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It’s that time of year again when, as spring rolls around, you may find yourself inspired by the changing scenery to give your home a few changes of its own. But you don’t need to break the bank to give your home a fresh new look. As nature turns over a new leaf, you may want to turn on a new light. That’s right – indoor lighting could be the perfect way for you to achieve that new interior feel, without the effort and expense of a complete home renovation.
Indoor lighting is often neglected when homeowners are looking for ways to improve their homes. Many people regard lighting as simply a functional feature of the home, and fail to appreciate its decorative potential. Yet, a small bulb change can make or break the ambience of your home, so it’s worthwhile investing in quality indoor lighting. Good lighting will not only give your home greater aesthetic appeal, but may even have a positive effect on your family’s moods and emotions.
Decorative Lighting: General, Task and Accent Lighting
Before you enthusiastically rush off to buy new lights and have them installed, it’s important to understand the basics of interior lighting. Interior lighting is generally considered to be made up of three layers of lighting: general, task and accent lighting. Together these layers create moods, highlight focal points of a room, and bring out the shapes and textures of objects.
- General lighting: General lighting, or ambient lighting, is used to provide even lighting over a whole room. It takes the form of either up-lights or down-lights. Up-lights, such as torchiers, direct illumination up towards the ceiling. Down-lights, such as chandeliers or recessed lights, direct light down toward the floor. The important trick to remember with ambient lighting is that whatever lights you opt for, you should always use dimmers, as these will give you the flexibility to create different moods by increasing or decreasing the lighting.
- Task lighting: The next layer of lighting to consider is task lighting. Task lighting is intended to illuminate smaller areas where more intense lighting is needed for the completion of specific daily tasks, for example, doing homework, reading, or cooking. Task lighting should be about three times brighter than your general lighting. The type of task lighting you use will depend on the room: under-cabinet lighting is perfect for food preparation surfaces in the kitchen; stylish floor lamps are an ideal addition to dining rooms and living rooms; and sconces and pendant lights are a trendy yet functional way to light up your bathroom and vanity counter.
- Accent lighting: Accent lighting is the last layer of indoor lighting and is generally decorative in purpose. It is used to illuminate special focal points such as paintings, sculptures, bookcases or architectural features. Accent lighting is also used to illuminate walls (wall washing), giving your interior a classic feel. Track lights are most popular for this type of lighting. When you install accent lighting, it’s very important to consult your electrician on the particular angles at which the track lights are fixed, as this can influence how effective your accent lighting will be (for example, with picture lighting, you want to be sure that you won’t be creating an unpleasant reflection in the frame).
Take the Leap of Light
While you may be hesitant to experiment with lighting at first, with the right advice and a good electrician, you can create the relaxing atmosphere and beautiful home interior you’ve always desired. Remember that from installation to illumination, Art Plumbing, Air Conditioning & Electric has you covered.