Lighting is the most important part to interior design. It can give the room atmosphere, from intimacy to enthusiasm. You do want to be sure that you are getting the look you are going for, and to do that it is important to know the four types of illumination:
Ambient lighting or general lighting, this is the lighting for the room as a whole. You can use the amount of light, the placement of light, and the amount of light in creating effects for every occasion.
Local lights, this is the intensity of the light. The amount of light needed for reading, doing crafts, cooking, shaving, or other household activities. It is the flow of light into a room, whether it is into the corner of the room, or the middle of the room. It has to be correctly measured so the eyes are not strained or exhausted when used for such activities.
Accent lights, these are the lights used to show off that special piece of art, or a particular area of a room. This is light used for "ornamental" purposes.
Natural light, this is the lighting that comes in through our windows and doors. This depends a lot on the season, time of day, and the weather. It can vary a lot in intensity and color.
You will need to do an analysis of your everyday activities, and know what you will do and where you will do it. Never hesitate in using different types of illumination. Creativity is a must. Illumination can create very interesting and different results and it is very difficult to get the same thing twice so uniqueness is practically guaranteed. Different lightning can appear to alter the dimensions of a room, meaning that it looks smaller or larger depending on the lighting.
The ways to apply lighting to a room may seem limitless so when deciding how to choose lighting think of them in two perspectives; esthetical and functional. In terms of functionality the lighting will serve the purpose intended, for instance will allow the person to see well enough to read or do their craft. So in this case, there will be enough light and the correct strength of light to fulfill that purpose. Creating the atmosphere is what fulfills the esthetical perspective.
For instance, when trying to choose lighting for your living room you may put a lamp behind every chair about three or four foot high. To highlight a painting you may put an accent light above it. You may also put one under the curio cabinet or bookshelf. Make sure that your general lighting is adjustable and that you have indirect light to cover the walls with light. You could place the indirect lighting in the floor in little spaces behind furniture, which would illuminate the walls.
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