Sunday, October 28, 2012

Layers of Light

Lighting can make all the difference in a space. It can alter the way the space looks and feels, the way we interpret the colors and the mood of a room.

It is something that you should layer like your clothing in the fall. You want to have at least 2 layers of lighting, some general (ambient) lighting, and some focussed (task) lighting. Then to make a room really shine (pun intended) add the third layer (accent lighting).

Your general (ambient) lighting creates an overall wash of light within your space. It is often from overhead lights. It can be in the form of can lights recessed throughout a space, a chandelier, or even a ceiling fan with a light kit.
Beautiful hand-blown overhead lighting fixture.

Your task lighting is the lamp on your end table or nightstand that you use to read by, or the light on your desk that helps you focus on paying your bills. It does just what it says it does: it illuminates your tasks.

Bankers Desk Lamp from Sears
Your third layer (accent) is that extra lighting that adds something to the space. Think of the little twinkle lights on your christmas tree, how do you incorporate that into your everyday space? How about through using wall sconces, art lighting, uplighting on a column or other architectural feature, ore even a spot light. Accent lighting will help put a focus on the things you want to stand out, while detracting from less appealing features.
Beach-y wall sconce.

Here are some light fixtures I think are really something special:

Also, on lighting, I found this great article from Design Milk. The artist and lighting designer Bruce Munro opened a stunning outdoor lighting exhibit featuring the below scene, and many more. Check out the article for more images and information.

How do you illuminate your space? Happy designing!

PS, don't forget to check out our anniversary contest and follow the steps to be entered to win!

1 comment:

  1. The Knight doesn't believe in overhead lighting, so I use that only when he's not home. Yes, I'm serious...