The Importance of Light in a Home
Light, both natural and artificial, influences not only how a room looks, but also how a room feels.
If you have ever walked into a house that feels lifeless or lacking something, it will very possibly be that the lack of natural or artificial light that is to blame. There is no doubt that the lack of light makes a house feel bland and flat, while an abundance of light adds interest and ups the dynamics of an entire home or a single room.
Think of natural light as a breeze of fresh air - it has the ability to bring life into a room, whether it's a bright, sunny morning or soft twilight hues that softly filter into a space.
Use lighting to best advantage
Natural or artificial light can be manipulated in many ways to make a small room appear larger and more interesting. It can be used to highlight specific areas to lead the eye on a journey or to make any room more appealing and welcoming.
Introduce more natural light
Think of natural light as a breeze of fresh air. Light has the ability to bring life into a room, whether it's a bright, sunny morning or soft twilight hues that softly filter into a space. When buying or decorating a home, assess the amount of natural light that enters through windows, skylights or glass-paned doors to have an idea of how you can use natural light to best effect.
If your rooms lack natural light, consider the option of replacing small windows with floor-to-ceiling windows, or look at how you can add skylights to dark rooms.
It could be that the existing windows are orientated in the wrong direction to take full advantage of natural light, or perhaps the windows are too small. It might also be that natural light is blocked from entering the house by overgrown trees or shrubs, or an overhanging awning or exterior structure. During the daytime, you want to make full use of what nature provides to accentuate your rooms and create a sunny, welcoming atmosphere.
Having said that, while letting as much natural light into a home is beneficial, you should also be able to have some control over the amount of light that flows into the space, especially if you consider that direct sunlight can damage furniture and soft fittings. Shutters, Venetian and vertical blinds won't block out all the sunlight, but will allow you to set them at an angle to control the amount of direct sunlight into a room without blocking out natural light.
Use artificial light to best advantage
When decorating a home, you want to create a lighting scheme that provides lighting for all types of tasks and activities, as well as using artificial light to enhance a room, create a sense of space, and introduce an atmosphere that is warm and welcoming.
LED and CFL Lighting use very little electricity and do not generate an excessive amount of heat, making them the ideal lighting sources for a variety of applications within a home.
With the introduction of energy efficient lighting you now have even more opportunity to use artificial light to best advantage to brighten up a room, highlight architectural details or items of interest, or to illuminate a decorative feature or sculptural piece. Plan the perfect lighting for each and every room in a home by first analysing what each room is used for, the amount of natural light the room receives, and how your furniture and accessories will be laid out. Once you see where chairs and tables are placed, you will know where to add standing or floor lamps, where to mount wall sconces or a central light fixture and the rest will follow that lead.
Choose warm or cool lighting
When shopping for light fittings for your home, don't forget that lighting in a room can also be set to a specific mood by selecting warm or cool bulbs. Warm glow bulbs are perfect for creating a warm setting during the winter months or for fitting into table lamps when you want to create atmosphere.
CFL globes in a warm hue can be used to bring a sense of warmth into any room during the colder months of the year.
Cool white globes should be selected for kitchens and bathrooms and especially for task lighting, as these produce a much high level of light than warm white.
Shop for the right fittings
While you want to install the most suitable light fittings to complement your home and decor, keep in mind that is it more important to buy fittings that emit the right level of light. Think about how a light fitting will wash the light across a wall, or how it will light up the centre of a room, as this lets you use lighting to your advantage.
Online shopping is a great way to collect ideas and inspiration for lighting a home, and you don't have to leave your home to shop around for the best pricing and see what's trendy. Being able to shop online also lets you browse through hundreds of light fittings and globes and select what will fit in with your budget.