‘And God said…Let there be light!’ (The Bible)
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Every room must have a mix of lighting because the appropriate lighting can lift up your spirits and make you feel relaxed & productive…!
Selecting the right lighting for different rooms in your home can be a complicated exercise. Gharpedia shares some useful tips to ease this challenge.
Gone are the days when your local electrician came and did the wiring of your house and within a couple of days you had a well-lit house! Today with the mind-boggling options of – bright lights, dim lights, hanging lights, wall lights, chandelier lights, LED lights and many more… lighting is fast evolving into a core element of interior designing.
There are trained professionals who spend a lot of time and effort for selecting the lights that are perfectly right for you and the space they’re going to light up. And they decide these keeping in mind critical elements like – function, style quotient, and illumination power.
Are you interested in learning a tad more about – the lighting options available; the apt lighting for every room in your home (including the illuminating power) et al? Then you’ve come to the right place!
Types of Lighting
Lighting is broadly divided into three segments:
Basically, ambient lighting is the prime source of light found in a room and could be anything from overhead fixtures to recessed lighting.
It is used to provide light for specific activities say doing-yourself-up in front of a mirror or reading a book and hence they are used to brighten just a small area of the room.
Task lights vary in sizes and shapes with swivel function enabling them to be wall-mounted, fixed at a desk or embedded into a mirror.
These lights focus on highlighting something say an item or installation in your house; it could be a – fireplace, an artifact or a bookshelf. These lights can be elegant, luxurious, outlandish and simple. Examples include – sconces, lamps and chandeliers.
Besides, angle of lighting is the angle at which lighting fixtures are supposed to be fixed to efficiently utilize the light emitted by lighting fixtures. Let us know about different ways to set angle of lighting.
Now let’s take a quick look at the options for the best lighting for your home galore:
These are directly mounted on the wall. Sconces which can be hardwired into the wall are generally purchased in pairs for placing on either side of a fireplace or a mirror. While swing-arm sconces (which have a cord hanging down to be plugged in) are usually mounted independently as an accent light, focusing on a piece of art or a bookcase.
Flush Mounts and Semi-Flush Mounts:
These are archetypally rooted in the ceiling (hanging approximately 6-12 inches away from the ceiling) from where they unobtrusively brighten the room.
Pendant lights hang extremely low from the ceiling by a cord, chain or wire. They function as a task light, hanging above a dining room table or a kitchen island.
A large lighting system – either decorative or functional on the basis of their placement – these are always suspended from the ceiling.
A task light variant. These are available as floor lamps or table lamps and are extremely popular as they’re expensive and moveable too! Here we have a very informative article on types of lamps which will definitely help you to make your home bright & beautiful:
Lighting Suggestions for Different Rooms/Areas of a House
Practically every house has an entryway, living room, dining room, kitchen, bedroom, bathroom, work area, outdoors section and a staircase. Here’s presenting some pointers for recommended lighting for these areas/rooms to achieve the best lighting in your home:
Amazing Lighting Concept for Entry, Hallway and Stairs
Generally, the pathways through a home and entry points require ambient lighting; unless one wishes to focus on an artifact or architectural element through accent lighting. Opt for-ceiling-mounted or wall sconces for a small entry; and a chandelier with lighting controls at both ends for a double height entry with a staircase.
For those hallways & staircases which are adorned with artwork or photographs, one can go for – PAR (Parabolic Aluminized Reflector) and MR (Multi-faceted Reflector) light bulbs for accent lighting.
Ambient lighting for entries and stairways: 1,200-4,000 lumens.
Ambient lighting for a hallway: 1,200-2,500 lumens
Best Lighting for Living Room
As members gather for long stretches of time and engage in multitude activities (conversation, watching television, reading, playing board games, using a laptop et al) here, this room needs layering light.
Table lamps with a LED or incandescent light bulb placed near a game table or a reading chair can take care of task lighting for a living room. While accent lighting can be brought into the fore for focusing on conversational pieces like -a painting, plant, sculpture, bookcase, fireplace etc.
Ambient Lighting: 1,500-3,000 lumens
Task Lighting: Minimum 400 lumens
Lighting Tips for Dining Room
This room calls for lighting bright enough for you to converse and eat at the dinner table which is the primary focus of this room. Hence fixtures placed directly above the table provide both ambient and task lighting for this room.
For those houses which have dining rooms with French doors – lighting-up something outside the doors is a mandate to resolve the glass reflection problem in the room at night.
Ideally a dining room would have the following lighting plan – a chandelier placed bang above the table; along with cove lighting on two opposing walls.
Ambient and Task Lighting: 3,000-6,000 lumens
Lighting Tips for Kitchen
Kitchens are the heart of a house. With the major tasks here being food preparation and clean-up, the lighting of this gathering spot is a mix of task and ambient lighting.
Think in particular of the task lighting for the counters, where most of the work takes place, and over the sink.
Sinks need to be located at a window to maximize natural light; this can further be strengthened with a ceiling-mounted or recessed fixture placed directly above the sink.
For illuminating the countertop explore the option of under-cabinet lighting instead of overhead light as the latter may cast shadows on the person working at the counters.
Pendant lights are a functional and stylish option for open bars and kitchen islands.
Ambient Lighting: 5,000-10,000 lumens
Task Lighting (at counters, sink and range): Minimum 450 lumens each
Make Your Bedrooms Stunning with Lighting Ideas
Two priority lighting areas for this room are – bedside reading and closet lighting. Experts recommend wall-mounted light fixtures with adjustable arms (to direct the light to the reading material) for bedside reading.
Keeping in view the fact that the bedrooms calls for a relaxing atmosphere, central ceiling-mounted fixtures are a strict no-no!
So, one can opt for – either floor and table lamps, with table lamps on nightstands and dresser; or wall-mounted fixtures flanking the bed along with a pair of wall-mounted sconces near the dresser. While for the closet one can explore ceiling-mounted or recessed fixtures.
Ambient Lighting: 2,000-4,000 lumens
Reading Light: 500 lumens each
Closet Lighting: 400 lumens
Lighting Tips for Bathroom
With this room being the core for personal grooming ensure that lights are placed on both sides of the mirror rather than having a central ceiling-mounted fixture that cast shadows on a person standing in front of the mirror.
Ambient Lighting: 4,000-8,000 lumens
Task Lighting: 1,700 lumens
- Opting for quality fixtures which offer durability.
- Spacing out your lighting to create interesting focal points i.e. light something close to the house, something midway and something in a far corner.
- Avoiding excessive usage of light at all places barring the front door – where you can opt for two wall-mounted fixtures flanking the door.
Lighting at the front entry: 1,000-2,000 lumens
On pathways: Minimum 300 lumens
Lighting in Home Offices
With more and more people opting for work from home identifying a suitable area and deciding on the lighting is of critical importance. Key considerations here are:
- Minimizing shadows and reflections by positioning a task light for the desk area on any side of the occupant’s main work orientation.
- Opting for indirect lighting -reflected off walls or ceilings, rather than distributed in one direction.
- Positioning a reading chair next to a window to maximize on natural light.
Ambient Lighting: 3,000-6,000 lumens
Task Lighting: Minimum 1,200 lumens
Hope these room-by-room tips for help you improve the best lighting of your home…!
I have some concluding points for you to note:
- Darker hues on the walls reflect less light hence the light fixtures of a room with dark-coloured walls would need to be of sturdier lumens
- The brightness and heat generated by a type of lighting must be considered while lighting an art collection.
- “My advice, basis my experience of setting up my dream house, is to lay a lot of stress on elements like lighting as they can make or break the aesthetic and functionality quotient of your house. In fact, my wife Meeti and I have personally selected and picked up all our lights from our trips abroad. But today when our guests appreciate the beautiful lighting of our house, we feel it was worth all the effort” – Nehal Shah, Businessman – Ahmedabad (Gujarat-India).
I hope you liked the article. If you liked our article, I hope you will like other such article on different types of lighting & landscape lighting too….
An English Literature and Journalism Topper, Huta Raval has graduated from the L D Arts College, Ahmedabad. Post serving for 23 years in the NBFC and Public Library Sectors her desire for ‘writing the unwritten’ brought her to the creative field of content writing. Her clientele comprises of NGOs, Blogging Platforms, Newspapers, Academic Institutions, et al.