Lighting Fixtures

Effective lighting for your indoor space

The way youlight your home says a lot about you, your temperament and your sense of style. Lighting can be strictly utilitarian or it can be fun and artistic - it's up to you. Don't be afraid to experiment with lighting; try different combinations of lights and decide what you like best.

It's a good idea to think about installing dimmer switches, since they allow you the freedom to change from bright party lighting to intimate evening illumination in an instant, without having to add extra fixtures. But be sure your light bulb type is compatible first. Florescent lights and LEDs (light-emitting diodes) cannot use a dimmer.

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Types of Lighting

There are four basic types of artificial indoor lighting:

  • Ceiling lighting is the name given to any light source that washes the room with a "glow" of light from above (some people also refer to this as ambient lighting). Ceiling lights should be used as a starting point for lighting your indoor space.
  • Task lighting is more practical. It illuminates specific areas of the home used in daily activities (such as cooking, reading or watching television).
  • Accent lighting provides a point of interest in a room. It can highlight a piece of art or an architectural element.
  • Decorative lighting is used - obviously - for decorating, but it differs from accent lighting in that the lighting itself is the art.

Natural Light Sources

Natural light (also known as kinetic lighting), is not as reliable as artificial lighting, but should be used wherever possible in your home. The light produced by the sun can't be matched by artificial lighting, and it's free! Be sure to take natural light into consideration when you:

  • Choose the location of your home.
    If you have a garden, you'll want to make sure it has ample sunlight and that the daily sun phases will meet your needs.
  • Design the layout of your home.
    If you're a morning person, you may enjoy the early morning sunlight in your room. If not, it could disturb your sleeping patterns.
  • Situate furniture in a room.
    No one likes sunlight glaring on their television screens, so organize your room with this in mind.
  • Select window coverings.
    Choose appropriate window coverings for the activities that will take place in each room.

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