When deciding to take on a lighting project, keep in mind that it does not start by simply picking out a light fixture. You should take the time to first ask yourself the following questions:
(1) What kind of lighting do I want?
(2) How do I want the space to look?
(3) Are there any special requirements that need to be addressed?
(4) What is the current level of lighting in the area? Is there daylight available?
(5) What mood am I trying to achieve?
Some places require a bright light that does not cast shadows like a closet, laundry room, or a workbench. Other areas such as living, dining and bedrooms should offer a little more drama and pizzazz. Keep these functional differences in mind when you go through the motions of determining what style of lighting will be required.
When you think about the lighting effect you are looking for, you should always consider how the various light sources will be layered. For instance, youíll typically want to have ambient lighting such as a ceiling light or floor lamp for general lighting while offering accent lighting on paintings, sculptures, etc. and finally focused lighting such as a table lamp. You donít want to leave one area of the room under illuminated, while another area blinds you. This can lead to eye strain, headaches, and undo tiredness.
Once youíve thought through the above mentioned issues and determined how you want the layering to work, the next step is choosing the fixtures and bulbs that fulfill your requirements. Every room should have a general or ambient light source. If you donít want to have a ceiling fixture, then a floor lamp that directs a wide angle of light up on your ceiling can provide a good source of general lighting. Keep in mind that the lighter the color of your ceiling, the more illumination you will get from this style of lighting. There is not rule that says you cannot have two floor lamps, however keep in mind the balance of the lighting in the room.
If you are working on a room that requires specialized areas for tasks such as reading a book, you will want to add a portable or table lamp. This will provide good lighting to a specific area while not overwhelming any other areas of the room. You may want to consider a 3-way lamp that allows you to vary the level of illumination. In this fashion, the lamp can double as accent lighting when on lower settings.
If you want to add accent lighting for specific areas of the room, then you will probably want to consider spot lights, shelf lighting, or even smaller table lamps and decor lamps.
There are some other points that you may want to keep in mind before making the final decision on your lighting fixtures:
(1) Is the fixture energy efficient?
(2) How durable is the fixture and what will the maintenance costs be?
(3) What is the availability of the fixture? Can you easily find it in stores and expect to have them available in the future?
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Article Added on Saturday, November 28, 2009
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