What do theatres, entertainment venues or stadiums have in common with home interiors? - The answer is, lighting! - The single most important element, in interior design.
Venues and businesses demand the best and the latest in lighting. Without proper use of lighting, these venues would simply not be entertaining thus, they would not be considered for quality events.
Obviously, good lighting, contributes to the safety, comfort and enjoyment of spectators or audience, ultimately though highlights the performance in a way only good lighting can do. It makes the whole experience of the show, game or performance, memorable.
A poorly lit interior jeopardizes our wellness and the enjoyment of our living spaces.
When it comes to our homes though, is lighting this crucial? -Is lighting really the single most important element in a home's interior? - Yes it is! And more than that, according to the experts, it is vital!
Light impacts our health in many ways, not just emotionally but also physically.
Our sleep patterns are affected for a start, as well as other functions, but I will let the scientists talk about that side of things, as this blog is about lighting in interior design.
For more information on the science of lighting, I recommend this book, by Jason Livingstone.
Designing With Light: The Art, Science, and Practice of Architectural Lighting Design is a comprehensive introduction to the intelligent use of lighting to define and enhance a space. The book explores all aspects of the process, including aesthetics, technology, and practicalities, in a clear, concise manner designed to provide the reader with a full working knowledge of lighting design. Color illustrations throughout demonstrate the real-world effects of the concepts presented, and the companion website offers video animations and exercises to better illuminate the art and science of lighting. The book addresses the considerations that should be a part of any designer's process, and provides thorough guidance on meeting the various demands with smarter design.
Make it priority
Some, would rather skimp on lighting to spend on aspects they consider more important, such as furniture and painting the walls. True, these are important but are low priority, as they can be added long after the project is completed. I have been called too many a times by clients asking for consultation on improving their lighting, due to it not being done properly during construction. Any solutions, though available, end up more costly and disruptive at this stage.
Appreciation of good lighting, and its effect on the interior design, and the quality of our lives, means we will budget for it whilst planning our project.
The lone LED bulb in the ceiling though essential is not the end all be all of lighting.
So what exactly is good illumination? Are we talking about lumens, light temperature, or incandescent bulb versus LED or florescent and so on?
Yes these are all important but not the entire picture.
There are many more aspects to lighting which if applied expertly, results in the success of the interior design of our living space. The truth of the matter is, the lone LED bulb on the ceiling, though essential it is not the end all be all of lighting, in interior design,
General illumination and task lighting are staples. Nevertheless, when it comes to lighting as part of a good interior design, lighting becomes a tool like a Swiss knife. An interior designer will use to enhance or distort the perception of volume, proportion and ambience of a space. Or, to create an architectural illusion, accentuate, define, and highlight aspects, elements and objects in a room. They will utilize it as wall treatment such as pattern or virtual color wash. Not forgetting of course, the mood and ambience lighting can be used to create. All of these and more, are achieved with this single most important element in interior design, lighting!
I think I've expanded enough on the importance and role of lighting in interior design, so I will narrow things down and simplify, because when it comes to lighting options, there are three main categories to remember.
Three main categories of lighting
1. Ambient or general lighting
The main source of illumination in a space. As shown below, luminaires providing this type of lighting, include ; recessed or surface mounted canister lights (down lights) suspension and oyster lights.
Five examples of ambient lighting used in our various projects
2. Task lighting
Auxiliary luminaires, such as table, desk and floor lamps, suspension fixtures above worktops, wall fixtures on a bed wall in lieu of a bedside lamps, and strip lighting under cupboards to illuminate worktop, staircase lighting.
3. Accent lighting
Lighting used for aesthetic purposes, typically, such as cove, strip, niche and spot lighting, as well as wall fixtures.
Above - 1 & 2 examples of designer accent lighting. 3, 4 &5 , examples from our projects
Below - example of how this bespoke suspension fixture by 'Satelite Design', serves both as task and accent lighting and we used commercial type down lights as a design feature for this industrial/postmodern interior.
Lighting is linked to our quality of life.
Making lighting a priority in a building or renovation project is practical and sensible. Acquiring knowledge about lighting in interior design, or hiring an expert, is an invaluable tool.
Our homes are the venue where our lives take place, and our family thrive. Insisting on the best lighting, is to recognize its value, because lighting indeed is the single most important element of the interior design.
Highlight your life - let there be good lighting!
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