What do a candle lit dinner, film noir, and a sun-bathed patio have in common? Lighting. Filmmakers, photographers and interior designers use lighting to create mood and effect. It’s easy to use lighting the same way in your home.
There are five general types of lighting you can use to accent or illuminate a room. First determine what your functional needs are. A kitchen, for example, requires an increased amount of light in food preparation areas; and, you’ll want to create fewer shadows in front of a bathroom or vanity mirror.
Next, you can select the right lighting solution. Ambient light fills a room with a warm glow and creates few shadows. This is your foundational light source that other lights will complement. Installing a dimmer to an existing light switch in your dining room, living room, or bedroom will allow you to adjust the intensity of your ambient lighting.
Accent and aesthetic light are great ways to highlight an architectural feature of a room or a piece of statuary. Choose a table lamp or spotlight with an opaque shade to direct light in a given direction. If you have artwork in your home consider installing picture lights to illuminate colors in paintings and photographs.
Task lighting is easy on the eyes and helpful in daily tasks such as reading and cooking. It should be glare-free to enhance visual clarity. For example, try installing rope lights, recessed, or tube lights under a kitchen cabinet to make food preparation safer and easier.
Natural light looks good and is good for you. If you have large picture windows consider draping them with sheer fabric to allow sunlight in. You’ll get more vitamin D and save on your energy bill by not relying on electrical light. Other sources of natural light include candle and fire light.
Installing light switches and fixtures can be a rewarding project. While most electrical repairs are pretty simple, use caution and good judgment to prevent accidents. Before starting any home wiring be sure to turn off the power to the area or device you are working on. Test the power with a circuit tester to be sure it is off.