Home lighting is one of those improvements that can have a major impact on both the functionality and the appearance of the rooms in your home. So before deciding what fixtures to install in a room, think about how the room will be used. What activities will go on there? Are there any special objects that need to be highlighted? Is there any particular atmosphere that you want to achieve?
The answer to those questions will help you more clearly decide which lighting fixture will work best. Most lighting fixtures fall into three categories, general lighting, task lighting, and accent lighting. Let’s discuss each one of them and how they are best used.
General lighting is just what its name seems to indicate. It’s lighting that is used most often and in a general way. It’s usually the most prominent lighting source in the room, and helps the room occupants be able to move around safely. General lighting fixtures can run the gamut from simple ceiling fixtures all the way to chandeliers.
Each room in your home should have one of these general lighting fixtures installed. The kind of fixture that is used will depend on what activities usually go on in that room. For a room that is used for utilitarian purposes, the fixture can be very simple and inexpensive. But for a dining room, very often the fixture will be more elaborate and become a centerpiece of the room itself. If you would like to be able to control the lighting for one of these general fixtures, your best bet is to use a dimmer switch mounted on the wall.
The next type of home lighting is task lighting, and rather than being a general overall lighting fixture, task lighting is usually specific to certain activities that are done in a room. For instance, in a kitchen strip lighting is commonly used underneath the kitchen cabinets to provide illumination for the countertops below. It helps provide localized illumination for the kitchen tasks that will be performed there. Another use of task lighting is a lamp placed next to a reading chair for better visibility as a person is reading. Good choices for task lighting include recessed or track lights, lamps, and strip lighting.
The next lighting category is accent lighting. This kind of lighting fixture is meant to bring attention to a particular place or feature of the room. For instance, you may want to highlight a wall picture or plant. The general lighting fixture in the room will no doubt provide enough illumination to see everything in the room, but the accent lighting fixture provides stronger lighting on the feature that you want to draw attention to. Good fixtures for accent lighting are recessed, track, and wall-mounted lighting. A general rule of thumb is to provide three times the illumination of the general lighting by the accent lighting in the room.
The choice of lighting fixture styles is almost endless, and they are readily available both online and off-line as well. So plan out the lighting in each room in advance, keeping in mind the function of each light fixture that you use, and your home’s lighting will be both inviting and functional.