Lighting Design Dos and Don’ts

September 11, 2015

Lighting Design Dos and Don’ts

Camera, lights, action! Interior lighting design is a little bit like a film set. Although you most likely won’t be doing forward rolls through your living room, you can certainly create a bit of drama with your choice of lights. Picture a reading light in a softly lit room for relaxation, or a spotlighton a gallery wall for a statement. Without the right lights, there isn’t much action in your home! And although lighting has to be practical, it can create a stylish effect at the same time. Want to make your home come to live at night? These lighting design tips will help get you started. Have a look at our 10 lighting design dos and don’ts:

Lighting Design Dos:

  • Do emphasise specific objects such as art work, plants or architectural features like a fireplace. This will create that extra bit of drama.
  • Do let light bounce off the ceiling and, if they’re white or a very light colour, the walls. Floor lamps with shade that you can angle ortable lamps on high cabinets are great for this. It will allow the light to softly reflect off these surfaces.
  • Do match the form, material or style to the rest of the interior. Too often people save on their lighting fixture in order to cut down on expenses. However, a well-chosen light can do as much for an interior as a rug or paint colour. It’s really easy to browse lights online, so there’s no excuse!
  • Do make sure the light sources are varied; this will make your interior lighting design so much more dynamic. Read more about it in our blog on layering lighting.
  • Do hide halogen lights underneath kitchen cabinets or architectural features such as arches or vaulted ceilings. This will create pleasant, subtle pools of light that can help highlight specific objects or function as practical task lighting.

Lighting Design Don’ts:

  • Don’t stop at one overhead light in a room. You’ll be limited to a dimmer to create an effect. Although this can definitely be useful, an extra desk lamp will already create a much more dynamic look.
  • Don’t use fluorescent lights as overhead lighting. It creates a simply unflattering glow. This doesn’t mean you have to avoid this type of lighting everywhere, though. For example, a fluro desk lamp can be a great help on your desk for reading.
  • Don’t fill up your ceiling with too many halogen spots. Even though this can create sufficient lighting for the entire room, it is also dull in terms of design. In the words of The Block judge Darren Palmer, “You’d see all the action, all the time. There would be no contrast, no ambience, no sense of movement or play of light and shade.”
  • Don’t use light bulbs with a high contrast colour temperature in the same room. This is particularly important to consider if you have an open-plan home.
  • Don’t be afraid to leave some parts of the room a little bit darker. This will create a relaxed ambience.
    If you follow these interior lighting design tips, you are one step closer to creating a dynamic look for your home. Need some inspiration? You can easily browse and buy pendant lights online for overhead lighting or other types of lighting in our online lighting store. Have fun!
    Image 1 via remodelista, image 2 via digsdigs
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