THE INTERIOR DESIGN BLOG

LIGHTING 101 - BASIC TOOLS TO UNDERSTAND INTERIOR LIGHTING

Friday, 2 May 2014

We all tend to consider lighting as the least important aspect of our design or even our home for that matter, but on the contrary, lighting is as important as all the other design elements. (Fact is: Lighting defines the mood of a room). Now, of course, there are exceptions to that, but I will prove my theory. You can choose a specific color of paint to apply on your walls of your room but if the lighting in that specific space is not addressed correctly, you might not get what you paid for, in terms of "color". Let me be more descriptive...The types of light bulbs and the color temperature chosen impacts the mood of a room.

Identical spaces, with identical wall and ceiling color. The only thing that changes this space is the lighting.


Lighting is calculated based on a temperature scale. I'm not going to get too technical but I want to provide you with couple quick tips that may help you the next time you need to change your bulb or redesign a room.

**TAKE NOTE** K stands for Kelvin. It measures temperature just like Celsius and Fahrenheit. The cooler the temperature gets on the scale, the higher the temperature in Kelvin gets. This means if you want to get a cool type of lighting such as a "natural daylight" then you must look for a bulb in the 4100K-5000K range. If you want a warm feeling in the bedroom, look for the 2700K-3000K bulbs.
 *It will be identified on the packaging box.*



These are the three different types of light bulbs that we generally used in our household.  They can be used for Task lighting, Ambient lighting, Accent/Mood lighting and/or Decorative lighting. Most homes use the classic incandescent but it's not the only type of bulb. 

  • Task lighting is used for work-related activities such as reading, writing, cutting etc. This type of lighting should be located between your head and work surface, Anything above the head will cause figure/body shadow to be reflected onto your work. 
  • Ambient lighting generally gives that soft glow to your space.  It has this effect which can also dim the mood your room. This type of lighting should be used in sources that will bounce illumination off the walls and ceilings. (Indirect lighting) 
  • Accent lighting is used to highlight different elements or objects in a space such as a brick wall, stone structure, painting, sculpture, art, etc. Mood lighting is related to a soft atmosphere, such as a candlelight dinner.
  • Last but not least, Decorative lighting. The name speaks for itself. It's used as decor to create a welcoming feel in a space.

This chart may also help in choosing different bulbs for specific light fixtures.


There you have it... Your first LIGHTING 101 course. Lighting is a very complex and amazing element which can be explained through in-depth research and experiments. Generally, this is the most you may need to know for your home DIY project so we can leave the technicalities for someone else. Hope this helps!!!


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