It’s been a while since I wrote about lighting, and to be honest, I have found it a bit of a struggle not to. I am seriously like a firefly when it comes to all aspects of lighting, I am so fascinated by it. You may be happy to know that I have restrained myself purely because……
1. I do understand that there are those of you yet to pick up the lighting bug.
2. Lighting to you, could just mean that one hanging pendant, and an on off switch. Or maybe you’ve progressed to rows of led downlights? Whilst crying out “That’s lighting. So whats all the fuss about!“, and rolling your eyes.
But oh my lovely readers, you would be so wrong to think this way. So today, I thought I’d enlighten those of you that relate to the above. Of course, I am indulging myself writing this, and yes I do so with a huge grin on my face!
Lighting is such an important element that I have decided it can’t be rushed. There is so much to write about, so this is Part 1. I am hoping by the end of this post, you will at least join me for Part 2, next week. It would be great if we could chat some more about how wonderful a design element it is, and you’ll join me for the ride.
So without further ado, let’s get down to some lighting basics. I am hoping that I will have you all glowing in wonder and awe, and that you too, may start to become a firefly and fall in love with lighting.
Lighting Guide – How To Become A Firefly & Fall In Love With Lighting: Part 1
Drawing from experience, lighting tends to be an after thought for many of us. You can spend a fortune decorating, furnishing and making your spaces look beautiful, but without the magic of lighting, a design scheme will fall flat on its face. It will lack atmosphere, drama, depth, feel and look bland. Achieving great lighting in your spaces, doesn’t have to be technical or complex. However, there are some points that need to be considered before you can achieve an inviting welcoming space. All you need do is apply some thought to the following, and I promise not to be too technical with you!
Why Is Lighting Important?
If you haven’t guessed it already, lighting is a crucial part of our everyday lives. It is extremely important to our homes as they bring them to life, and alter our perceptions of our spaces at the same time. Lighting is indeed a powerful tool to creating the perfect interior. It can really impact on how we perceive our spaces. An example of which, is that we are naturally drawn to the brightest point in any room, and carefully positioned lighting will draw your eye around a room, and err not just up at the ceiling!
Lighting can transform even the smallest of rooms. The above powder room has been given the illusion of space by clever lighting and textures. Light bounces off reflective surfaces and creates a wonderful feeling of space and light.
Yes, I know it’s obvious that we are surrounded by natural light during the day, but its an important aspect of any lighting plan. Assessing how much natural light your room receives before going about layering your lighting is paramount to success. The natural light received to our rooms is often dictated by the structure of the space to how large or small your windows are.
Take into consideration the layout of your windows and their size, as well as orientation as these will dictate how much natural light enters your rooms too. The climate where you live also has an impact on the quality and quantity of natural light you are either lucky, or not so lucky to have.
Georgian Properties are renowned for their use of large windows, which utilise as much natural day light as possible to their classically proportioned rooms. Somerset House above is a great example of this.
Today, like our predecessors, we are still making use of installing large windows to enable as much natural light into our spaces whilst reducing energy consumption.
The above spaces both receive lots of natural light, but like myself, we all have spaces, that don’t. These less fortunate spaces are the ones that will need more thought and consideration to.
Without shadow and shade in our spaces, they will lack texture and depth whilst having a bleached out look to them. Think office lighting where it is all downlights, and stays that way consistently. There are no shadows and, therefore, no interest or detail picked up from one continuous light source. This is where you need to take stock if your thinking spot/downlights are the answer to lighting your homes.
The best way to ensure that shadows are created, is to ensure different levels of lighting are applied such as table and floor lamps, as well as lighting walls and/or artwork.
Shadow is important for creating atmosphere and defining spaces,it also provides us with information about 3d forms,contours, edges, distances and depths.
Dark styled interiors are becoming more and more popular. To prevent them from looking like a dark black hole, layers of lighting, at different levels will help draw the eye around the room.
From dark to all white styled rooms such as above, benefit from layers of lighting to bring out texture, detail and contrast. During the winter months, they offer warming ambience to these styled spaces.
The effects of natural light and shadow are a great way to start thinking about how light can play an important part of your spaces. Once, you have understood these two principles, it helps pave the way forward to implementing a great lighting design.
Join me next week, for Part 2, where I will be taking about the different types of lighting that help you achieve lighting greatness in your homes.
Until next time, thank you for stopping by and taking the time to read today’s post.
Have a great weekend!!