Most people do not think about lighting when they start decorating their apartment. They spend all their time poring over paint charts and magazines but it is actually the light that shows off a space to it full advantage. Good lighting will make your home feel spacious, clean and welcoming.
Natural light, electric light and colour are all connected. When decorating your apartment these are all things you should think of and coordinate before starting your project.
If your windows are small you could use light blinds or muslin drapes instead of curtains. This will allow the natural light to come through without any interruptions.
Types of lighting
A successful lighting plan should be made up of several layers of lighting. In this article we will go through the different types of lighting that can enhance your living space:
- Natural light
- Electric light
- Ambient light
- Accent light
- Task light
To make the most out of the natural light available in your apartment, you need to think about what you will be using the various rooms for, keeping in mind that the daylight changes throughout the year.
Ideas to maximise your natural light
Hang mirrors, particularly opposite windows.
Use voile or muslin to diffuse light or perforated roller blinds to block out harsh sunlight.
Replace an inner door with a glass panelled door.
Use light reflective surfaces and pale carpets and furnishing.
Trim any overhanging bushes or tree by your windows.
Electric light can never light a room as efficiently as the sun, so think of electric light as atmospheric background. With electric lights you can easily create either a cosy or a really dramatic light effect in your apartment.
Ideas to maximise your electric light
Choose something more versatile then a single light bulb hanging from the ceiling. Use spotlight which can use used to highlight your favourite picture or mirror.
Highlight features such as ceiling coving with uplighters.
Layer the lighting throughout the room so you have the right kind of lighting for your different needs, for example table lamps and ceiling lights.
Make sure that all your lighting is controlled separately to avoid over-illuminations.
Ambient or background lighting is usually provided by a central pendant light and often causes problems as it creates a bland and flat effect. However, if you supplement your general lighting with other types of lighting you can end up with a great and flexible lighting scheme.
Accent lighting is meant to give texture and shade to all general lighting by adding depth and shade with different shadows and pools of light. It is formed by a mixture of halogen spotlights, downlighters, uplighters, tracks and table lamps. With the table lamps use opaque shades that directs light down and prevent it spilling out. Tracks are great for lighting different areas of a room.
Once the basics are in place, decide which possessions to highlight, whether it's glass or a picture.
This is what you need when your are doing specific jobs whether it is reading, cooking or working on your computer.
Task lighting needs to be focused on the area you are using. If the light seeps out, you are likely to get glare from other surfaces. Task lights comes with tungsten, halogen or fluorescent bulbs.
What you need from a task light
You light should be able to take a 60 watts bulb at least, as it must be brighter than the others in the room.
Use inexpensive pull-down pendant or clip-ons.
Clip-on spotlights are useful as you can move them to wherever you are working.
To be continue.......