A thoughtful lighting design has the power to transform your space! While many consider it to be a mostly functional necessity, lighting can do so much more to bring personality to your home. It can be used in creative ways to highlight special areas of your home, and can be leveraged to simplify day-to-day life!
The Right Bulb
There are many types of bulbs, and perusing the aisles of the hardware store can be daunting. DIY extraordinaire and home designer, Julia Marcum, recommends focusing on Lumens instead of watts, as Lumens measure the actual light emitted rather than the energy used. Kelvin is the other important measurement and determines the temperature color of the bulb, impacting the mood of a space. Here, she explains the Kelvin scale. 3000K, 750 Lumens bulbs are her recommendation for most lamps.
Types of Lighting
There are three basic types of lighting: ambient, accent, and task lighting. Ambient lighting provides overall, even lighting to a space and is the first type of lighting you add to your room. Ambient lighting includes overhead lighting and stairwell lighting that helps you see what you’re doing. Accent lighting is non-essential light that shows off special items or places in your home. Accent lights are often wall sconces, track lighting, recessed lights, or any lights in a very small area, such as a cabinet. Task lights help you get a particular job done, such as reading or cooking. More utilitarian spaces such as the bathroom and kitchen should focus mainly on task lighting.
Layer and Diversify
One light source cannot perform well in every situation. Start with ambient light and layer from there. In a living area where you spend your time relaxing, standing and table lamps are a must. The light from these lamps is high enough to see around you without the harshness of overhead lighting. Accent lighting from library lights or sconces will heighten the ambiance and create a more laid-back feeling. The fixtures you choose can serve as beautiful jewelry for your home; Wayfair has hundreds of affordable choices, while companies like Schoolhouse and Rejuvenation boast more upscale options.
Unexpected accent lighting under cabinets, in closets, or in pantries brings a “wow” factor that will totally elevate your small space. Puck lights or LED strip lights are great options.
Make It Work for You
The most important part of any design plan is its ability to meet your needs. If you pile high your nightstand with stacks of reading material, forgo the lamp and try out a stylish hanging light that will leave room for only books! If you appreciate extra convenience, look into voice-controlled smart lights. Some lighting projects might require you to get help from an electrician.
It might take a few tries to find the right setup for you, but that’s part of the fun in making your home feel truly yours!