For many people, lighting is an afterthought. They look at paint color, furniture style, or how to accessorize their room before they even think about its lighting. Lighting, however, is not just another accessory and certainly should not be an afterthought. Rather it is an integral part of a room’s form and function.
Lighting affects how a room or even an entire home is perceived. If the lighting is done well, the rooms in a home will seem warm, friendly,
and even cozy. If the lighting is done poorly it can make the rooms feel dark, dreary, drab or even cold.
The quantity and intensity of light will even change how we see the color in a room. Colors look different depending upon whether they are viewed in natural light or at night with artificial light.
When identifying lighting requirements, it’s important to keep in mind the purpose for the room and the purpose of the lighting. For instance, you normally want to have general illumination in each room. It provides the basic lighting for the entire room. Most often it will be placed in the ceiling but it can also come from wall sources.
Next is task lighting. It will provide strong, focused light that should be placed where we will be working. That may be task lighting for an office, or directed light for a reading or sewing area, or task lighting for the kitchen where food is normally prepared.
Last is decorative or accent lighting. This kind of lighting will enhance the ambiance of a room and can be used to highlight decorative objects such as artwork. Decorative lighting is also a great way to highlight a focal point for a room that needs additional interest.