The Wonderful World of Lighting

Whatever the style of your home and home decor, whatever color your rooms are and no matter how they are furnished, lighting should be an integral part of the design.

In the same way that textures and colors of fabric are selected because they complement each other (for soft furnishings, for example), successful lighting is dependent on task, feature and general lighting all working in harmony. By carefully selecting and varying the levels and type of task,
feature and general lighting components, you can create the perfect light setting for every activity in your home as well as creating dramatic effects where needed.

In order to fully appreciate the different types of lighting fixtures available these days, this article will describe the features and benefits of some of these. After all, being properly informed will enable you to have the confidence to light up your home with style and ease.

Table lamps – Easily portable and can be highly effective lighting fixtures which can be positioned anywhere in a room. They can be located near sofas and chairs and hence function as task lights to help with reading. Table lamps positioned around the edges of a room can eliminate dark corners.

Pendant lights – These are hanging lamps which are suspended from the ceiling by a chain or rod. The light they produce can be dark and somewhat limiting though pendants themselves are often highly decorative and come in many different designs. It is usually better to supplement the light from pendants with other types of indoor lighting fixtures such as wall lights as well as floor and table lamps.

Chandeliers – Magnificent to look at and highly decorative chandeliers, most commonly found in large open hallway entrances and in dining rooms, add a touch of opulence and splendor by their presence. Usually, if used on their own as a light source, the light can be flat and boring.
Although, crystal chandeliers can create a lot of unwelcome glare. This can be resolved by installing a dimmer to reduce the output of the lamps and light and to use other forms of lighting, such as low-voltage downlights dotted around the chandelier, to shine through the chandelier.

Downlights – Another way of lighting up a room and in fact low voltage downlights produce a very crisp white light which can literally transform dark and dingy places. Usually, downlights are installed in fixtures in the ceiling or underneath cupboards. They are very versatile as they can be used for bringing light into the central area of ​​a room as well as be directed onto objects, pictures or ornaments, to provide both general and feature lighting.

Picture lights – Hanging pictures in your home is one way of adding to your home decor and what better way of providing even more focus to these with lights? Free-standing spotlights, directional downlights and frame-mounted lights can all be used. It merely
depends on how your picture is framed and which of these lighting fixtures will bring out the best in it. Free-standing spotlights are great if your picture is covered by glass as you want to avoid glass reflection. Simply use the spotlight as an uplight which cleverly reflects the glass reflection towards the ceiling. Another method is to use a recessed, low-voltage directional downlight which, when used correctly, can be a very effective picture light that prevents glare.

Wall washing – This is a brilliant, subtle way of softly illuminating plain walls. It can also be used to highlight ornamental objects to great effect. The lighting fixture is a small floodlight that can be ceiling-mounted, or placed at the top or bottom of a wall and effectively, will "wash" the wall
with a splash of light.