Do you think proper lighting is a big deal? If you answered YES, your correct. Adequate lighting can make or break your design. However, the typical person isn’t aware that there are 4 different types of lighting that could be present in every space.
Natural lighting obviously, which is windows, skylights and patio doors. There’s ambient lighting, which is your everyday light, your recessed lights, your ceiling lights and ceiling fans. There’s task lighting, which are your table lamps, vanity lights, your floor lamps and your desk lamps. And then there’s decorative lighting, which is your pendants, chandeliers, wall sconces and all other decorative lights within a space.
When you visit a properly designed home you will find all 4 types of lights throughout the space. For instance, a kitchen will always have recessed lights (for currently built homes) then it will have decorative lights which will be the pendants, a task light which will be the stove light and they usually always has natural light which would be a window, patio door or something that funnels natural light into the kitchen. The 4 levels of light will give you a different ambiance for different times of the day. So remember when designing your space to try and achieve all 4 of the lights available.
Take your living room for example, it will have natural light from the windows and your ambient lighting, which are your recess lighting and/or ceiling fan light. Next is, your task lighting, which will be table lamps or desk lamp if you have a desk or work surface. Last is decorative lighting, maybe your ceiling fan is your decorative light as well as your ambient lighting. Those are examples of levels of lighting. See image below for reference.
With obtaining all levels of lighting you can really set the lighting for any mood you may be in. However, make sure your lighting isn’t overpowering. Stick to lights that work well with your colors. Install dimmers if needed. I myself am a fan of LED lights (for energy purpose) but I also prefer halogen bulbs because they’re softer. You DON’T need 100 watts light bulbs anymore. It’s too much light for a home. Your table lamp only needs 60 or 40 watt bulbs. If you do a 100 watt bulb for task lighting. On a workers table, a desk or something that requires high wattage. But your everyday table lamp goes lower on wattage.
If you’re in an older home I recommend installing recessed lights throughout the home. They are standard in newer homes, but if your house was built before 1995 you probably don’t have them. Have a lighting technician visit your home and install adequate ambient lighting throughout the space, hallways, bedrooms, kitchen and living room. Then you’ll be able to achieve the multiple levels of lighting available and needed for a properly designed home.