Home Interior Lighting

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Interior Decorating Lighting

There are four basic types of lighting that work together in any room.  They are task lighting, general lighting, accent lighting and decorative lighting.  In this article we will focus primarily on task lighting, however, any good lighting plan should incorporate at least the first three of the four listed.

Ambient Interior Lighting

Lighting is an important element in creating the overall feel and ambience of any kitchen. Many kitchens tend to be under lit and may only have one source of light.  It is important to understand that the kitchen is the hub of many activities.  In addition to cooking and eating, the kitchen has become the focal point for various tasks like homework, bill paying, and art projects.  The location of task lighting is essential for the overall functionality of the kitchen.

The following types of lighting for the kitchen should be considered:

Cabinet Lighting – This helps to illuminate the countertops.  The fixture is placed underneath the cabinet close to the front edge.

Mini Pendant Lighting – Illuminates areas over a countertop, a kitchen island or a breakfast bar.  Pendant lighting comes in many varieties and styles, and can be a distinctive decorative item in any kitchen.

Dimmer Switches – Dimmers expand your lighting options.  Dimmers allow a transformation from task lighting to mood lighting.

Consider using a kitchen lighting consultant.  The biggest mistake commonly made is not using a good mix of lighting.  Lighting consultants can assist in developing a lighting plan.  In addition, interior designers are trained in designing an effective lighting scheme that will be functional and aesthetically pleasing at the same time.

When visiting a lighting store, it is a good idea to take pictures of your kitchen and dimensions.  Make a note of the height of the ceiling.  Where are the doors?  How much space is between the cabinets and the ceiling?  How much space is between the cabinets and the countertops?  Having this information will allow the lighting consultants to determine the best types of lighting fixtures to use in the space.

Bathroom Lighting

Adding new bathroom lighting is an inexpensive way to update the appearance of any bathroom. Bathroom light fixtures have a large variety of colors and finishes, and should be coordinated with the plumbing fixtures. Currently, nickel is the most popular finish chosen for plumbing and lighting fixtures.

Begin your bathroom lighting scheme at the vanity with the lights that do the most work.  These lights should allow enough light in order to shave or to apply make-up, and also complimentary to facial features.  It is recommended that these fixtures be incandescent or halogen because this will allow for easy control of brightness with a dimmer.

To be most effective, light fixtures are located along the top of the mirror, down the sides.  Light located on each side of the mirror also work well if they are at eye level.

Light bulb selection is equally as important as selecting and placing the right fixture.  Colored or coated bulbs designed to enhance facial features should be used for lighting vanity areas.  Neodymium light bulbs are highly recommended since their light simulates sunlight.  A neodymium light bulb is an incandescent light bulb that has a slight bluish tint.  The bluish tint provides less yellowish light like a standard incandescent light bulb, and therefore better simulates natural sunlight.

Bathroom fixtures that light down will dissipate heat easier and create a longer life for the bulbs.  Recessed or canned lights should be used as general lighting in a bathroom, but is not ideal for task lighting at the vanity since it cast shadows across the face.

Quick tips for bathroom lighting makeovers:

#1   Change glass globes from frosted to clear

Direct recessed lights to bounce off the walls and ceiling to reduce the glare

Please a UL or mini chandelier over the bathtub to create a romantic and relaxing atmosphere

#2    If room on the counter and with an electrical outlet handy, place a small table lamp on the counter.  This adds warmth and charm to the room and also serves as a night light.

#3  Install a small lit concave mirror near the main vanity mirror.  The curvature of the mirror will magnify what you see in the mirror and the additional light will help improve the lighting for special tasks.

Remember, lighting is the first element of design.  It should not be an afterthought.  Without it, there is no form, color or texture.

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