Lighting may be the last thing you consider when it comes to decorating your interior spaces. And yet, your home cannot function without illumination. It is an essential part of your home interior, not just for decorative reasons, but for practical ones. So rather than just throwing in lighting fixtures and selecting bulbs without any sort of regard, you need to consider what your lighting actually does for your home and your lifestyle. Here are just a few interior lighting tips that should help you to get the function and aesthetic you crave when you illuminate your home.
- Maximize natural light. The place to start when it comes to lighting is to use what you have access to naturally as much as possible. Natural lighting can not only offer bright illumination throughout the day, but it can help you to save on energy costs. If you don’t get a lot of natural daylight indoors, there are ways you can maximize any light that does come in. For example, you could place mirrors that help to bounce the light or you could paint walls with a satin finish. You might even go so far as to increase the size or number of windows in your home or even add skylights. All will give you the natural light you crave to varying degrees.
- Consider the function of lighting. You use lighting for one main purpose: to see in the dark. But the lighting in your home could have several other functions. For example, you probably want bright lighting in the kitchen so that you can avoid accidents like cutting yourself during food prep. And you definitely want to be able to see your food so that you don’t end up eating spoiled or undercooked items. You might also want bright lights over the vanity in the bathroom for the purposes of shaving or applying makeup, just for example. The function of a room can help you to determine the type of lighting fixtures and the wattage of bulbs that will best suit your needs.
- Consider the mood that lighting creates. In addition to providing illumination of your spaces, lighting can also help a room to feel warm and inviting or make it feel sterile and institutional, just for example. So you need to consider the type of mood you want in every room before you commit to lighting options, and a little trial and error may be required to achieve the right balance.
- Consider the relationship between light and surfaces. Light will interact with surfaces in a variety of ways. When natural light bounces off wood it creates a warm glow. And when bright lighting hits satin or glossy paint, its intensity is magnified. So think about the effect you want to create when you pair particular forms of lighting with the surfaces in your home.
- Know your options. There’s more to home lighting than screwing a bulb into a socket. There are all kinds of fixtures to choose from, including recessed lights, overhead domes, and table and floor lamps, just for example. And you can also select from a variety of bulbs, such as standard incandescents or eco-friendly options like CFLs or LEDs. If you visit a nearby exotic home expo, you might even stumble across fun products like color-changing bulbs or wireless lights that allow you to control dimmers remotely with a smartphone app. Before you select the same old lamps or other lighting fixtures, consider all of your options and decide on the ones that will work best for your home.