How To Choose Lighting for Your Home with Edge Design
At Edge Design Consultants we believe lighting is at the heart of interior design. Lighting impacts how we perceive and experience a space because our lighting choices dramatically affect the appearance, mood and emotions of a room.
If you feel overwhelmed on where to begin to choose lighting for your home… You’re not alone. We break it down to the key areas of consideration. Good lighting design is all about layers. Layering the lighting in every room is the secret to a truly beautiful space.
Layer 1 – Ambient Lighting
Layer 2 – Task Lighting
Layer 3 – Accent Lighting
Layer 4 – Decorative Lighting
The first layer is the ambient or general lighting. This is the lighting that illuminates the whole space which is why it is also referred to as general lighting. The lighting that you choose here instantly allows everything to be clearly lit and ensures everything is visible. A dramatic chandelier above your dining table, beautiful feature lighting in a living room, bedrooms and lounge area. It can be a feature as much as it can be low key such as recessed or down lights. Fixtures like chandeliers, track lighting, recessed or flushed lighting and lighting from ceiling fans all play a major role in this first layer.
Dramatic chandeliers are great decorative pieces that set the style of the home well before sofas, rugs and home décor.
The second layer is known as task lighting, as the name suggests, the light required to ensure each room can be functional for its intent. It is important we understand the tasks required to be carried out in each room BEFORE we choose and position our task lighting. If you begin with the end vision in mind, your focused task lighting choices will support the activities. Think in terms of lighting above benchtops in kitchen prep areas, the stove, a reading nook, study or home office lighting and even outdoor entertaining and cooking areas. Items such as desk and table lamps, floor lamps, retractable arm lamps for reading, pendant lights above benchtops, sconces on either side of mirrors in bedrooms and bathrooms are ideal choices to help with the functionality of a space. Pendant Lighting can be used as a feature whilst also providing task lighting.
Task lighting can showcase artwork and framed prints. Image source: https://rh.com/catalog/product/product.jsp?productId=prod7570888&sale=false
The third layer is accent lighting, this is where you set your mood and can create a strong emotional tone for your space. Is it a relaxing chill out area, a highlight of art or sculpture, creating a dramatic focus on an architectural element? Highlighting elements such as art and sculptures can add drama and have a huge atmospheric impact. This can be achieved by adding picture lights, wall sconces, track and recess lighting. Choosing lighting with dimmers can also be a great way to multipurpose the impact of your lighting. Table Lamps can also evoke tranquillity in a room.
The final layer is referred to as decorative lighting. Decorative lighting is when the fixture in its own right or the lighting pattern it creates, is the feature. This is chosen more for its aesthetic appeal. It may be dramatic and sculptural or the opposite. Something soft that frames a space. Soft LED lighting, recessed in the ceiling, under bench and lining steps can create a powerful design feature in your home. This design detail is definitely very prominent in all modern designs at the moment and growing in popularity.
Decorative and ambient lighting to emphasise a design feature. Image source: https://www.lucretiashop.com.au/decorative-lighting-design
Dramatic chandeliers are great decorative pieces that set the style of the home. Lighting sets the tone well before sofas, rugs and home décor. Image source: https://www.montauklightingco.com/collections/chandeliers/products/adele-four-tier-waterfall-chandelier
So here we are, lighting demystified and now all you have to do is choose your lighting… Still overwhelmed? We put together this cheat list to help you work through a lighting plan.
Easy steps to help always choose great lighting for your space
Space - plan the layout of furniture BEFORE you choose your lighting
Functionality - is so important. Understanding what the functions and activities in each room help you narrow in on what lighting you will need.
Mood -what emotion do you wish to evoke in the room. Try to think about what you would like to feel like in the area you are illuminating.
Hero piece -.for any artwork, framed pictures, sculptures or project chosen as the focal point, consider lighting to illuminate and accentuate.
Layer – once you understand what and why you are lighting your room its then a matter of introducing layers of lighting. Different lighting in all layers of your home design creates a strong functional and emotional connection to how you use each room.
If in doubt or in need for some extra support we can help you with your ideas.