Changing the lighting in your home is an easy, inexpensive way to give your decor a completely different feel without having to do it over again. Whether you’re exploring your options for ceiling lights, wall fixtures or floor lamps, there are several factors to consider. Your decision should take into account what tone you want to set for the style of your home in addition to what you use each room for. Here are a few pointers on transforming your rooms with light.
An important factor to consider is what the lighting in each room will be used for. For example, lighting in the kitchen will probably be used for cooking, and lighting in the bathrooms will be used for your morning routine as well as showering. For these reasons, you’ll want to choose bright lights that hit surfaces like the countertop directly. However, if you are also shopping for lighting for an entertainment space like a dining room, you’ll probably want more versatile fixtures, and maybe even dimmer switches, to set the ambiance during dinner time.
Lighting can be a significant portion of your energy bills because it can account for anywhere from 10 percent to 30 percent of your electricity consumption. You can bring those costs down by choosing energy-saving light bulbs for some rooms, which come in nearly just as many shapes, sizes and styles as traditional incandescent light bulbs, yet use just a fifth of the energy. However, some energy saving bulbs don’t emit as bright a light as incandescent ones, so you may want to stick to using these in recreational spaces.
There are several ways to use light to set the mood, no matter which room you want to transform. First, you could opt for task lighting, which is the brighter, more focused light that you would use for the kitchen or the bathroom. While it may sound like a limited option, there are ways to play with style, even with this kind of lighting. For example, you can use pendant lights over an island countertop in the kitchen or recessed lights in a hallway. Or you can surround a bathroom mirror with vanity lights that cast a bright glow.
For a more tranquil mood, select ambient light, which gives off a gentler glow. The goal of this kind of lighting is to mimic the effects of natural sunlight. Ambient lights are perfect for living rooms and dining rooms, especially if you don’t have large windows to illuminate these areas naturally.
Another kind of lighting that is not as functional as it is decorative is accent lighting. This is what you have when you fix a spotlight on a hanged wall painting, or when you install lights underneath kitchen cabinets to give the room a more modern feel, even when the main lights are turned off.
There are some lighting solutions that can act as a combination of these kinds of lights, as well. For example, tall floor lamps or table lamps usually give off softer lighting, but because of their closer proximity they can be good for reading or completing other tasks. Lamps also provide a way for you to create a multi-dimensional lighting experience in your home when combined with ceiling lights.
Even when it seems you only have a few choices, setting the mood through lighting is still an intricate decision. Remember to keep style and functionality in mind, and you’ll be able to choose lighting decor that works for years to come.