Planning For Lighting

Have you visited a shopping-center lighting store lately? Sure your eyes had probably enjoyed so much the hundreds of varying designs of lighting fixtures ranging from chandeliers, wall lamps, table lamps, floor lamps and so much more. Was it like being lost in a lighting jungle? If you were there to find a lighting fixture for your decorating project, did you have any idea how to find that perfect fixture for your specific decorating plan? Probably you were as lost as a kid in a jungle of goodies. You did not know where to start or what to choose.

How do interior designers come up with the perfect lighting fixtures for their decorating projects? They follow three basic guidelines which include function, mood and harmony.

Function: There are areas in a room that require lighting so that people will be able to perform their tasks seamlessly. Examples of these tasks are reading a book, writing a letter or playing cards. This type of lighting is called "task lighting". Also, you need to install enough lighting in order to illuminate the area so that people will not trip over furniture. This type of lighting is called "ambient lighting". This is the overall lighting that floods the entire room. These two types of lighting, the task lighting and ambient lighting are both functional in nature.

Mood: Installing correct lighting can influence the mood of a room in many different ways. First, the general lighting of a room can project different moods. A room which is bright lit expresses a positive and upbeat move. On the other hand, a room which is darkly lit projects a more intimate and romantic ambiance. Second, by properly selecting the lighting fixtures, one can express a mood. Today, there are many kinds of lighting fixture designs that are suitable to different historical periods. Also readily available are lighting fixtures that express traditional and contemporary moods. Many come in very ornate designs, others in simple straight lines. As with any other components of a room like furniture, rugs, draperies and window treatments, lighting fixtures should be suitable in mood and style with the rest of the décor. Third, specific parts of a room can have accent lighting without any functional purpose at all. It provides only the added dramatic touch needed to heighten the mood. This type of lighting is called "mood lighting".

Harmony: To produce an interesting cohesive effect, the various lighting elements in a room must work together in harmony. Most lighting schemes done by amateur designers fail because these do not offer variety. Harmony does not mean monotony and some designers in order to achieve harmony opted to have no variety in their choice of lighting fixtures. To avoid monotony, good designers use different types of lighting fixtures for various tasks. Lighting should flow in varying directions. Some might have upward projection, others in downward projection and still others should project in all directions. Positioning the lighting fixtures at various heights will also add variety. Even creating different levels of illumination in various areas of a room can produce variety. Some areas can have bright light others could be less bright and subdued. Although, there is variety in the lighting scheme, this does not mean a mishmash of lighting fixtures. All must still work in harmony with one another.