After being on TV I now understand the importance of good lighting and a gratuitous cute baby pic

There is nothing like seeing yourself on TV with lousy lighting to understand the importance of good lighting!  Whew!  I looked absolutely hideous as every single wrinkle, sag or dark circle was magnified by the wonders of high def TV.  But it made me reflect on how important good lighting is to an interior space and brother don’t I know it now!!

The design rule of thumb is to have at least three points of light in every room (excluding overhead lighting).  This would be a combination of task lighting ( a table lamp), ambient lighting (a chandelier) and accent lighting in the form of a small lamp illuminating a bookcase or wall niche.  These light sources should not be lined up like a string of railroad trains but, rather, spread around the room in that always talked about design triangle (think of the recommended placement of the sink, stove and refrigerator in a kitchen).  To learn all about lighting from the experts, check out the American Lighting Association site.  Everyone has an association, don’t they?  Anyway, here is a brief explanation of the three types of lighting you should be using in your own home:

Task lighting

Task lighting is just what it says–a light that illuminates a specific area for a task you are performing.  This would include a desk lamp that shines down on the desktop, a table lamp that shines over your shoulder and allows you to read, do needlework etc., or pendant lighting or under counter lighting in a kitchen, for example, that shines directly onto the countertop, range etc.  For optimum effect task lighting should shine directly onto the task being performed.  A table lamp will shine over your shoulder and down onto a book or project, a desk lamp will shine onto the desktop at a height that does not shine directly into your eyes and under counter lighting should be focused on a specific area of the countertop.

Task lighting from Pottery Barn

Task lighting from Pottery Barn

Ambient lighting

Ambient lighting is most often the result of the primary source of light in a room such as a chandelier, overhead fluorescent bulbs etc.  If these fixtures are placed on a dimmer they can also act as soft accent lighting or bright task lighting when necessary and, if chosen carefully, can support a design scheme.

This chandelier became a real show stopper when we hung it in Kate's mediterranean beach cottage

This chandelier became a real show stopper when we hung it in Kate’s mediterranean beach cottage

Accent lighting

Accent lighting is created through the use of candles, small lamps, lanterns and other illuminating devices that cast a bit of light in an otherwise dark area and/or highlight a specific architectural feature.  Types of accent lighting might include a fish eye that shines directly onto a painting, a floor bulb placed behind a large floor plant or track lighting with bulbs that can be directed in different directions.

track lighting in my downstairs hallway

track lighting in my downstairs hallway

small accent lamp in dining room that acts as our night light

small accent lamp in dining room that acts as our night light

Take it from me, lighting is so important to create the mood you want in a home, help you perform tasks and reduce eye strain (straining the eyes causes wrinkles as evidenced by my closups :{  )

Now for someone who always looks cute regardless of the lighting:

I am ready for my close-up Mr. Deville

I am ready for my close-up Mr. Deville

Advertisements

About hayniedi

What about me? In a nutshell I am a middle-aged interior designer and freelance writer, mother of an amazing 27 year old daughter, wife to my semi-retired lawyer husband and step-grandma to two delicious babies. From my earliest memories I have been fascinated with interior decorating and love to share my passion for beautiful rooms with anyone who will listen. Join me on this blog as my husband and I enter our empty nest years and move back into the first home we bought when we were first married that has been a rental for the past 15 years. I will share our experience with remodeling as well as other ideas and thoughts that I hope will inspire you.
This entry was posted in Uncategorized and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

One Response to After being on TV I now understand the importance of good lighting and a gratuitous cute baby pic

  1. lulu says:

    A very fun post to read. I think many of us are very sensitive to the kind of lighting that is around. It certainly can make a difference.

    Like

Would love to hear your thoughts

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s