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Interior Lighting - Tips and Ideas

New homeowners often overlook the design aspects related to lighting, even though it does more in terms of setting the mood of a room than most of the other elements. It is, therefore, important to plan the lighting design for your home with the help of a professional when the construction is going on.

Purpose

Lighting has to be decided on the basis of the purpose for which the room is going to be used. Some of the aspects that you have to take into consideration are:

Will there be a television, computer or other appliances
Will you read a book, newspaper or magazine when you are inside the room
Whether you will be relaxing in the room or doing tasks such as dressing, studying or cooking
Who will be using the room for a major part of the time

If the main residents of the home are likely to be elderly people, then the lighting should be sufficient for their aging eyes.

Mood

Both natural light coming into a room and artificial lights provided can have an impact on the mood of a room and its function. You may have to control the lighting to some extent through various means. For example, the carpets and furniture may lose luster if bright afternoon light falls into a room. Babies may find it difficult to sleep in a room that is too bright. You may have to control the natural light if you want watch a projection or flat screen TV.

Types

There are several types of lighting fixtures that can be used. Ceiling fixtures are used to provide general lighting and focus on the central portion of a room. There are ceiling-mounted single lights, track lights, chandeliers, pendant lights and recessed lights. Once fixed, it is difficult to relocate these lights. Pendant lights help to break the monotony of lighting. Further, they do not eat into valuable space. They also double up as task lights.

You can use lamps to not only provide lighting, but also work as decorative objects. These lights are referred to as ambient lights. Some examples are table lamps, plug-in night lights, spot lights, floor lamps and torchieres. Fixtures such as sconces, cove lights, etc., are fixed to the wall.

Accent lighting helps to highlight a painting or any other object. Spot lights or art lamps can be made use of for this purpose.
To carry out activities such as cutting vegetables, cooking food, reading, etc., you have to make use of tasklighting. The lights used for this purpose consist of recessed halogen lights, under-cabinet lights and pendant lights.

Lighting used for decorative purposes includes candles, oil lamps and paper columns.

Factors to be Considered

It is important to use the right kind of bulb with any fixture so that it serves the purpose for which the room is to be used. To give you an example, incandescent bulbs are most often used in lamps. These bulbs are specified in terms of the wattage they consume. In the case of incandescent lamps, 90 percent of the power they consume is radiated as heat. Alternatively, you can use halogen, LED and compact florescent bulbs.

Right Location for Lights

Typically, three levels of lighting are to be provided. Ceiling, recessed and track lighting provide general illumination. For creating drama or mood, you can make use of pendant or wall lights. For decorative effects and for certain tasks such as reading, table or floor lamps can be made use of. Lighting used for enhancing the architecture of the room can be placed anywhere: above a book cabinet, under a plant and over paintings or objects.

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