When you’re furnishing your home, you need to consider the most suitable lighting to achieve the best effect. The days of a single pendant light hanging centrally from the ceiling and relying on a dim bulb to illuminate each room are long gone. Nowadays no room is the same as the next and a huge variety of styles and types of lighting are available, many designed to create a particular ambience or to complement the way that each room is used. Lighting is a way of making a powerful statement about your home and the choice can drastically alter the focus of each room.
Create a lighting plan
Before purchasing new lighting for your home, you should devise a lighting plan. This means gradually working your way around your home, thinking about each room in turn: who will be using the room? How will it be used? Is there any natural daylight? Draw a simple sketch plan of each room, marking where people will be sitting, the direction they will be facing (towards the television, for instance) and noting any areas used for a specific task, such as reading, that require additional light. This plan will help you to identify areas where a single overhead light is insufficient and you might require wall lights or other additional lighting. Remember that the elderly require more light to complete simple tasks like reading than younger people.
Combine lighting types for maximum effect
Some areas of your home, such as the living room, benefit from the greatest flexibility as they are the rooms which are used for relaxation, socializing and entertainment. Due to the multi-purpose nature of the living room, and the fact that this room is often the most spacious, a variety of lighting styles is recommended rather than relying on a single ceiling-mounted light. Take wall lights… these are perfect for providing minimal illumination when you need the room to be dark, such as when watching a film — a bright overhead light will only affect the quality of the television screen. Spotlights inset in the ceiling are ideal for providing light consistently to all corners of the room, which makes them ideal if you’re have friends or family round to socialize. On the other hand, strategically positioned standing lamps provide localized light when enjoying a hobby or reading.
Due to the broad range of lighting available, living in semi-darkness is no longer necessary, but do remember to plan your choice of lighting carefully to maximize the impact and make the best use of each room in your home.