. Consider if there are any key features that you want to showcase in each room and if there are any architectural boundaries that you could possibly need to take into account.
Here is where you’ll begin to think about the style, scale, output and colour temperatures of the lights you want in each room before you make final design decisions. You may find that you can begin by working with what you have before making any purchases. This is where planning comes in useful- especially if you can save some additional time and money from not having to buy extra lights!
Make sure that your lighting is useful for what you need it for
People often fail to consider what tasks they might be undertaking in each room when planning their lighting. The way lights are used can either aid or affect how these things are done.
For example, an everyday task such as cooking will require much more concentrated lighting, so a combination of downlights and recess lighting; above stovetops and underneath cabinets above work surfaces are incredibly useful.
If you like reading, then a flexible and directional lamp aimed away from you makes sure you’re able to see what’s on the page without you having to strain from them being either too bright or too dim. Bathrooms need to have a combination of sidelights and downlights so that a middle of the night bathroom trip doesn’t leave you too blinded by the lights.
In living spaces such as lounges and bedrooms, using lamps and dimmers are a great way of providing energy-efficient and effective ways of changing the atmosphere and warmth of a room depending on the time of day and the circumstance you’ll likely use them in.
Layer up your lighting
You understand the difference wearing layers of clothing can make to your look, but did you know that this can be useful for you when planning your lighting arrangements, too?
Taking an overall more layered approach to lighting: focusing on using different sources across several different levels can create ambience and interest within a room. You can use lighting to make the best of the size and shape of a room. For example, uplighting can make a room feel larger, and feature lighting such as these beautiful Murano Chandeliers for sale or low hung pendants can help to create the illusion of height, while clusters of different types of lighting can make larger rooms appear to be cosier. The use of spotlights can work well if they are pointed at the centre of a dining table to invite people in. There are even some spotlights that can be multidirectional and adjusted throughout the day.
Layering up means that you can have one or all of your different lights on at any one time, creating an entirely different aesthetic or atmosphere as you do so.
Be careful when choosing your bulbs
Most people leave the bulb buying process to a mad panic when they realise one has blown, but doing it this way can leave you with fewer types to choose from. The lightbulbs you choose should be considered more than just an afterthought or something you pick up along with your frozen peas at the supermarket. There are lots of things to be considered when it comes to buying new light bulbs.
-The atmosphere you’re trying to create (consider the colour temperature such as lower temperatures mimicking candlelight are cooler-toned, higher temperatures are more similar to the blue sky outside.
-How bright you want the space to be (which will mean checking the wattage of each bulb)
– Do you want them to be more energy-efficient? (Lights that are used more frequently should be more energy-efficient to lessen the environmental impacts of using light for long durations of time.
-Is it a design or focal statement that you’re trying to create with the lights? (the scale, shape and colours of the lights should be a priority here)
Each of these elements will help you to determine the type of bulbs you should be buying, but don’t ignore that some bulbs are made for specific purposes such as spotlight bulbs that may not fit into a reading light.
Lighting after dark
When it comes to the evening time, you’re less likely to want or need all of the lights on as you prepare to go to bed. And what about if you need to get up in the middle of the night to use the bathroom? Those early morning toilet breaks are made much worse when you’re faced with that harsh lighting that leaves us temporarily blind.
If you have to use the stairs, you don’t want to have to put all the lights on to guide your way up and down them. Invest in directional floor level lighting from the stairs to the bathroom to create a subtle guide when you need it.
Think like a museum: Using spotlights
When you go to an art gallery or museum, the curators will often use lighting to focus on the works of art. You can use this method to not so subtly emphasise a favourite element. For example, a feature wall, one of your favourite items, or any beautiful features of the architecture of your home. Or using wall-mounted lights that are arranged symmetrically around either side of a statement mirror or print will add the desired elegance, warmth, and sophistication to a room.
Make sure these spotlights are used to highlight a feature rather than to hide them away by being too bright!
Remember that less is more
Going back to the first point about making plans for your lights in the home. It’s here that you’ll focus on keeping to a specific theme, colour scheme and material finish throughout the home.
Having too many different styles creating a strange assortment of lights can cause uneasiness when in the home. Instead, go by the ‘less is more’ mantra and understand that lights can make or break the consistency of your design.
Opt for neutral brighter tones to open up a room to make it appear large. Adding those pops of colour in lampshades will add a statement and interest if done sensitively, and darker hues will tend to add that touch of luxury and cosiness like a high-end hotel. Decide on your desired aesthetic and you will be in for a win.