Let's break it down; lighting is the crown jewel of interior design. It may be my favorite aspect of the job. There is nothing more satisfying than seeing a good design come together with great lighting. But, not all lighting is created equal. Many people take light for granted, not realizing that it can make such a large impact on how a space looks, feels, and functions. Knowing which types of lighting are out there and when to use them is half the battle. So, here is a handy guide on choosing the right lighting for your space.
1 - General Lighting
General lighting is meant to illuminate a room, such as recessed lighting. Recessed lights are a series of metal fixtures that are installed above the ceiling line, providing clarity to a room without being too noticeable. It is simple, clean and functional. A great choice for achieving a minimal look. But, often you will want to supplement your general lighting with other forms. A truly successful design plan will be multilayered in its use of light.
2 - Indirect Lighting
Indirect lighting is a lighting fixture where the direction of light faces the ceiling or wall it is mounted on. While not ideal for every room, it can be used if you want subtle, diffused light and to evoke a calming mood.
3 - Task Lighting
Task lighting is directed light used for individual tasks. Reading lamps, under cabinet lights, and vanity lights are all perfect examples of this type. They are not meant to light an entire space, just to provide an additional layer of light for certain actions. They should be present in a room where necessary, but switched off during most times.
4 - Decorative Lighting
Decorative lighting includes chandeliers, pendant lights, sconces (wall-mounted lights), and everything in between. Not only do these fixtures add beauty and intrigue to your space, but it also helps to consume space. This is especially important when you have high ceilings, or a particularly large room. You need to fill the space between the ceiling and the ground in order for a room to feel balanced, and lighting is one of the best ways to do so. Decorative lighting gently illuminates a room, so it is wise to use it wherever atmosphere is a key concern. It can make a huge difference in the mood of the space. Subtle light comes off as warmer, more comfortable, calming, and inviting than harsh overhead LED lighting. Dining rooms, living rooms, foyers and entertaining areas should certainly include decorative lighting.
Remember to consider the function of a space when deciding on lighting. For example, your kitchen will need to be very well lit for cooking and food preparation. Your dining room, on the other hand, can have softer lighting to evoke a more romantic and intimate mood. Entertaining rooms should treat lighting as almost a centerpiece; a brilliant chandelier, indirect lighting on the ceiling, or sconces that create beautiful shadows on the walls are all great mood-enhancing light choices as well as conversation-starters.
What is your favorite type of lighting? For more interior design advice, join our email newsletter, and follow @awilsonleestore on Instagram!