When we move into a home, we have a general idea of the purpose of each room. We sleep in the bedroom, cook in the kitchen, etc. Knowing the purpose of a room is the first step to ensure it’s properly lit.
There are three types of lighting designers work with; task, ambient, and accent. Most rooms need at least two for suitable coverage. This article will explore the types of lighting and how to use them to properly light your home.
MAPPING YOUR HOME
Before you begin lighting your home, it’s helpful to know where your furniture, art and accessories will be. If you’re renovating your current home this is usually much easier than building anew home, but it’s an important step either way.
By mapping out each room, and the activities you anticipate, you’ll be able to maximize lighting. If you have a comfy recliner in the living room that you know you do a lot of reading on, then ensuring there’s proper task lighting in that space will help.
You might also have an extraordinary piece of art that you want to show off. Knowing where it will hang will allow you to add accent lighting in the area for it. Additionally, if you know where the tv is going to be, you can plan your lighting to prevent glare’s
TYPES OF LIGHTING
As we dive into the types of lighting, you’ll notice we refer to LED lighting. LEDs are energy efficient; they don’t need to be changed as often, and come in a full spectrum of colours and temperature. Natural light is considered a cooler hue and measures approximately 5,500 degrees Kelvin on a full spectrum bulb. Warmer light is lower, around 1,500 degrees Kelvin. Most rooms will require both options.
Task lighting serves a purpose. Earlier we mentioned reading in a comfy chair; task lighting would be used near the chair for the best experience. A table or a floor lamp are great for this specific example. If it’s adjustable or dimmable, that’s even better. A warmer LED bulb is especially good for reading before bed, it helps restore melatonin.
Task lighting is also recommended in the kitchen for food prep, and the bathroom for activities like plucking eyebrows or shaving. Brighter lights for these areas are beneficial. Check out our kitchen gallery for some beautiful inspiration. For other spaces like your bedroom or basement, you may find task lighting helpful as well. That’s why it’s important to map out your home first, to know the activities each room will host.
Bias lighting is a part of task lighting. It’s used to balance light for your eyes, preventing you from squinting or straining your eyes, as well as eliminating glares. A helpful trick I love recommending is to attach a rope light to the back of your tv. Choose a warm coloured light that’s dimmable in the1,000k-2,500k range. This will help counter the blue light emanating from the screen. By creating a frame, about two inches from the edge of the tv with the rope light, a soft glow will appear behind your tv. It’s a low-cost solution that doesn’t take up space and benefits your eyes.
We start with task lighting, because we want to improve the function of each room. Once that is in place, we recommend working on your accent lighting. This can be fun, because accent lighting is all about highlighting your favourite features and accessories. It could be a painting on the wall, a vase on a shelf or an architectural feature… whatever you want to show off. Ackard recently added a wine room to a client’s house. The video here shows we used simple lighting for outstanding results.
Recessed lighting is a good solution to illuminate your special pieces. You’ve probably heard them referred to as “pot lights”. They’re small, flush with the ceiling, and often adjustable. Many homes in the Edmonton area have an eight-foot ceiling, if this is the same for your home then place the recessed lighting two feet away from the wall. Then, angle it to 30 degrees for the best display. The living spaces in this gallery have some beautiful light fixtures, as well as examples of recessed lighting in every room.
If it's an architectural feature you’re showing off, then a wall-grazer might work best for you. This is another type of accent lighting, but is almost invisible. It creates soft light and shadows around the feature you’re drawing attention to. The Ackard team has several designers and experts who love bringing your visions to life; whether it’s designing the architectural feature or lighting it, so be sure to discuss your plans for each room with the team.
Once the task lighting is in place and your accent lighting is doing its job, you’ll use ambient lighting to fill in the blanks. Ambient lighting is also fun to plan because you can focus more on lights you love. Even if it’s a small light, bringing a little brightness to a dark corner, it can be stylish. In fact, it can even turn into a focal point for the room.
Floor lamps are great for ambient lighting. They create a centralized pool of light at eye level. This not only allows for are laxed and intimate atmosphere for gatherings, but light at that level is flattering on faces.