Why the right lighting matters

This kitchen, lit by Cooper Lighting products, features multiple layers of lighting, highlighting the space and creating a welcoming vibe.
This kitchen, lit by Cooper Lighting products, features multiple layers of lighting, highlighting the space and creating a welcoming vibe.

Many homeowners don’t realize just how significant a role lighting plays in the look and feel of every room in a home.

While it should be a primary concern, lighting is often a last-minute addition to an otherwise carefully calculated home design.

Lighting can make or break a perfectly coordinated room. The beauty of your furniture, the style of the art on the walls and the sleekness of your floors and counters won’t matter if the lighting design does not highlight everything in the proper way. 

It is key homeowners recognize that lighting serves a far greater purpose than simply allowing us to see when it’s dark outside. Lighting has a profound effect on the mood and function of any room, and it can determine how the area is perceived by those within it.

People have no desire to spend time in poorly lit spaces. They may not necessarily realize why they prefer one area of a home over another, but lighting tends to play a key role. Rooms that create uncomfortable glares or are too dark will cause melancholy moods. They can also cause people to strain their eyes, leading to uncomfortable headaches.

A well-lit room, on the other hand, will do the opposite. Good lighting can enhance people’s moods and contribute to happier, healthier vibes throughout your home. 

How lighting changes a space 
There are so many ways that light will change a space, including how large or small it feels, the function it serves, as well as its mood and depth. 

When it comes to size, light can be used to make a large room feel smaller and cozier, or a small room feel less confined. Darker rooms typically feel more cramped, so using a lighting effect, such as directional recessed spot lighting to reflect off the walls and make them brighter will add a feeling of openness to a small space. Additionally, you can use multiple circuits to break up a larger space. 

Rooms that are designated for specific tasks, like reading, doing homework or cooking, should include task lighting over the area. You can also use spot lighting to highlight a specific element in a room, like a work of art or an especially beautiful piece of furniture. 

The best rooms, however, involve multiple types of lighting that create a layering effect. This gives the room depth. 

Layering and depth
Layering involves utilizing not only a variety of lighting types, but also a variety of fixtures. You can create a beautifully textured lighting scheme when you use a combination of lamps, recessed lighting, wall-mounted lights and more. All of this will contribute to the personality of the room.

Once you gain an understanding of exactly what kind of light each fixture gives off, you will be able to create the precise atmosphere you desire. When experimenting with lighting design, you also have to remember that light creates shadows and reflections. These can also contribute strongly to the design of a room. When choosing a type of lighting, make sure to consider the type of shadow it casts and whether it will be a positive or negative addition to a room.

Every single light fixture in your home should serve a distinct purpose. None should be purely decorative, as that is a missed opportunity. If you aren’t sure how to make lighting a vital segment of your interior design, consult an ALA member lighting professional. An expert can help you design a lighting scheme that combines the style you’re looking for with the role the light needs to serve. 

For more information on the perfect lighting design for your home, visit americanlightingassoc.com.

Areas of the Home, Lifestyle, Lighting Design, Types of Lighting

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