Why Should You Layer Your Lighting?
Creating the perfect mood in a room is often thought to be in the décor of the home. But furniture, pretty pillows and throw blankets are not the only way to please one’s eye. What is the number one thing we do to create a serene, relaxed or romantic setting? We light candles. What do we do when we need to get something accomplished at home? We turn on the brighter lights. When we want to focus at our desk or sit on the couch and dive into a good book, what do we do? We turn on a lamp. Light is one of the greatest and most important additions to our day. It wakes us in the morning and helps us to fall sleep in the evening. Light can be so dimensional and plays a key role in home design.
There are three types of lighting that everyone should have in their homes. Ideally in almost every room, however your living room, bathroom, and kitchen are the most important rooms to layer your lighting in. This lighting strategy creates depth and visual interest but also serves as a way of establishing mood and atmosphere.
Ambient Lighting is your general light; your bread and butter. It is your background light that is consistent throughout. There is no specific direction in which this light is designed to illuminate. This form of light would include your generic flush mount light and recessed lighting. This is used in pretty much every room of the house.
Task lighting increases illumination in a specific direction which then improves visibility. This type of light source helps us accomplish tasks or activities. The important thing to remember here is that task lighting really creates contrast. It grabs our attention and focuses it on the task at hand like a flash light. Where the flash light is pointed, it is bright. But everywhere else is dark, thus creating contrast. Take your bathroom for instance. While you may have a vanity light, we still need to get up close and personal with our bathroom mirror when applying makeup. A great task light in the bathroom would be an illuminated magnifying mirror. This way, we can see what we are doing without requiring a 3000 lumen output LED fixture. We can keep our lighting and design pleasing to the eye. A few more examples of task lighting would include track lighting, pendant lighting, and floor lamps.
Accent lighting creates a focal point and directs light to an area that we want to highlight or on to an object or piece of art that we want to direct attention to. Some accent lights can be pieces of art themselves, used to create visual intrigue. A few great examples of this would be wall sconces, picture lights, cabinet lighting, or even tape lighting. A trend that is very hot right now, and that I am a growing fan of, is recessed ceiling tape lighting. I think it looks so cozy yet elegant.
Combining these three lighting elements of light in your home can create the perfect nest. Layering provides efficiency, ambiance, and aesthetics. Being the jewelry of the home, beautiful lighting can put a bit of a dent in the wallet and is often one of the first things to be scaled down on a budget. But in the long run, lighting is a very worth-while investment. However, it makes the greatest impact in a room. It adds those stunning finishing touches and essentially pulls a room together to give that unexpected “wow” factor.
For some visual ideas on how to layer your lighting, take a look at our portfolio.