Get Out of the Dark with Good Lighting

Today was the shortest day of the year, and while it will get progressively lighter from here, I’m sorry to say we still have a long way to go here in the Pacific Northwest.  

One thing that can help significantly is having good lighting in your home.  In my opinion, good lighting is one of the single greatest contributions to good decor. It not only enhances the function of a room, it also enriches the appearance. A well-lit space is more functional and more attractive.

To achieve good lighting, you need to follow a few simple rules:

1- Layer

There are three types of lighting and you should be using all three in a space. General, or ambient light illuminates an entire space but does not need to be overly bright. Task lighting creates focused points of light over work areas, such as desk, table, bedside or reading chair. As a general rule, task lighting should be three times brighter than the ambient light. Accent lighting is mainly decorative and gives a room a finished look – think table lamp here. By layering all three types at least once in each room, you create a more welcoming and usable space.

2- Use Light, Shadow and Reflection

Ambient and accent lighting work best when the light bounces off a nearby surface, such as a wall or ceiling. Bouncing light helps balance out ambient lighting, and can be used to add drama. Use uplights behind large houseplants to cast dramatic shadows and add interest to an otherwise dark corner.

3- Vary Light Levels

Installing dimmer switches is extremely easy and is one of the best ways to give you control over the way a space feels. Dimmers allow you to create a more customized lighting design and alter the mood of a room. Dimmers are particularly effective in dining and living areas.

What about lighting stumps you?  Do you have a good lighting resource?  Tell me about it!