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3 Things to Know About Interior Lighting

Last modified: 2022-07-22 | Approximate reading time 4 mins

Léa Plourde-Archer

Chandeliers, ceiling lamps, recessed or semi-recessed luminaires, hanging or rail lamps, etc. There is no shortage of options to illuminate the different rooms of a house! In addition to being fun decorative objects to choose from, the selected type of brightness will bring comfort and the desired atmosphere to your home.

Inside, one must decide which type of lighting they wish to use in the rooms but also which type of light source will be well-suited for each specific area. For example, a giant chandelier isn’t exactly the best choice for a small bathroom. 

The different types of interior lighting

There are three (3) distinct lighting categories: ambient lighting, task lighting and accent lighting.

Depending on the main function of the room (reading, cooking, working, etc.), you must opt for a specific main light source. However, nothing is keeping you from decorating the room with extra lights to complete the look that you are trying to create.

In general, ambient light is the main source of lighting in a room. In a dining room, for example, most people will install a hanging lamp over the table. Starting from the lowest part of the hanging lamp (or chandelier, if you prefer), measure thirty inches to see at what height you must hang it over the table. The size of the lamp should be proportionate to that of the table so it doesn’t create an illusion of having a smaller table. Of course, it should be well-centred.

Next, built-in lights set up in strategic areas will add extra strength to the main lamp. If you choose CFL (compact fluorescent) light bulbs, the area covered by the light will be bigger, yet it will not cost more money given their strength and long lifespan. Check the number of watts on the light bulb to make a better choice!

Also, ambient lighting must be strong enough to light up the whole room. Accent lighting will be used to attract the eye toward certain details such as a painting, an architectural detail or a plant.

Ambient lighting

The tone and angle of the lighting are important to consider here. However, the ambient lighting must be strong and uniform enough to illuminate the entire room. The visibility needed for all the tasks performed must be perfect.

In addition to being utilitarian, ambient lighting serves to create an atmosphere that matches the functions of the room or even creates emotions. Nowadays, with technological gadgets constantly evolving, it's even possible that your lighting will match the movie you're listening to!

The choice of bulb also determines the success of your atmosphere. Also, if you choose a compact fluorescent or LED bulb, the area covered by the light will be larger and it will not cost you more. This is excellent value for money given their power and lifespan. Check the number of watts of the bulb in order to make the right choice!

In a dining room, you will choose to install a chandelier of size proportional to the table above it. Measure 30 inches between the table and the base of the luminaire to know how high to hang it. Make sure it is well-centred. Recessed luminaires in various strategic locations can add to the main chandelier.

On the other hand, the living room is more difficult to illuminate properly. Often the largest room with various stations all intended for a different use, choosing the right luminaire can give you a hard time. 

lighting living room_3 Things to Know About Interior Lighting

Task lighting

Task lighting is most often used over kitchen counters or on office desks. As the name suggests, it is meant to help improve the lighting in an area where people will be taking part in common tasks. For example, in the kitchen, you can install lamps under the top cabinets. This type of lighting will not exactly be eye-catching but it will be very useful.

Accent lighting

It is mainly used to draw the eye to certain details, such as a canvas, an architectural element or a plant. It can also serve as a night light or compensate for a lack of lighting in a particular section of the room.

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lighting basement_3 Things to Know About Interior Lighting

All about dimmers

Dimmers are very useful and you should try to install one dimmer for each lamp. This will avoid having to turn on all the lights in one room, which is practical if the room is very big and you only want to light up a part of it.

By using a dimmer, you can also dim the lights to change the atmosphere of the room. When having dinner with your close ones, you can create a warm atmosphere by lowering the intensity of the light. In contrast, if you are helping your child with their homework, you will need proper lighting to keep your eyes from getting tired.

Installing a dimmer or any other type of lamp requiring the proper skills and tools should be done by a professional electrician. This will reduce the number of risks and potential problems.

lighting attic office_3 Things to Know About Interior Lighting

Tips and advice about interior lighting

Don’t hesitate to install different types of lighting in the same room. Also, if you have a closet, no matter the size, you should install lighting inside. There is no need to pick the fanciest lamp for your closet; a simple light bulb will do the trick if you have a more traditional closet (two sliding doors). In doing so, you will have an easier time finding your clothes and won’t have to turn on other lights in the room.

The colour of the walls will influence the type of lighting in the room. If the walls are darker, you will have to install more artificial lighting.

In the end -without necessarily turning your house into a lamp store- the more light sources you have, the more flexibility you will have in terms of lighting. 

Would you like to know more about the lighting trends for 2022? Here's an interesting article on the subject What is Modern Lighting? Styles and Trends to Look For.

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