There are many aspects to consider when designing a space and one of the most important you cannot ignore is certainly lighting. The lighting plays a big role as it can not only illuminate a room but also transform it so that it serves a purpose as it can affect one’s mood. Here is what you need to know when ensuring a space is well-lit.
The psychology of indoor lighting
You are probably familiar with what circadian rhythm is – a 24-hour cycle that tells our body when it’s time to eat, sleep and wake, in addition to influencing other important bodily functions.
Well, light is a big part of this as we are usually awake during the day and sleep at night. That means that the level of light can affect how sleepy we are. Moreover, we can also perceive cool and warm light differently and interpret it as alarming or calming. Then, bright lights tend to make people feel warmer even if the temperature has not changed. Finally, the direction of the light is also something to think about when planning the space you want to create.
Types of interior light
In terms of types, we have natural and artificial lights. However, seeing as how natural light is hard to control, we are going to focus on five types of artificial light.
For one, there is general lighting which gives a room functionality but can serve as a statement piece as well. It is usually placed in the center of a room which means that it needs to be complemented with other types to avoid unflattering shadows.
Overhead lighting fixtures can be combined with ambient lighting. This variety creates an atmosphere in a room, meaning that it can add some drama and it can alter the appearance of a space.
There is also task lighting, which is used when cooking, reading, or doing some other activity that requires a light with a stronger wattage.
Then, mood lighting fixtures like table and floor lamps work great for preventing shadows from general and ambient lighting while accent lighting like spotlights is used at art galleries as well as private homes to highlight artwork or architectural features of a space.
By choosing the right type of lighting fixture, there are many effects that can be created.
For example, central light sources usually create a downlighting effect while sconces and various lamps can bounce the light off the ceiling and reflect it back into the room thus creating an uplighting effect.
The wall washing effect is used when there is a need to softly illuminate a vertical surface in an even manner and wall grazing highlights the texture of a wall.
Finally, we have spotlighting and perimeter lighting. A great example of these two is in casinos. They use spotlights and flashing lights to attract players to certain games and perimeter lighting to create an illusion of a much bigger space. What is more, you’ve probably noticed that traditional casinos don’t have windows. This is because they are also aware of the effect natural light has on our circadian rhythm and by only having artificial lights, they can keep players interested for much longer as it’s easy to lose track of time.
Usually, its convenience and the real-life feel of live dealer games that are quoted as the main reason for the upsurge of players opting for online casinos. However, some players genuinely prefer to be in an environment where they feel they have more control over how much time they spend on gambling. Avoiding exposure to the lighting conditions in land-based locales is a major contributor to their choice to move online.
Before installing lighting fixtures, you should be aware of a room’s layout and plan for certain pieces that might need specific lighting. Also, make sure there is a nice transition between rooms as you don’t want a sharp change from dark to bright.
When picking out lightbulbs, consider their wattage as well. 40 watts is much more inviting then 75 watts, for example. You should also add dimmer switches so that your lighting can be responsive and adjusted according to your mood. Finally, remember to conceal bare bulbs with diffusers.
Something you should avoid doing is having only one central light fixture. You don’t want unflattering shadows, which is why layering lights are essential. Install enough outlets as you surely don’t want extension cords to ruin the aesthetic of your space. In the same vein, hide all wires.
As you can see, there are many aspects to consider when it comes to properly illuminate a space, as someone once said “Design is intelligence made visible”. Keep these tips in mind and you should have no issues.