Island Home: Let there be Light – The Art of Lighting Design

Gone are the days of a single light bulb in the center of
the room!
Lighting has become incredibly sophisticated in recent
decades, with more people moving towards automated
lighting systems and with light bulbs themselves being
upgraded substantially from the inefficient halogen bulbs
to the long-ife, more environmentally friendly LED’s.

There are a few rules of thumb to creating the perfect
lighting in your home or business –

  • You should have a mix of light sources at different
    levels to create a flattering ambience when entertaining
    and relaxing
  • You need appropriate task lighting for whatever you do
    in that space – whether it be reading, cooking or getting
    ready for a night out
  • If you have amazing furniture items, artwork or
    architectural pieces, use some accent lighting to get them

All rooms need a variety of lighting: ambient or
background lighting, task lighting for close-up work or
accent lighting to highlight special features. You can
always update a room and improve the atmosphere with
good lighting; equally, nothing makes a room feel dated
and unwelcoming like bad lighting.
Think about how you will be using the room before you
start to decorate. What is the main purpose of the room?
Where will your furniture items go? Who will be using
the space?

Ambient Lighting

Use a combination of table lamps and floor lamps, some
with a downward glow and some that shine upward.
Allow for reading in as many seats as possible. You can
install floor sockets underneath tables or free-standing
furniture, to avoid unsightly cords.
Recessed ceiling lighting will offer a soft glow to create a
romantic mood in your space. General lighting such as
downlights are used to adequately light every room as
required, but put these lights on dimmers to enable you
to change the lighting to suit the mood or task.
Use decorative lighting such as chandeliers or pendant
lights to feature a space (or they can be a feature
themselves!), and use indirect lighting around the rest of
the room to develop a relaxing and flattering light for you
and your guests.

**Style Tip** Soft light like candles, fairy lights and fire
features create a gorgeous, warm, ambient glow to any
room or outdoor space.

Task Lighting

Task, or work lighting focuses on smaller areas where
more intense light is needed. Task light should be three
times as bright as general lighting. Overly bright work
lamps won’t make up for a dimly lit room. Good task
lighting fixture choices are well-positioned recessed
lights, track lighting, pendants, table or floor lamps, and
under-cabinet lighting strips.
Focus on overhead lighting to illuminate work surfaces
such as kitchen benches and vanities. Use pendants,
under-cabinet lights, or a table lamp to highlight study
or reading locations while maintaining a relaxing and
attractive, task oriented space.

Accent lighting

Accent lighting adds brilliant shimmer to make your
precious objects, paintings, sculptures, and outstanding
architectural features highlighted. Ensure the lights are
fixed in a point where they won’t be blocked or shadowed
by passersby. Track lighting is brilliant if you are one to
move items around or have changing feature pieces. This
will enable you to highlight your works of art perfectly.
**Style Tip** Use ‘Warm White’ light bulbs rather than
iridescent blue toned light for ambient lighting and no
brighter than ‘Daylight’ for task oriented lighting.

Natalie Stevenson

Orchid House Design & Interiors Co., Ltd.

M: 091-159-9673