Selecting the proper lighting for your home is very important. Proper lighting plays a major role in how we feel. It affects our well-being and mood. In warm, bright light we are able to work more efficiently, whereas dim lighting will relax us.
When decorating your home take into account the available natural light at different times of the day as well as the different types of artificial light that are available.
How much natural light a room receives depends on the size of the window and its orientation to the sun. South-facing windows get direct sunlight all day. East-facing windows receive the sunlight in the mornings while west-facing windows are sunny in the afternoon. North-facing rooms receive indirect natural light and typically feels cool.
You can control how much sunlight enters a room by adding blinds, shades or lined curtains.
Be careful not to place your desk facing direct sunlight and try not to have your back to the window because it will create shadows on the work surface.
Ambient lighting lights the entire room-usually with an overhead fixture. This type of lighting should change with the environment. It should blend in with the natural light the room receives and at night it shouldn’t cause a sharp contrast with the darkness outside.
Task lighting is used to perform functions. It lights up a specific area (bedside table, work desk, makeup desk, end tables next to sofa, food prep area…) Include task lighting where you need it and only turn it on when it’s needed. Too much light in a room can feel harsh.
Accent lighting is the most dramatic type of lighting. It draws attention to something in the room and makes it come alive by creating a mood. Sometimes used over fireplaces to highlight art work.
Decorative lighting draws attention to itself and provides low light. (Think candles, flames in a fireplace, chandeliers or light strips.)
Keep in mind that task and accent lighting are used to provide more light, and ambient and decorative lighting are used to create a comfortable and relaxing feel. Try to incorporate a combination of lighting plans so you will have proper lighting when you need it.