Lighting in Interior Design

When you walk into a room, enter your home after a long day, or walk into the office as the first to arrive at the start of the day, the first thing you do (more often than not) is turn on the lights.

Without lighting, interior spaces can be left feeling unwelcoming and a little flat – which leads us to conclude that lighting isn’t just useful but plays an integral role in the way a space is presented and enjoyed by those using it. This is true of both commercial interior spaces as well as residential.

Look at it this way, there’s a reason why some interior spaces are lit with side lights while others use floor lamps, others use fairy lights, and others still rely on candlelight.

It’s because all of these different styles and types of lighting exude different atmospheres and have a different impact on the space and how it looks. Some are functional, others are romantic; some make an interior space feel light and brighter, while others create the feeling of being in a cosy corner.

Why is lighting so important in interior design?

Lighting allows us to optimise the practicality and functionality of an interior space – whether that means lighting the room for work, adjusting the mood for date night, or highlighting specific features and artwork on the wall.

When you start to consider the role that lighting plays in an interior space, you will start to notice all the different sources of light that you could be using – with down-lights becoming more popular than ever atop large pieces of art, built-in cupboard lights throughout the kitchen, table lights common in the dining room, and wall lighting leading the way when it comes to adding some light around your front door.

In short, lighting is what helps to bring interior design to life – enhancing your chosen style and complimenting the natural light in the space throughout the day time. Which leads us onto the practical considerations of lighting…

What are the practical considerations of lighting?

Residential property lighting

The first and most important practical consideration of lighting is how any added lighting will work alongside natural light sources. This means looking at the placement of windows and how the light shines into and moves around the room throughout the course of the day, setting in-house lighting solutions according to this movement of the sun.

Another practical consideration refers to the way that each space and/or room in the home is used. The lighting will change depending on if you’re lighting a functional bathroom or an ambient living room – so assigning each room a function should always precede lighting selection.

How do you use lighting to create ambience and adjust the mood?

When selecting lighting for residential interior design, it isn’t just the fitting of the light that matters, but its colour and intensity. Many homeowners opt for adjustable lights which let them intensify and dim the bulb according to the mood, whereas others will transition from overhead lighting to smaller table lamps and floor lamps to change the atmosphere in a room or interior space.

Warm light tends to help maximise the comfort and cosy vibe of an interior space, while brighter white lighting is more in line with functional spaces such as bathrooms and kitchens. It is also worth noting that the light you opt for – and more specifically its colour – can alter and affect the way an entire room is presented, depending on the colour of the walls.

What is a task light?

A task light refers to a specific light which is selected and installed for a single purpose – for example, a light over a work bench, kitchen lights which are set to shine directly down onto food preparation areas or reading lights which are set next to cosy armchairs or on bedside tables.

These lights are often selected and installed in addition to larger sources of lighting such as ceiling and overhead lights – as they support specific actions rather than merely adding to the functionality and mood of the room.

What is one must-do rule for lighting in a luxury interior space?

With all that said, there are many different ways that lighting can be used in and throughout an interior space – optimising the way the space can be used, how cosy and welcoming it is, and how the colours and decorative features are presented. But for those seeking a luxurious end result, there is one rule that you must follow, and that rule is this.

The size of your lighting is integral to its overall effect in your home. Achieving a harmonious balance between the size of a space and the source of lighting within that space is the best way of giving your home a luxurious with minimal effort. Too small, and the light will become drowned by the space. Too big, and it overwhelms the room or interior space and has very little effect in terms of tone and atmosphere.

For help on achieving this perfect balance, and to learn more about how lighting can be used to adjust and fine-tune the look of your space, our team of interior design specialists are here to help.

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