Thursday, March 10, 2011

What Were They Thinking Thursday? - Burned Out

"Lighting is basic to interior design. It is the means by which all the other aspects of the environment are seen, and it strongly affects how space and objects are perceived. The same space can be made to take on many different appearances simply by changing how it is illuminated. Because of this, lighting is a very powerful tool!"
- David Ballast

Since lighting is so important and essential to good interior design, it is important that we get it right! As always we are going to show some good and bad examples of lighting a space.


BAD LIGHTING:
Extremely dark, I wouldn't be able to see what I was eating. This may be fine under certain circumstances to set a mood, but there needs to be better general lighting.


This room gets a lot of great daylighting. But when the sun goes down that under-scaled ceiling light isn't going to do much for you. Also if this is a sitting room, there should be lamps next to the seating for task lighting. Or how about some accent lighting for interest?


I don't see any overhead lighting in this room. In fact the only light I see is a small lamp shoved in the corner, not a great placement for its use. I hope you can find your way around by the light of the tv at night!


Also, it only helps if you remember to change the bulbs on the lights you do have :).


A very bright kitchen. You need to think about the right amount of general light for a space. You don't want to strain your eyes from not enough light, or too much either.



So you may have picked up there are 3 types of lighting:

1. General lighting - illuminates the entire room
2. Task lighting - provides illumination for specific tasks (example: reading, working), they are usually brighter and provide strong light where you need it most where the general light is not sufficient
3. Accent lighting - highlights certain features (example: artwork)




GOOD LIGHTING:
This space first of all has great daylighting, so it would be great to sit and read on a beautiful bright day. But there is also enough general lighting and lamps to provide task lighting for those cloudy days or at night.


This room has great use of all types of lighting and creates an ambiance in the room that is cozy and inviting. First of all there are great windows to bring in the sunlight on naturally sunny days. There are also up-lights directed at the ceiling that give great general lighting and accentuates the height of the room. There are lamps for task lighting, and a fire and candles for accent or ambient lighting.


Under-cabinet lighting in a kitchen is considered task lighting. It illuminates your worksurface as you prepare and cook. This is a great modern kitchen with under-cabinet lighting.


General lighting doesn't always have to be a single fixture or can lights. I love that the cove lighting adds a soft general lighting in this room, and there is accent lighting on the art piece. The only thing I might add is a lamp for task lighting, but again it depends on the function and use of your space.


A very creative light fixture that adds to the style of the room as well as providing great general lighting. Also notice the accent up-lighting in the sculptures.


Remember good lighting can:
- set or enhance the mood of the interior space
- add interest to the visual environment
- accent and emphasize objects and areas
- de-emphasize undesirable areas or architectural features
- highlight surfaces and textures
- enhance color
- affect spatial perception


Since lighting creates the mood and ambience of a space, feel free to get creative!

-Cassie

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