Lighting is essential and often overlooked, and there is nothing worse than bad lighting. With a little planning, layered lighting can dramatically change your space, and can be the key to “Wow!” impressions when unveiling your new home to guests. Learn how to master the art of layered lighting and the main three types of interior lights.
What is Layered Lighting?
Layered lighting is what creates a room’s atmosphere, the feeling, and vibe of your place. The idea is to use multiple types of light to create an overall dramatic effect. What kind of mood do you want your room and decor to reflect? A great example is churches with their combination of candles, chandeliers, and stained glass, giving an aura of sanctity and security.
Use the same room for multiple purposes in a cinch with layered lighting. Transform an office or living room into a romantic retreat in the evening with the flick of a light switch. Learn about the following three main types of lighting and rethink or reinvigorate your space.
Usually, the “first” layer and possibly the most important, and the least-intense, is ambient lighting. Consider low-lumens and square footage when purchasing new bulbs, a good rule of thumb, according to Lumens, is to multiply a room’s width and length by 20, the result should be a safe number for most lighting projects.
It will ultimately depend on the furniture and physical design of your room. If there are any wall barriers, room dividers, or other obstructions, you may need to increase your lumens to light your space adequately. Multiple fixtures can provide ambient lighting, and it can come from many directions and sources. Ambient lighting is the general base lighting that allows you to see without stumbling into something, but what about other tasks, such as reading, office spaces, cooking, and bathrooms?
The second layer, in your overall interior lighting masterpiece, is task lighting. Task lights provide brighter lighting where and when needed the most. Many activities require a bit more luminescence the others, from cooking in the kitchen to reading at your office desk. For the living room, Houzz suggests having three lighting sources when possible, for example; natural light, overhead, and task light.
Wall sconces, track lighting, recessed lights, and more. You can effortlessly change a room with strategic accent lighting, such as soften the overall feel of a bathroom. Try extra long fixtures in hallways, entryways, or dining area, that hang low from the ceiling for an intimate effect. Try different directions of lights as well, such as using up facing lights to draw attention to an interesting ceiling.
What About Natural Light?
You can achieve a lot with windows and walls that will create a dramatic natural light-scape. Have a particular bright window that you’d like to mellow down? Try stained glass, there are removable frames available that can be custom cut, or even find a stick-on adhesive faux stained mosaic glass at your local home improvement store.
There are countless ways to utilize lighting in your interior home design. Try introducing new lighting to break up a large room or placing dimmers on just about anything so you can adjust as needed. Consider how each light affects the rest of your lighting layout. Make use of the ambient, task, and accent lighting and you’re on your way to creating a layered lighting effect that will always set the mood right.