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“Twas a light that made darkness itself appear a thing of comfort.” Robert Southey –English Poet
Sometimes we take lighting for granted. We don’t think about how the light appears almost magically when we flick on that switch. It is so important to our daily routine - making our life easier, more productive and even making our home more beautiful.
When it comes to design, lighting is often an after-thought and sometimes happens at the end of the decorating process. However, lighting is not just functional. It is one of the main elements that creates the mood and feeling of a room. It can change the look of your furniture or enhance wall colors. Choosing the correct lighting depends on what the room will be used for and what activities will be performed in each area.
1) Ambient Lighting – This is the overall, even lighting that lights up your whole room. Also known as general lighting, it is for all-around function and safety.
2) Task Lighting – These lights are brighter than ambient lighting and help you perform tasks such as reading, cooking or grooming.
3) Accent Lighting – This is more focused light for highlighting accent pieces such as paintings, wall features, plants and cabinets.
Knowing your room’s purpose and its furniture placement will help you decide what type of lighting to choose.
Once you determine the type required for the space, then you need to choose your fixtures. And the possibilities are endless when it comes to varieties and styles.
1) Ceiling Mounted - These are attached or embedded in your ceiling such as chandeliers, track lighting, pendant lights and recessed lighting.
2) Wall Mounted – These fixtures can be space saving while providing timeless style with that classic look. Examples are sconces and cove lights.
3) Portable – Non-permanent and easy to move, these fixtures can blend with most room styles. The most common are table lamps and floor lamps.
Bulb Color - Both LED and CFL bulbs have come a long way and they each come in many different colors. Look for Soft White bulbs to put in your table and floor lamps for a warm light, which is great for living rooms or bedrooms. Bathrooms or kitchens may need more of a Cool White color.
Reduce Harshness – No one wants to be blinded at 2am while going to the bathroom. Opt for low wattage bulbs or night-lights in high traffic areas like hallways or corridors to keep on overnight.
Dimmers – Dimmers are a great option for dining rooms and living rooms where you need to create an ambiance. Think romantic dinners! Make sure your fixtures are compatible with dimmer switches before you buy.
Shade Colors – The color of your lampshade can change the style as well as the mood of a room. Try a dark lampshade contrasted against a light wall and watch how the colors change in the room. A dark shade will also add a cozy feel.
Layers – Most of us layer lighting without thinking about it. For example, in your kitchen, you may have overhead ambient ceiling light, pendants over an island and cove or small recessed lighting under your cabinets. This depth of light provides visual interest.
Reduce Glare – Be careful when placing lighting fixtures opposite a television that may cause glare on the screen.
Placement – Try placing a table lamp near a foyer or hallway and make it easy to turn on or off by connecting it to a wall switch plate. This is faster than fumbling around in the dark at night. Or better yet, add a small timer to the outlet so the lamp comes on at dusk and goes off at dawn.
Whatever the style and application, most experts agree that the most versatile and popular lighting fixture is the table lamp.
Sherry Nothingam of Decoist.com, a popular design web magazine, touts the benefits of the classic table lamp:
“And few lighting fixtures combine timeless charm, modern allure and smart functionality like the lovely table lamp.”
We agree! At SoftLoft.com we offer many gorgeous lighting options to warm your home. You can find our beautiful, unique table lamp selection here:
As always, be sure to check out our extensive range of products on our site.