If your home seems to lack character and personality, perhaps it’s time you tapped into different types of lighting to create different moods.
The right lighting is essential to create the right feel in every room. If the light is too bright, a room looks stark and uninviting. If it’s too dim, a room appears dreary and depressing. But apart from the look, a good lighting plan must be variable enough to create atmospheres conducive to diverse functions — lounging with a book, enjoying a candlelit dinner, or working on an Excel sheet.
The living room. This room sets the tone for the rest of the home by showcasing the owner’s personality, taste and style.
Aim at creating a warm and cozy environment that helps guests relax. Pockets of light and shadow help create a variety of moods. If there’s a TV in the room, make sure there’s no glare on the screen from any of the lights.
In case the living room also double up as family lounge, ensure the mood lighting is supplemented by task lighting. Children will want to do their homework, you may want to read or do embroidery.
Don’t forget to install dimmers for the task lighting; they’ll help control the brightness and create a mellow ambience.
The bedroom. A bedroom needs to combine the right kind of lighting for a series of functions—dim lights for an intimate atmosphere, a strong light over the dresser for your make-up, and a bright, glare-free light over the table for those evenings when you work.
If you have a huge closet (like Carrie in Sex and the City), you will need proper illumination to differentiate between the blacks and the browns.
Last but not the least, don’t forget a master switch that allows you to turn off all lights without getting out of bed.
Children’s room. Homework, projects, crafts, hobbies, video games, social networking on the Internet — children these days often burn the midnight oil for a variety of reasons.
The wrong kind of lighting can affect a child’s health, leading to headaches and sleepless nights. As the children grow up, they need to spend longer hours at their desks and you must ensure they work under ample light and not in shadows.
Bedside lamps are a must if you wish to inculcate the reading habit — nothing does that better than bedtime story sessions.
Young children like a night light — it helps them feel safe when alone in the dark.
The bathroom. The ability to control lighting levels is of paramount importance in the bathroom. For electrical safety reasons, bathrooms are divided into zones: zone zero (the bath or shower), zone one (area close to the shower), and zone two (the rest of the dry area).
Choose light fixtures — be it spotlights, wall lights and sconces — suited to particular zones. The mirror needs an intense light with integrated shaver/dryer sockets. But nothing works as well as natural lighting and ventilation in a damp space like the bathroom.