Types of Lighting in Modern Interior Design
Types of Lighting in Modern Interior Design
Lighting Interior Design

Lighting Interior Design Lighting Interior Design
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Anderson, Tim. “Importance of Lighting in Interior Design” last modified December 10, 2018. http://homeguides.sfgate.com/importance-lighting-interior-design-56751.html

  • Task: As the name suggests, task lights are used to assist you in completing a particular function. This could be anything from desk lamps to pendant lights that hang over a kitchen island.
  • Ambient: Also known as general lighting, ambient light fills the majority of the room and allows you to move around safely. It usually comes from recessed lighting, track lighting or wall-mounted fixtures.
  • Accent: Accent lighting is used to highlight a particular focal point, such as a piece of wall art. Picture lights, wall-mounted-fixtures or track lighting are common, and dimmers are often used on these features to provide mood lighting.

6. Know your glow. The light fixture should not be your only consideration — the type of lightbulb is equally important. Halogen, compact fluorescent and LED bulbs come in a range of warm or cool hues.

Much like the color of your walls, the type of glow you want is mostly a personal decision. If your walls are covered in cooler tones, you might want to warm them up with a lightbulb that casts a warm glow.

Conversely, you may want a cooler glow to brighten up a darker space.

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8. Toe-kick lighting. Don’t think that adding lights to your toe-kicks is a frivolous, aesthetics-only decision. Strip lighting at the underside of base cabinets is a great way to create a night light that looks fabulous.

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General lighting is one of the first layers of lighting used in modern interior design and refers to the light used for the overall illumination of the space. These types of lighting sources provide basic lighting requirements to create an accessible space where users can move around easily in a safe way.  Recessed ceiling lights, or overhead ceiling fixtures can meet general lighting needs. General lighting can sometimes be the existing lighting or part of the new lighting design plan.

5. Turn it up. Don’t limit lighting to downlights. Depending on the location, consider wall sconces or uplighting to create a softer ambiance and avoid potentially harsh downlighting that can cast ominous shadows.Browse sconce lights

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The right lighting can really make or break a room. When done well, it lends the perfect atmosphere to help your design shine, but when done poorly, it can take away from your chosen aesthetic. If you’re ready to take your lighting to the next level, you’re in the right place. Our ultimate lighting guide has all the information you need.

What do you think of our ultimate lighting guide? Do you have any tips to add? Let us know in the comments below.

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7. Light up those stairs. Adding lights to stair risers is beneficial since it can be hazardous negotiating stairs, especially at night. Staircases are often enclosed, so light them from the sides or embed lights in the risers as a design element.

If you’re unsure where to start, use these room-by-room guides as a source of inspiration:

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Both natural and man-made lighting help with the illusion of space. For a darker room, find ways to bring in more full-spectrum natural light. If the room does not have sufficient lighting, it will feel cramped. This is worsened by close-proximity furniture arrangements, such as coffee table, end table, sofa, chair and love seat combinations in a smaller setting. Corner lamps, wall sconces and centrally hanging lights on the ceiling help brighten a room if natural lighting is not available and help create a visually larger space. This applies to any setting — home or office. Natural lighting is preferred above man-made lighting because it shows off colors better and adds to the visual space of a room by bouncing off reflective surfaces. Consider skylights or large windows if you want more natural light, or use sheer drapes and curtains to allow the maximum amount of light from your current windows.

In reality, lighting works best when it’s used in layers. There are three main types of indoor lighting to consider and, ideally, each room will include all of them. They are:

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3. Plan it out. Consider your lighting preferences during the initial design phase of a new build or renovation. For example, if you want three pendant lights over your dining table instead of one or two, that should be taken into account before construction starts.

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The next types of lighting designers utilize is task lighting. Interior design professionals evaluate the types of activities that will take place in each area of the room to make sure that there is an adequate amount of light for the function and that the intensity is strong enough to illuminate any space that needs specific light.  Task lighting allows us to place appropriate light sources where it is most needed, illuminating specific areas and providing visibility for  activities such as reading, cooking, dressing, or doing homework. Focus on areas above kitchen counters, bathroom vanities, desks, or next to bedsides or chairs to determine the task light that is most appropriate.

  • Kitchen: Kitchen lighting is complex. You may want to start with some recessed lighting. Focal areas like the kitchen island and dining table should have overhead pendants or chandeliers. Work areas benefit from the addition of under-cabinet lighting. Plus, you could add specific task sources at the sink and stove.
  • Living room: This is a good place to use track or recessed lighting throughout. If your room has a main seating area, use a larger, overhead fixture to center it. Place floor lamps where needed to light shadowy corners. Finally, if you have a buffet or other large furniture piece, you may want to consider adding a table lamp.
  • Entryway: Start with a dramatic pendant light or chandelier overhead. Then, supplement with either a table or floor lamp.
  • Bedroom: Ideally, bedrooms have a main, overhead light source and table lamps on nightstands or dressers.
  • Dining room: The dining room is the easiest room to light. Your main source should come from a large, pendant light or chandelier that’s centered over the dining table. If there are additional dark corners, you can use a floor or table lamp to supplement.
  • Office: Start with recessed lighting or a main, overhead source. Be sure to add table or floor lamps in dark corners or by seating areas. Finally, be sure to use a desk lamp in your main work area.
  • Bathroom: Recessed lighting is common. You could also add task lights around a mirror or, for a dramatic touch, an overhead source above the tub.

Modern interior designers know the importance of appropriate types lighting in any residential space.   Lighting design plays a key role in creating the right mood and adjusting the ambiance of interior spaces.  Interior designers have different lighting resources that help create functional spaces that can adjust to those specific needs of our clients.

Use our guide to show your home in its best light. Image: Shakuff

1. Consider ceiling height. Knowing your ceiling height is important when selecting hanging light fixtures. Some lights come with adjustable cables or rods, but others don’t. Don’t get stuck with a light that hangs too low or too high.

As a rule of thumb, the bottom of a light should hang about 12 to 20 inches below a standard 8-foot ceiling. For each additional foot of ceiling height, add 3 inches.

Anderson, Tim. “Importance of Lighting in Interior Design.” Home Guides | SF Gate, http://homeguides.sfgate.com/importance-lighting-interior-design-56751.html. 10 December 2018.

The lighting in a home changes the mood of a room just as it does the perceived size of a room. Placement and type are important aspects of interior design, and they work in conjunction with color selections, room size, availability of natural light and furniture selection. The elements that come together when the right lighting is achieved transform a room into a seamless combination of functionality and style.

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10. Be decorative. Adding lights as decorative elements helps set a mood in a space. Provided that general lighting is already installed, using lights instead of wall art can be a decorative way to provide ambient lighting.

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4. Get your swag on. If you are adding new pendant lighting but don’t want to deal with the expense or hassle of changing your home’s electrical setup, cord swags can be a stylish solution. Swag them loosely over a bar or a hook, as seen in this kitchen, or secure the cord tight to the ceiling for an industrial look.

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One of the most common lighting mistakes people make is assuming that one type of lighting — especially dreaded overheads — will suffice when putting a room together. Interior designers will be the first to tell you that sentiment couldn’t be further from the truth.

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Now that you know what your different lighting options are, it’s time to decide how — and where — to place your light sources in each room. While this is ultimately a matter of personal preference, there are some standard layouts that work well.

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One major role of lighting in the interior setting is functionality. Lighting needs to serve a purpose, or it simply wastes electricity. Chandeliers are not only used in large, open foyers, entryways and rooms because of their centrally themed placement but also because they provide excellent illumination for the room. Wall lights add length and size, visually, to an entryway hall, as well as light the way. Consider the style of lighting you want to ensure you get the best directional or luminescent type for the setting. Look into task-specific lighting for desks and other work areas where functionality is more important than overall room illumination.

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The use of lighting can add to or subtract from the overall colors of a room or from only those surfaces the light is meant to enhance. Darker colors make a room feel smaller and cramped, while light-colored walls do the opposite. The illusion of space is defined by light reflected off of the surfaces of the walls. Some types of lighting help with this illusion by further illuminating the walls. In addition, directional lighting, such as a track light, can soften the wall colors. There is also recessed can lighting, which has a soft, downward glow that illuminates the floors, not walls. This is opposed to lights hung from the center of the room, which provide ambient illumination, or wall lighting. In both cases, this can affect how light or dark a colored section can appear.

For so many of us, lighting is an afterthought in our interiors. This happens when you think of it as a utilitarian detail of the room, rather than something that adds aesthetic value. When it’s done right, lighting is the unsung element that brings your design to the next level.

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The last layer of a well designed lighting plan includes decorative accent lighting.  Professional lighting designers and DKOR’s residential interior designers turn to accent lighting to add decorative elements and create strong visual impact. Accent lighting is a resource used in modern interior design that can highlight certain elements like paintings, sculptures, an entrance or an architectural feature. Often times, accent lighting may be it’s own unique design element that is the showpiece of the space such as an elegant chandelier, or dramatic pendants.

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The lighting in a room either provides illumination for the entirety of the room, or it highlights very specific elements. Track lighting is the perfect example of positional lighting. Hung from the ceiling, the adjustable necks and lamps can be pointed at specific elements, such as a wall painting, the vase of flowers on an entryway table or the bar top or kitchen island. Consider mounting them on the walls, also. Special picture and mirror frames also have built-in lighting to highlight specific areas on a wall. Recessed lighting can be used in floors and ceilings to create vertical beams of light as opposed to an overall glow from central light fixtures hanging from a ceiling.

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Our ultimate lighting guide gives you all the info you need to effortlessly light every room in your home. Read our tips and keep them close at hand. You never know when you may need to tweak the existing lighting in your home or to build a new layout from scratch.

If the fixture will be lighting the whole room, measure the length and width of the room and then add those two numbers together. Convert that sum from feet to inches to find the ideal diameter for your light source. For example, if the room was 10 ft. x 12 ft., 10 + 22 = 22, so your fixture should be 22 inches in diameter. However, if you’re centering the fixture over a piece of furniture, you’ll want to measure the length and width of that specific item instead of the room as a whole.

2. Table hopping. When hanging a light over a table or a kitchen island, 28 to 34 inches is the recommended distance from the bottom of the light to the surface of the table or island. However, the size of the light makes a difference.

In general, a smaller light can be moved lower and a larger light can be moved higher.

When we talk about the size of lighting fixtures, we’re mainly talking about those statement pieces that are overhead. There is an easy formula for determining how big one of these lights should be. It’s all about finding the right diameter.

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Residential interior designers utilize several types of lighting to create the correct amount of lighting in a room. It is important to understand the use of each type of lighting source available and which particular need it will satisfy in a successful home lighting plan.

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9. Don’t shy away from color. Putting a light fixture in a bright hue in an otherwise simple room can add some fun and interest to the space. Colored shades can work wonders, especially when the light is turned on.

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It might be a design cliche, but good lighting truly is everything. Lighting affects the ambiance and mood of a space — get it right and the whole look of your interiors will improve. These are my top 10 tips and considerations for creating a well-lighted home.

When selecting the lighting for your home keep in mind these types of lighting that designers layer into all interior spaces. Accurate combinations of lighting resources can completely change the experience and ambience of your home. Interior design professionals and lighting professionals are available to assist you in developing a home lighting plan that will showcase your style and meet the function of each space.

Lighting makes all the difference in how we experience a room. Image: Terracotta Design Build

bibliography-icon icon for annotation tool Cite this Article

Anderson, Tim. (2018, December 10). Importance of Lighting in Interior Design. Home Guides | SF Gate. Retrieved from http://homeguides.sfgate.com/importance-lighting-interior-design-56751.html

As far as aesthetics are concerned, beauty is in the eye of the beholder. That said, make sure it matches whatever style is present throughout the rest of the room.

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