Lighting Up

  • 02.05.12

    This week, Ms Sumana Rao will walk through a subject that will throw some light on the subject of illuminating the house.

    “Designers are often called upon to give inputs on lighting in residential environments,” says she. To tackle how best to provide lighting dilemma, first identify the areas that need lighting the most. For example in the kitchen, one should ensure that perfect amount of layered light is provided over the island or the counter than a general overhead light.

    Sufficient Vs Too Much

      We need to draw the delicate balance between sufficient vs too much lighting (too bright lights will cause glare, which is bad for the eye, and will also use up too much energy). This is where a good lighting design pays a key role. One needs to stay in tune with the times to avoid using out dated technologies. A popular option these days is the dimming feature. Consider the flexibility in being able to increase or decrease the brightness of an area using one single light fixture. “By dimming, we decrease the energy and the heat output. We lengthen the lamp life and get a texture in lighting,” encourages Sumana to consider different types of lighting options.

    Types of Lighting

    “So we generally divide the types of lighting as (i) ambient lighting (ii) task lighting and (iii) accent lighting,” explains Sumana.

    Ambient lighting is the general lighting, the basic brightness one needs to be able to walk around objects, furniture. While entertaining guests, a nice warm light will work as mood lighting and set the tone for a relaxed-informal atmosphere.

    The task lighting, on the other hand, serves a specific practical purpose. Say for instance, concentrated lighting for tasks such as in the kitchen: to chop vegetables, in bath rooms for shaving, at work stations for reading, or the bed side reading lamps, to name a few requirements.

    The accent lighting, is an area one can play around with. It is the aesthetic element that will add immense depth to the decor. For instance highlight a cherished artwork, or an architectural feature like a favourite niche etc with suitably placed accent or focus lights.

    Tailor-made Lighting Plan

    “Combining all the three types of lighting gives a greater functionality, creates a texture, enhances the interest and the ambience of the interior. Some fixtures create a win-win effect by providing necessary lighting and style. Every area of the house can be illuminated for different moods and functions,” reaffirms Sumana.

    Yet another compelling reason to plan for adequate lighting is that it has positive psychological effects on inhabitants of the house. You don’t want to end up prone to a squint eye, because you are constantly squinting against a bright glare. Or having to strain your eyes to get a task done, because the lighting is behind you! Either of these are champion cause for a headache, which you certainly want to avoid in your own house.

    Get adventerous, play around with options and custom make a plan that is right for you while lighting up your house.

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