To create a successful lighting design, you must think about the room’s function, decide what mood you want to create, and consider how the different lighting types will harmonize in any given room. To learn more about these three fundamental tips visit Develop Your Design Eye – Majestic Meadows.
The right lighting for the right space
Lighting experts recommend 5-7 lighting sources per room and you should strive to include one in each of the following categories:
General/Ambient Lighting-A ceiling light or recessed light that spreads ambient lighting over the whole room. This should provide sufficient overall illumination so people can see where they are going, so they do not trip of furniture you have carefully placed in the rooms.
Task Lighting-Consider the various functions of the lighting you will provide. First, you need illumination in certain areas to permit people to perform specific tasks, such as reading, writing, or playing a musical instrument.
Spot lighting-Accent lighting or spotlights directed at artwork, a bookcase, or creating shadow play on a wall.
Atmospheric/Decorative Lighting– Mood lighting, such as dimmable lights, string lights, and candles.
Use LED lights that provide general lighting and place them four feet apart to create a wash of light on walkways and walls. LED Recessed Lighting–5 THINGS TO KNOW!! (Can Lights/Downlights/Recessed Lights) – Bing video
Indirect or Diffused Light
To ensure a successful lighting plan, create a balance between direct and indirect/diffused lighting. Lamps designed to create a directional beam provide direct light. If, however, the beam is filtered or spread through a shade, it is referred to as diffused light. If the light is bounced off a reflector or a wall in order to spread the light, it is called indirect lighting.
- Direct Light-A directed beam of light.
- Diffused Light-Light filtered through a shade.
- Indirect Light-Light reflected, e.g. off a wall.
To put it simply, lamps are either directional or non-directional. Directional lighting provides direct light and is most suitable for functional work purposes, whereas non-directional light, either diffused or indirect, is better for atmospheric or decorative lighting. Consider the following when choosing lampshades:
- A dark shade will not let as much light through as a pale one; the former will tend to project the light either downwards or upwards.
- A patterned or perforated shade spread light more unevenly and can create patterns of light and shadows.
- A colored lampshade may spread colored light. A red lampshade is likely to make the whole room look red when the light is turned on.
- Buy shades with a white lining, which will reflect the light and diminish any lamp shade colors.
Types of Lighting
At this point, you’ve finished planning the furniture layout and you are ready to add lighting. For a successful space, you will want to use a variety of light fixtures including:
- Chandeliers and Pendants
- Ceiling and Wall Mount Lighting
- Floor Lamps
- Table Lamps
- String and Rope Lights
- Undercabinet Lights
The Coastal Modern townhouse has six varieties of lighting fixtures, including chandeliers, ceiling lighting, ceiling fan lighting, wall mount lighting, floor and table lamps. Three of the fixtures pictured below came from Modern Lighting | AllModern. Find ones for your space at Chandeliers | On Sale Now | Wayfair.
Lighting that creates a mood
The right lighting can create a positive, upbeat mood, but to create intimate and romantic spaces-add dimmers to your dining, living, and bedroom spaces. The ALLMODERN lights are a dramatic, modern touch but they would also look fabulous in Boho, Scandinavian, or Transitional spaces. I like the opaque shade to cover the bulb, as well as the gold, modern design for the the Coastal Modern townhouse.
Understanding the mood is critical to choosing all elements for your space. Visit Pinterest and save every Pin you like, once you have a good number, start saving them in Pinterest Folders-Modern, Traditional, Boho, French Country, Transitional, Farmhouse, Scandinavian, and Industrial. To find tons of inspiration check my Pinterest and Pinterest.
Not all lighting works in all spaces, for example this Chandelier works much better in a Traditional, French Country, or Transitional space Chandeliers | On Sale Now | Wayfair.
Three design tips to create harmony
A similar scale, quality, and color will create harmony for your lighting.
Carefully measure and check the dimensions for all lighting fixtures to ensure the scale works for your space. I share the proper measurements for lighting on Pinterest. Learn how to install ceiling fixtures at How to Install Ceiling Light Fixtures | New & Replacement Pendant Lighting – Bing video or here How to Install a Light Fixture – The Home Depot. You can find additional options on YouTube, including Installing Wall Sconces Part 1 – YouTube.
Use similar quality, top-rated lighting fixtures that have the same finish and mood. Many sites have collections, I used the Alex collection for the Coastal Modern dining and living rooms. I found complementary sconces from Mitzi for the entry and stair landing walls.
In addition to the finish color, I bring cool blues and warm coral-blush, which invokes the sea and sunrises. There are so many fun color combinations, including blue and green or blue and orange. Create warm or cool light by choosing the right blubs and bring your favorite colors into lamp shades, pillows, rugs, and artwork.
- In addition to the number of lights, diffused and indirect lighting options, you should also vary the height of your light options. Lights should be placed high, low, and somewhere in between for an effective lighting plan. It is also important to have adjustable lights that can be directed up, down or even sideways.
- Use LED lights that provide flood lighting and place them four feet apart to create a wash of light on walkways and walls.
- A new lamp shade for provides task lighting and brings the blue and coral-blush from the bed to the nightstand.
- The primary bedroom has beautiful mid-century furniture, so this Ceiling Fan Light looks beautiful in the space.