Not enough light where you need it. Too much light in other areas. Too dark to read. Annoyingly bright lights overhead that make you squint. Poor bathroom lighting that makes you look, dare I say, not as good as usual?
Lighting design is a major component of good interior design. Oftentimes lighting is not “designed” at all and is overlooked until the very end of a project. Then there is little money or time left to properly do the job well. Lighting should be designed in and budgeted for early in the design process; regardless if you are doing a tear down or a smaller remodel.
There are two aspects of lighting design: architectural or “fixed” lighting and decorative or “movable” lighting. Architectural lighting is the permanent lighting that must be installed by an electrician: recessed lights, chandeliers, wall sconces, undercabinet task lights, stair lights, etc. The design and placement of this type of lighting is critical to providing you with properly lit spaces, both for tasks and ambiance. The type of bulb used, wattages, color and dimmability is equally as important. Decorative lighting is movable fixtures like table lamps, floor lamps and art lighting.
Good lighting design is “layered”. Gone are the days of walking into a room with one small ceiling fixture on the ceiling or even worse, a wall switch that only operates a table lamp (yikes). Good lighting design has task lighting (perhaps the overhead recessed lights in a family room), combined with general ambient lighting (for example, lovely wall sconces placed strategically around the room) along with decorative, but useful fixtures (table lamps by a sofa for reading). It is this layering of the lighting that creates a calming, but still functional atmosphere.
I liken good lighting design to that special touch that just makes a house a home. Just as a beautiful necklace and handbag completes a woman’s outfit, so do a lovely chandelier and stylish art lights. There are so many beautiful fixtures out there at all price points. Don’t settle for something boring. Find something special that fits the style of your home and speaks to you.
Go light up your spaces!