How To Choose Lighting

As we walk into a room, we first notice the furniture, then our eyes sweep across the details and the accent pieces, such as a large vase, the carpeting, or a painting hung on a wall. As we do so, we immediately feel the vibe this room is giving off just by the combination of the different design elements found within it. This is how we know that a room has a rustic, modern, contemporary, or classic theme. Aside from the furniture and design pieces, another important element which helps set the mood is lighting. With proper lighting, we can transform any room into a cozy and warm place using soft lights, or give it an architectural feel with a clean and modern lighting system.

Given the important role lighting plays in setting atmosphere and underscoring theme and style, it is important to know how to choose lighting that is appropriate for a room or a specific function. Here are a few suggestions to help you with this task.

Step 1

Consider the lighting needs of the room. Of course, the main purpose of installing light fixtures in a room is to illuminate it; they are not just installed for decorative purposes. Therefore, the most important factor to be considered is the actual lighting needs of the room. For instance, a dining or living room may have a chandelier since these rooms call for cozier ambient lighting. In the kitchen, recessed lighting may be placed below the hanging cabinets and above the counter tops for more focused task lighting. In the nursery, you may need to install different light fixtures addressing different needs: The room requires general ambient light during the early evening, but during night feedings a soft glow that is not too glaring is preferred.

Step 2

Consider the size of the room. In order to determine the specific kind of lighting that will effectively illuminate the entire room, you may use this widely accepted formula as a guide:

Width of the room x length of the room x 1.5 = required wattage.

Thus, for a small 9x9 ft bedroom, you will need two 60-watt bulbs to illuminate the space. In rooms that require brighter lighting, such as a bathroom, kitchen, or home office, replace 1.5 with 2.5. This formula is an important tool, especially since there are so many new products, each offering different wattage options. Having a simple guide like this will choose the best combination of lighting to meet your needs.

Step 3

Consider the existing design of the room. Aside from the capacity to illuminate the room, the next important consideration is of course, to complement the existing design and décor of the room. There are various designs, textures, and finishes that complement each particular theme. A rustic design may use wrought-iron chandeliers and sconces, while a contemporary design would benefit more from the simple and clean lines of modern lighting systems.

Step 4

Consider efficiency and convenience. Finally, in choosing lighting, always be on the look out for eco-friendly options that are more efficient and require less energy. Nowadays, CFL bulbs have come to replace ordinary incandescent bulbs because the former uses less energy than the latter. Using these throughout your home will not only reduce global electricity requirements, they will also help you save money on your personal energy bill.

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