Mood lighting design can easily alter human disposition just as it can change the perception of room size. As you make your lighting plan, be sure to remember that indoor and outdoor lighting must be focused on energy efficiency. If you’re about to construct your dream home or are remodeling your current one, then you should take ample time planning and buying the unique lighting fixtures that you will install.
Unique Lighting 101
Indoor Lighting Fundamentals
The fusion of natural and artificial lighting in this living room is simply sublime.
When you’re designing your indoor lighting, you need to plan for energy efficiency. You might want to consider adding a different set of lights than what you're currently using. The quantity of fixtures that you bring in also counts just as much as illumination quality.
Install LED (light-emitting diode) or fluorescent lighting on the ceilings and walls. Take time to design the light in key areas such as the living room, kitchen, bathrooms, the hallway, and other high-traffic areas.
You can also use portable LEDs and CFLs (compact fluorescent lamps) which will save you a great deal of money. Be sure to find the Energy Star labeled lights. Invest also in occupancy sensors that will automatically turn your lights on or off.
Measure the ceiling height so you will know how to properly hang the task and decorative lighting. There are lights that already come with adjustable rods or cables but there are also those that don’t so be sure to take the necessary measurements.
The rule of thumb is, the bottom of your lighting fixture must hang at about 12-20 inches below an eight-foot ceiling. A smaller light may be hung lower while a bigger one can be placed higher.
Light the stair risers so that no one would trip when going up or down the steps.
Play with colors. A bright, colorful light in a neutral room will surely be interesting to see. Decorative lighting can also help in adding moods to the space.
Nothing Beats Natural Light
Elixir is a casual contemporary collection that, like its name implies, exudes a feeling of comfort, simplicity, and well-being. While Elixir has crisp, clean lines, character and visual interest are also achieved through the use of texture - [all perfect elements to sustain the bright atmosphere in the dining room above]. Textural interest comes with the sand-blasted walnut veneer, light texture applied to the metal elements along with a hand-carved texture. (Hooker Furniture, 2020)
Most daylighting purists argue that natural light should be the primary illumination source during the day. It must also be able to create thermally and visually comfortable lighting that’s linked with the scenic beauties outdoors. Others simply view natural lighting as having a home that has windows with a view.
Daylighting is highly regarded for its health and aesthetic benefits. A lot of researchers and designers agree to this. Daylit habitats are also believed to increase the productivity of its occupants while also upping the comfort in a home.
As if these weren’t good enough, you can also enjoy visual and mental stimulation which are essential in regulating the human circadian rhythm.
The use of natural light also leads to a substantial amount of energy savings. Buildings’ electrical light consumes roughly 15-percent of all the U.S.-generated electricity. This information is according to the U.S. Department of Energy, also, from the U.S. Energy Information Administration.
And did you know that homes that have been fitted with daylight-sensing controls reduce their energy consumption by as much as 20% to 60%?
Natural Light and Your Mood
The natural lighting level in the rooms in your home can truly affect your mood. These rays contain vitamin D which is also an added benefit. This vitamin makes people feel more positive. Brighter rooms, therefore, make us feel a lot happier, more vibrant, and alive.
When adding a light color to your ceilings or when you use a glass pendant lighting fixture, you'll notice that the room will surprisingly feel lighter. Glass doors also let in more natural light, therefore, polished floorboards and the rest of the rooms instantly look more energetic.
Begin planning your rooms especially the ones that are too dark. Of course, you cannot just allow every room to remain brightly-lit all day. There must also be areas where shadows play an interesting contrast so that your home will retain its character.
Ambient (General) Lighting
Did you know that a huge percentage of most business budgets are spent on architectural photography? Making use of ambient lighting, some camera flash and tungsten lights could help blend – and even mask – images that need to work together for a photoshoot. Professionals are always on the lookout for resources and techniques that can be incorporated in balancing great images. One such technique is architectural lighting.
Architectural photographers can create clean, crisp, and attractive images that are not easy to achieve. Others may just mimic the look of others but to be able to stand out, one must come up with solutions that will make architectural features take center stage if not to serve as a frame for the rest of the design elements.
Ambient framing is crucial in making an architectural feature stand out. These frames can be used for the ceilings as well as for the overall exposure. Find out what the brightest part of the room is and where you need to retain detail. This is usually a window or a lighting fixture.
Elements to Highlight
This artwork is perfectly framed and illuminated by this pair of wall sconces.
There are practically a lot of interesting elements to highlight. For instance, it would be a waste to not highlight the beauty of bamboo flooring. What is Asian design anyway without this feature? Wall art, shelves, and other interesting furniture can also be highlighted to create interest in your Sacramento home.
Proper lighting is the crucial element to add when requiring special and sufficient unique lighting. Remember that decorative and architectural features are able to set the mood only with the correct kind of lighting.
Never overlook the role of lighting in making architectural features stand out.
Architecture and Lighting Relationship
To know which kind of lighting to use, you must learn the basics of lighting. Also, you will only be able to combine different sets of lighting if you already know the fundamentals.
Ambient lighting, to begin with, is a kind of lighting that’s also referred to as general lighting but it could cast a bright yet comfortable light throughout a room. This should be your primary source of light for any space.
An artistically-illuminated staircase (A Pinterest image).
There are different unique lighting fixtures to choose from but make sure to use the ones that complement your chosen design and, more so, the architectural features of your home. How about those lovely pieces of fine furniture that you just bought? A great way to highlight them is to use ambient lighting with a subdued color palette. You can also hang industrial pendants right from the ceiling.
Never forget to use ample lighting. It would be a shame to have shadows lurking in corners when you can actually have a lively-looking home with the correct set of lighting. As you renovate space, you must use three to five sources of light.
Accent light is any light that is directed at things that you would want to be seen or illuminated. Through accent lighting, you have the power to direct the attention of the people towards the things that you would want them to see. The correct kind of light can also add up to the visual drama just like the artwork, above, that was perfectly-lit by the charming lamp.
You can use accent lighting indoors or outdoors. An eye-catching chandelier is the perfect indoor accent lighting piece. Lamps would do well to become your outdoor accent lights.
The use of well-directed lighting can also help draw attention to the focal points in a room. As you decide on a focal point, do not forget to dress it up also. A huge part of dressing up this part of your home is to direct the correct kind of light towards it.
Choose neutral and sheer curtains so you let in an ample amount of natural light during the day. Are You Ready to Update Your Window Treatments for 2020? It's not too late. Doing so will even help increase the brightness in your home.
To emphasize the same focal point during the night, use an accent light such as a picture light (if you have a photograph or art as the focal point) or the fireplace itself as the focal point and the accent light highlighting one architectural marvel.
Backlight or Uplight
You can also create accent lighting by putting a light behind or below the accent wall. Make sure that this wall holds a striking artwork or any other object that can easily catch the attention of your visitors.
This kind of lighting can also add a glamorous, halo-like effect in your room.
There are so many reasons to use dimmers in your home. First, if you would want to save on energy, then this is a good way to begin. A dimmer can lower the power usage of a bulb. The more that you use the dimmer, the less power is used which results in lower energy consumption.
Dimmers can also make the bulbs last a lot longer. Less power delivery reduces the stress on any light bulb.
Dimmers are also great for the environment. Of course, the less amount of electricity that you use, you also reduce the carbon footprint left by your unique lighting piece. With fewer bulbs thrown away, there are fewer landfill materials that would show up to cause clutter.
Lastly, dimmers can make any room look better. Remember that a more romantic and inviting room is just one dimmer away.
There are moments when you want to use lamps to blend with the rest of your decorative pieces. There are also moments when you want it to become the star of the show.
If you have no idea about how to use a lamp, then you’re not alone. Many people also wonder how to shop for the right lamp for their home. Lamps that are used in the living rooms are not just there to provide light but are also there for display, meaning, they are meant to be seen by everyone.
Living rooms are areas where people hold activities and where they converse so you would want to study how you can best use lamps there. Most lamps are ambient lights – when used as a spotlight – they can also be used as an accent light.
The lamp has to be placed in an area where you and your guests won’t have to duck when you move around.
In the bedroom, it is always useful to have an overhead lamp. This can be done by using a floor lamp and having it placed beside your nightstand. If not, the good ol’ bedside lamp would do. This should highlight the framed photo on your nightstand or the stack of novels that you have lovingly collected.
Have you noticed how Mid-century modernism is practically everywhere these days? When you take the time to think about the lighting from that era, you would picture sharp corners and lines and those atom-inspired pendant lighting. You might also picture – on default – the geometric and minimalist lamps that are scattered throughout. Modernism also spurred lower ceilings and bare spaces.
Commercial shops often lit their buildings with glass pendants that were stained, and some with ornate chandeliers. These hung from the tallest ceilings and often paired with Art Déco or Art Nouveau crafts.
Mid-century modernism paved the way to a different kind of lighting. Opulent lamps were soon replaced by glass bowl-like lamps that encased an incandescent bulb. Pretty soon, recessed lamps were born, too.
Recessed lighting allowed adequate lighting plus the ability to save space. One could observe how it efficiently aided in keeping the spaces free from distraction.
Apart from a few stylish adaptations, these recessed lamps haven’t evolved much. It wasn’t until the 1980s when the light was recessed fully into the ceiling. At that time, they saw that there was no need for the light diffuser that often encased the bulb.
With no fallen insects and distorted light color, brighter light emanated from these recessed lamps and soon they became a staple in kitchen lighting. Around this time, too, downlights were born which highlighted specific elements in a space.
Today's Recessed Lighting
Another 20 years down the line, we all know how hot recessed lighting already is. LED lamps have also emerged, hence, smaller sizes of recessed lights were also born. These lights look great in rooms with low ceilings.
Each recessed light has three chief components namely – the housing, its trim and light bulb, or the lamp. The housing is the light fixture itself. It is the one that sits right inside the ceiling which also holds the trim as well as the light bulb.
New construction housing is the one that’s used for new homes or when adding some rooms in your current home. The remodel housing is utilized in installing recessed lighting to an already existing ceiling. The IC or non-insulation contact rated housing is used so that the surrounding insulation will not be disturbed.
Airtight housing, on the other hand, is the one that decreases the airflow between the upper space – which is often the attic – and the room right below. Shallow ceiling housing is the housing that’s used on ceilings with two-inch by six-inch joists. Lastly, the sloped ceiling housing allows light angling on sloped ceilings.
The trim is the part of the recessed light that fits right into the housing then extends and forms the outer ring. The baffle trim comes with a ribbed interior and is generally the most utilized kind of trim.
Another kind of trim is the eyeball trim which allows you to focus the light right where you need it. This is used for accent lighting or when you want some wall wash light (a.k.a. wallwasher). There is also a wall wash trim that comes with a shield on the other half of the light. This allows for a more focused light directly highlighting a feature such as artwork or a fireplace.
The shower trim comes with tempered glass for safety. These are wet-rated so they can be used even inside shower rooms.
Recessed lighting can also be used inside the living room, home office, the kitchen, and just about any part of a home.
The Recessed Lighting Finish
Your cue should be the kind of finishes that you already have in your home. If there are many brushed nickel door handles and hardware, then this should also be the recessed lighting finish that you should use.
Popular finishes are white, nickel, black, bronze, and bronze and frosted glass.
If you're thinking of using recessed lights on your ceilings, use UL or Underwriters Lab approved fixtures only. These are airtight so they meet all ASTM (American Society for Testing and Materials) requirements.
Ever since man discovered fire and its many uses, he has been doing everything to harness it for heat and light provision. With the advent of newer technologies, fire became candles and candles became bulbs, and pretty soon, fire has become mobile. With it came hazards and some unpredictability, though.
So, is there really a way to catch fire and have it safely contained?
Candle sconces were the first to have it contained. Monks in dark monasteries lit their hallways with these. Pretty soon, elaborate structures had darker hallways so more light was needed. Candle wall scones then came in different styles and materials.
This is why unique lighting displays are often linked to religious activities. Every place of worship seems to have its own sets of candles or other sources of light. The Jewish menorah, for instance, is placed on the southern side of the temple, with each of the seven branches representing human knowledge. The central lamp is the representation of God.
The predecessors of wall sconces have had different forms, colors, and materials. They also often come in pairs so that they can satisfy the needed symmetry in space.
More often than not, wall sconces are circular and they come with brackets for arms. At least this was the case from the 17th till the 18th century. Those wall sconces that came with drip pans on their arms were also used to provide light to mirrors like those in a dressing room.
Oval sconces came at around the late 1700s. The rectangular ones followed during the early part of the 19th century. It’s amazing to remember the evolution of these sconces. They also came with heat shields and reflectors and they soon accommodated candles that burned longer.
Wrought nails were also used to hang the wall sconces or these lights were simply hung on a wall bracket.
Modern Wall Sconces
These modern mood lighting design pieces are now made with different sorts of materials. They can be used as an accent art or as ambient lighting. The history of the candle sconce is pretty rich and its modern alternatives are now being used to contribute to the moods and auras in a home.
The wall sconces are flexible when it comes to decorative uses. They are a good source of illumination while they also offer an aesthetic beauty to the walls. They are an effective means of getting attention to areas that are often ignored.
There are now many design options plus you can already use them with dimmers so that you can adjust the light according to the mood that you want to evoke in a particular moment.
Wall Sconce Installation
Now that you’re ready to install wall sconces in your home, then you have to follow some simple rules.
First, pick the location of your wall sconces. Now make sure that the power to that room is turned off while you’re working on the installation. To be safe, have an electrician take care of this activity for you.
Remember that the ideal height for wall sconces is about 72” off the floor. Mark the spot with a pencil. Pick also your light switch location or at least point that out to your electrician. If there’s already an existing outlet that you can use, then do so.
Draw the locations for the sconces as well as the light switch. Use the drywall to saw cut those portions out. You could cut initially at the draw lines but you will have to trim some more so you can insert cut-in boxes.
The third step is to drill the holes inside the wall. Be sure to locate this as the same stud bay as that of the lightbox.
Step 4 is to run a 12×2 wire to the second sconce. Use a fishing tape. Run the wires till you reach the last sconce. You can then run the electrical wire from the last sconce to the location of the light switch.
Lastly, run a 12×2 electrical wire from your switch to your electrical outlet, the cut-in boxes, and then insert the boxes to the wall.
You are now ready to mount the sconces.
More and more homeowners and interior designers are realizing the benefits of pendant lighting - one of the few unique lighting elements that can be used as a task, ambient, or accent light. Experts know that it is stylish, it can be modern or classic, and all in all, it’s beautiful.
Pendant lighting is able to provide a one-of-a-kind ambiance in a room. It is also the ideal lighting for when you want to focus on just one thing. This kind of lighting provides light pools which makes it the ideal fixture above desks, that place where dishes are washed, and for when you want to focus on a single activity. Unlike other lighting types, pendant lighting offers soft light which is preferable when you want to set a certain mood.
When you need to update the look in any room, you’d be sure to find a pendant lighting fixture in a Sacramento furniture store. You can install pendants in the bedroom, the living room, kitchen, bathroom, and just about any room in your home.
Pendant lighting has been a vital part of many home décor because it is flexible. It can easily adapt to any theme because it easily blends with any design or color palette. It also easily complements other decorative elements, giving the room a highly impressive look.
Pendant lighting fixtures are also seen to be more interesting compared to other kinds of lighting. This has the capacity to look like fine jewelry. Its beauty is coupled with adaptability and functionality – so what more can you ask for?
When adding new pendant lights, consider if you can use cord swags. These can provide an industrial feel to the kitchen.
Let's Install That Pendant
Crystal chandeliers. These are the ultimate proofs of luxury in homes, hotels, and other commercial establishments. What would you give to have it in your home?
You might want to know the benefits of owning a crystal chandelier (featured rooms by Canadel Furniture) -
What three lighting elements can you see in this image? If you answered pendants, desk lamp, and mirror, then you're correct.
Homeowners often talk of the creation of layers of light but did you ever wonder what that even means? The use of multiple light sources can provide a maximum effect on any space. Mixing different fittings can create different themes or stage a much richer home environment.
Multiple Lighting to Break Rooms
Homeowners who embraced the open-plan concept can understand the difficulties of establishing boundaries. Furniture pieces can do this trick but lighting can also offer the same effect. Light can divide larger rooms into zones such as what happens when you use high-output downlighting on work areas while infill downlighting can be used as ambient lighting. Dining areas can be softened by pendant lights as well as concealed cove lighting.
Different Lights, Different Tasks
When downlights take care of ambient lighting for the dining area, there is no longer a need for decorative lights to provide a high output. Keep in mind that not all lighting fixtures should provide like levels of light.
When it comes to downlighting, make sure that you plan their placement so that they can add to the richness of the surroundings. The wrong use of downlighting can lead to a shapeless and soulless room and, of course, you don’t want that.
You can deviate people's attention by increasing or even lowering the different lighting fixtures placed in different areas. Remember to group lights into small circuits. You can always have separate circuits set at the same levels but it is not easy to split 20 or more lights wired together to act as one light.
Outdoor Lighting Design
Don't you just love the wall sconce and the lovely pair of candleholders in this outdoor dining area?
When you’re designing outdoor lights, you should consider aesthetics, utility, and security.
For aesthetic mood lighting design, make sure that the exteriors of your home are properly illuminated giving emphasis to areas such as a plot of a garden or a beautiful landscape.
As for utility, be sure to put ample lighting on the driveway and the porch. These lights will help people navigate around the house. Security-wise, the grounds must also be illuminated whether on the driveway or all around the house.
Combine these with motion and photosensors.
Check also that the outdoor lighting fixtures come with reflectors, covers, or deflectors. Any of these will help reduce light pollution outdoors. Make good use of controls and timers so that decorative lighting can also be turned on and off.
Some of the lights that are commonly used to improve the outdoor setting are –
- Flush mount sconce
- Wall lantern
- Semi-flush mounts
- Bulkhead light
- Barn lights
Lighting, as cliché as it may sound, can make or break the design of your home. And unique lighting can increase the ambiance as well as the mood of any space whether you’re illuminating outdoors or indoors. Once you have all the lighting in your home dialed in, you can sit back and relax, knowing your home looks its very best.