The interior of your home is defined by a unique combination of factors, including the layout of your furniture, your choice of colors and textures, and the unique pieces of artwork or decorations that you hang on your walls. But one of the most important elements for creating the right atmosphere is also one of the most overlooked—your lighting.
Your choices in lighting type, position, intensity, and character can completely make or break the ambiance and functionality of the rooms of your house. Fortunately, you can install and adjust new lighting easily, and gain mastery over how it affects your home decor.
First, we should discuss the importance of energy savings. Choosing LED bulbs, or even CFL bulbs, over incandescent bulbs can dramatically reduce your energy costs—especially if you’ve already chosen the best utility provider in your area. For most applications, LEDs look better than their traditional bulb counterparts as well, meaning you’ll save money and have more practical lighting while still making your environment look better.
One of the best uses for lighting in your home is as an accent. If used creatively, you can rely on lighting to draw the attention of your guests to key pieces throughout your home. For example, if you have an impressive piece of art on your living room wall, you can use track lighting or a soft spotlight to highlight it. If you have a collection on display in a glass case, you can use strip LEDs to softly illuminate it. You can even use LEDs around the frame of your TV to create bias lighting, which can improve both the quality of the image and reduce strain on your eyes.
If you don’t have many pieces to accent in a given room, you can use lighting to improve spatial perceptions. For example, focusing lighting on the ceiling to illuminate it—especially if it’s a bright color—can make the ceiling seem higher, giving guests the illusion of more space. You can use a similar effect if you’re illuminating the walls.
Natural Light and Openness
So far, we’ve mostly covered possibilities for artificial lights, but don’t forget how important natural light is to human perceptions. Light from outside can make a room feel more “natural” and brighter during the
You can also exert more control over the natural light entering a room with the use of window treatments like curtains or blinds; versatility is key for rooms that serve multiple purposes, but you may have rooms that fare strongly better with one window treatment option over another.
Lighting plays a role in
Reflected Light and Atmosphere
Depending on the nature of your room, you may also be able to capitalize on reflected light to create a unique atmosphere. The idea here is to have one or several mirrors throughout your room, coupled with a soft or dim light source. The mirrors will reflect the soft light source, amplifying it to fill the room—without bombarding that room with lighting that’s too bright or overwhelming. It’s perfect for the cozier rooms you use to relax.
Texture and Color
Finally, think about the texture and color of your lighting—and the possibilities are endless here. By using a metal frame around your lights, you can illuminate a pattern of light and shadow on the walls, giving your room a unique character. And by employing LEDs that change color, you can fill the room with a colorful ambiance that matches whatever mood you’re trying to create. Just make sure you use these techniques sparingly, since an overabundance of color or texture can be off-putting.
Even with a minimal budget, you should be able to create a lighting landscape that perfectly complements your interior design. Experiment with a few options to find what works for each space, and differentiate between rooms to create a different function and a different atmosphere for each.