Lighting has many roles to play in both interior design and styling, but most importantly you can’t do much of anything without the right lighting. Beyond the most practical considerations of living and reading, the way you light a room can set the mood, style and overall aesthetic of a design scheme.
Far from being just a source of light, you can use downlights and spotlights to highlight a piece of furniture, work of art or decorative feature in your home. Alternatively, spotlights or downlights can be used to set the tone of a room, framing the outline of the room for a more cosy feel.
When thinking about how lights, lamps and things like LEDs work together, you need to think carefully about what use you have for a particular room and what different combinations of lights you’ll need.
First, think about what the room would look like with all the lights on. How bright does it need to be, what are you going to use the room for, and will lighting interfere with anything, like creating a glare on a TV, for example?
Once you’ve thought this through, imagine turning the different lights off one by one. Start with fixed lights you turn off with a switch. You can have several different lighting schemes that play off one another, so maybe you want a central lamp that illuminates the whole room from the centre and side lights that create mood.
You might also want to consider using dimmers so you don’t have to choose between off and on but a nice in-between that gives you more variation. Once you have an idea of your ideal lighting environment, you must also consider that you will need to pay an electrician to install the various lighting circuits, and you’d be surprised how quickly that can add up. So less might be more if you’re on a budget!
To finish off a lighting scheme you want to think about what lamps you might want to use as both a stylish accent to a room and an extra mood for reading. With lamps, the possibilities are endless in terms of styling and function but again too many could spoil a room and take a while to turn off individually so be careful not to go overboard.