Tuesday, December 23, 2014

The Rules of Thumb on Lighting

Looking to create a flattering glow while still having enough wattage to see what you are doing? This speedy lesson on lamps, fixtures and bulbs (plus some room-by-room tips) will illuminate the way. 

There are two rules of thumb you need to remember. First, you should have a mix of light sources at different levels to create a flattering ambiance. Second, you need appropriate task lighting for whatever you do in that space whether it be reading, sautéing, getting dressed etc. Here are our tips for five key spaces. 

Living Room
Make sure three of the four corners are lit, focusing one of those lights on an object such as a piece of art, a plant or a striking chair. Use a combination of table lamps and floor lamps, some with a downward glow and some that shine upward. Allow for reading in as many seats as possible with down-glowing lamps that have three-way switches. If you have an overhead fixture, put it on a dimmer. 

Dining Room
To draw people in, make the table the brightest spot in the room. Use a chandelier or pendant lighting above the table, limiting the total wattage to 100. Elsewhere in the room, indirect lighting is best since it is relaxing and flattering. Give the space a subtle glow by adding a pair of small table lamps on a sideboard or matching sconces on the wall above. Battery-powered votives inside a glass-front china cabinet can be a nice touch too.

Focus on overhead lighting that has a dimmer so you can adjust the brightness when you are cooking. Add lower light sources to illuminate work surfaces such as pendant lights, under-cabinet lights or a sturdy table lamp - just make sure it is away from the sink! 

Try and and aim for a cozy, insular atmosphere. Place reading lamps or sconces by the bed, but not pointed directed at it. If you have recessed or track fixtures, angle them away from the bed and toward the dressing area. On a low table, include a small, intimate lamp with a tinted low-wattage bulb to mimic candlelight.

Sidelights create the most ideal environment to apply makeup. Try using a pair of sconces that flank the mirror. An overhead light helps fill in the shadows on your face and also fully illuminates the room (definitely important when cleaning). In a large space, you might also want a light directly over the shower. 

Disclaimer: Photos used do not belong to The Black Goose Design and all credit goes to an outside third party.

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