Lighting can make a huge difference to the overall look and feel of a room but to be successful, you need to know the ways to get your lighting right. Lighting can brighten dim corners, flood a space, showcase your treasures or create the perfect ambiance whether for work or play. If you need to make a difference to your existing fittings and spaces or are thinking of a room makeover, check out these ways to get your lighting right.
1. Mix It up
According to interior designers, one of the recommended ways to get your lighting right is to mix up your choices. Don’t just focus on one type of lighting for your space and use a mixture of table lamps, floor lamps, ambient lighting, wall lights and overhead lighting fixtures to create the look, feel and atmosphere that you want.
2. Work to Scale
The space that you wish to select lighting for is going to be one of the key factors in getting lighting right. The right lighting will open up a small space and create balanced moods and highlight focal pieces of furniture or décor pieces. Lighting can be both a focal point and a comforting complement in any sized space. If you’re going for overhead fittings make sure it will cover the entire space or fill the gaps with other lighting. Don’t flood small spaces with masses of light and don’t under-illuminate large spaces. Being able to produce the perfect blend of main light and accent lights is quite an art and it’s fun to try.
3. Natural Light
Natural light is often the pinnacle for successful room lighting. Your lighting needs to be able to work together with the natural lighting available during the day, maximizing the best of Mother Nature in your home or office. But you also want to be able to create various ambient moods as the sun sets and once it is dark – providing the right amount of light without being too soft. An example of how to work with light to get the right ambiance is to use blackout curtains with your choice of lights to counteract any problems with street light intrusion.
4. Lamp Shades
Choosing the correct table lamp will go a long way in helping you achieve the best lighting in your space. Have a look at the shade on your potential table lamp – can you see the actual light bulb or the light bulb socket from a standing or seated position? If you can, you have probably selected a lamp that is too tall. The glare of the light bulb over the lampshade will be unpleasant once the light is required after sundown.
5. Go for Bold
Pick lamp bases and lamp shades that are really dramatic, bold and say something about your own personal, iconic style. In any sized room, an unexpected shape, color or size of a table or floor lamp adds a certain touch of drama, allure and fun to your space. They can really stand out and make a statement while still providing you with the best lighting.
6. Fabric of Lampshades
The ways to get your lighting right are not only about color and style and personal preference; the actual fabric that the lampshade is covered with will also affect the light provided. If you are after a bright light in your room, choose a nice fresh white or cream. But if you are looking for a more diffused and subtle source of light, then fabric like burlap or linen will be what you are looking for. But take into account that anything that is high fashion is high maintenance and think of the nightmare it will be trying to keep a pleated silk lampshade clean as opposed to a crisp linen lampshade.
7. Mismatched Does Work
There are many people who think that in order to follow a particular trend or style, everything has to match. This is not the case at all, and in fact, a room that has mismatched lamp bases and lampshades will immediately feel more homely, comforting and inviting. Stiff matching lamps on opposite sides of the room is a very formal and outdated look and has government building written all over it.
8. Canned Lighting
There was a stage where canned lighting on dimmers were all the rage, and every bathroom, office, kitchen and lounge space had ceiling crammed with these small, fussy lights everywhere. And while they provided a certain amount of charm and ambient lighting, to get enough light to quantify them as overhead lighting you end up looking like the ceiling has been stripped from a space ship. Less is more – and you should only use canned lighting as small touches to get the right lighting for your space.
There are no strict rules that dictate the ways to get your lighting right. Like pretty much any interior design there is some trial and error, but it is also a creative element of room décor that is too often overlooked. You can spend an age choosing wall colors, furniture and accessories, but get the lighting wrong and the look you are trying to achieve may well elude you. These are just some ways to consider for successful room lighting, but have fun trying your own. Let us know your tips too.