It’s easy to treat lighting as an afterthought when sorting out the decor in your home. After all, does there really have to be much of a complicated strategy behind simply illuminating a room?
In a sense, no. However, exactly where you put electric lights in your home can make a surprisingly big difference to how effectively it is lit up. Here are some example places for you to place lights — and details of exactly what types of lights you should consider in each case.
Every single room of the house
Yes, it isn’t the largest revelation this article could have made. Besides, exactly what kinds of lights you should have in a given room can depend on a wide range of variables.
One big exception to this rule arises with what is called ambient lighting. Homebuilding & Renovating defines this as “the lighting that gives overall illumination to a room” — and potential sources of ambient lighting include large pendants and sometimes even wall lights.
Where everyday activities take place
Your household will already know exactly where these particular places are in your home — especially as ‘everyday activities’ can include the likes of reading, cooking and working.
In areas like these, you need what is referred to as task lighting. Good forms of task lighting can include floor, table and desk lamps, but you might already have a fair few items — like cooker hoods and vanity mirrors — that already incorporate lights of their own for ‘task lighting’ purposes.
Where you want to draw attention to specific items
We probably all have, in our homes, particular features that you wouldn’t find in the average residential property. Maybe your home is a period property still sporting interior Victorian architecture, or you’ve recently hung up a few artwork pieces that would warrant special attention from visitors.
For (literally) shining a light on decorative pieces like these, you could invest in some recessed and hidden LED strips or perhaps some chandeliers. While on the subject of chandeliers…
Where the lighting looks ‘just right’
“To be sure a ceiling fixture is large enough for your space, especially a chandelier, a quick guideline is to measure the length and width of the room,” designer Billy Ceglia explains to The Spruce.
“Then add them together and convert to inches, and that will give a starting point for the ideal size for a light fixture. For example, a 36” wide fixture would be ideal for a 20 x 15 foot room.” While keeping this guidance in mind, you could opt for, say, vintage-style chandeliers if you have a period home.
Your porch or back garden
If you use either space for outdoor entertaining, you should look for lighting that is not only — of course — outdoor-friendly but also built to emit a soft glow.
As revealed in a Real Simple article, subtle, indirect lighting can help to create the kind of restful mood from which outdoor spaces — like outdoor dining areas — would particularly benefit. Outdoor lanterns can work especially well in such open-air settings.