LIGHTING IN INTERIOR DESIGN
Lighting is an important piece of the interior design puzzle, as it plays a huge role in how we experience or feel a space. The way lighting is used can completely change the ambience of a space and our perception of the space.
Good lighting can make a space enjoyable, conducive for work or not, used to our advantage or disadvantage.
Sunny rooms receive natural light (direct light) which can be welcoming, warm, energetic and make us feel good; while indirect light can be dull, lifeless, cold and could leave us depressed.
Proper illumination (light) can provide contrast in a room that emulate the attributes of a sunny day.
A low contrast, low stimulating space that is neutral and minimally stimulating room is one that is lit with a large amount of diffused background illumination and a small amount of focused task lighting or decorative accent lighting.
A high contrast space is one that is lit with small amounts of diffused light and large amounts of focused task lighting. This kind of lighting increases stimulation and energy, creates a strong moody environment, and can dominate the room.
LAYERS OF LIGHTING IN DESIGN:
Task Lighting- Once you understand the function and flow of the room, task lighting helps in providing enough light to work, read or to walk safely through a corridor would be easy to achieve.
General Lighting- This is also called ambience lighting because it sets the mood, provides a function and impression of the space. General lighting provides safe circulation within the space. E.g restaurant, clubs, lounges, etc.
Visual Interest- This adds a special touch as it can be used for something that is unexpectedly illuminated, such as vases, table, fountains, that are illuminated to give a wow factor.
Before lighting up a space, I try to know the activities that needs to happen in the room, who needs to be in the room? Number of people in the room? What features in the room needs emphasis? What stunning architectural elements needs to be bathed in light to show them off? etc. For more lighting, I use task lights.
Ambience- What is the desired mood for the room? Dramatic or relaxing? Business-like or cherry? You must understand the mood of the room before determining the intensity of the light and positioning the light sources.
Balance- To create balance, make sure each area balances each other, don’t have too many focused lights as it can be distracting.
Variety- A lighting plan that uses all the same light fixtures or lamps can be boring. One type of light might not work for all areas of the space needing light, it is therefore advisable to use diverse light sources comprising of attractive and creative options for the best lighting effect. Infuse style and add some personal touch.
Decorative Style- Make sure the light fixtures complement the decorative style of the room. Be mindful of the decorative style and find something that unifies the room.
Brightness- People like to face walls that are illuminated, as studies have shown that people do not like to sit in brightness but like to see brightness.
Focal Point- When creating a focal point, increasing the brightness contrast between the objects and the surrounding space increases the impact.
How lighting affects the behavior of people using the space is of considerable concern. If lighting is too weak or too strong, the space becomes useless. Too much lighting in offices can make workers become uncomfortable and easily irritated. Dimly lit areas of your desk, room or office become lost and productivity declines rapidly.
Proper lighting can increase productivity, accuracy, minimizes fatigue and eye strain. For home office, tasks require different lighting than most other areas of the home.
Lighting is powerful in the design of your space, therefore, we must understand how light makes us feel then we can understand how to use it and how to create scenarios or mood we looking for.