Sunday, 14 May 2017
Image is everything. Just as décor and theme determines how good a place looks, so does the type of lighting. There is more to what type of lighting is appropriate for a room. Factors like what room is in question, what purpose the lighting is meant for and the more technical factors like energy consumption level and whether the lighting is interior or exterior, all play a critical role in the type of lighting.
Interior designers emphasize on the importance of correct lighting as it affects the optics of a room, not forgetting to mention the effects it may have on a person’s eyesight. For home and office décor, the lighting makes all the difference. The room’s finishing plays a big role as the type of material used and the painting determines the reflector-factor and installation processes. For instance, marbled floors reflect light differently from non-polished floors.
The projections of a room matters. Correct lighting can emphasize the optics of the room, like the paint, the floors or the home or office accessories. How the lights are blended too, make a difference. Choosing the type of lighting
Factors to consider when choosing the ideal type of Lighting.
Purpose of the Lighting
This is perhaps the most important factor to consider. Different lighting serves different purposes. Lighting for security purposes involves choosing bright enough lights to illuminate a wide radius for the exterior of a building. Watts, (the amount of energy required to light the bulb) and lumens (a measure of how much light is actually produced) play a critical role.
Lighting for homes and office interior require a more detailed approach. You need to consider the architectural structuring of the room and whether the lighting is for task purposes or just for illumination. For instance, the kitchen, office or home-study room lighting is different from the lighting in the living room and the lounge, as they both serve different purposes. A kitchen, office and study room needs bright lighting, while living rooms, bedrooms and lounges require more chilled tones, hence dimmed lights.
Light Bulb type, Shape and Base
This will of course be dictated by décor and technicalities. Lighting type depends on whether one is using LED bulbs, linear florescent tubes compact fluorescent lamps, or solar powered bulbs. Light shape involves the shape of the bulb, such as a globe, reflector or spiral bulbs. The light base refers to the connection of the actual lighting type to the ceiling, wall or ballast of the room. The lighting base, shape and type also has ties to décor and purpose. Task lights need a rather flexible base to be fixed in the best fit position to illuminate the work area, for example a desk or cooking section in the kitchen.
Watts, Lumens and Energy Consumption
Different types of lighting have different consumer levels. Normal globe bulbs traditionally consume more energy than Fluorescent tubes and energy saving bulbs. The more the watts and lumens, the more the energy used to light the particular bulb.
Types of lighting
Ambient/ General Lighting
Ambient lighting is meant for the simple purpose of providing illumination. It does not focus on a particular area. Rather, it provides a uniform radius of light to the whole room, eliminating shadows. It is most common in homes for rooms such as the bedroom, laundry room, corridors and Livingroom.
Ambient lighting is provided by the traditional central hang (pedant) ceiling-mounted fixtures lighting from a bulb or chandeliers. However, current trends in décor provide more staples such as uplighters, down-lighters, wall lights, and standard lamps.
This is directional lighting that draws your attention to a specific feature or accessory in the room. A section of the light is blocked or reflected towards an accessory such as a picture or wall painting, dimming out the surrounding environment. This adds texture to the whole atmosphere by throwing shadows in some corners and light in others.
Accent lighting is achieved by forming a mixture of halogen spotlights, downlighters, and uplighters. As a general rule, it works by providing at least thrice the lumens towards the particular object than the general lighting around it.
For homes, accent lighting can be used to draw attention to family photos, paintings or treasured sculptures. For offices, this type of lighting is used to illuminate and focus on the diploma certificate hanging on the wall.
This type of lighting is what is required when doing a specific job, say, cooking, reading, working at a computer, sewing, drawing, putting on make-up, shaving etc. The purpose of it is to enhance the visual clarity of the area of work so as to reduce eye strain. This works by providing a focused light onto the work area, but not as concentrated as in the case of ambient lighting. It should be free from glare and shadows.
Task lighting is provided by recessed track lighting, under-cabinet lighting, pendant lighting and portable and flexible desk lamps. The type of task light depends on the surface as its focal point comes into question. The angle-poise task light is best considered, especially those that come with a cantilever that can be raised, lowered and angled.
Working under poor lighting can bring about eyesight complications due to strain. Price plays an almost inessential role when it comes to task lighting. It’s the manoeuvrability factor that counts. For instance, the stem of the angled lamp should be high enough to hang over your work, so as to reduce shadows.
This is artistic lighting, using art like a neon sculpture to offer illumination. It works almost as the accent lighting, only here, it is purely for decorative purposes. A spotlight focusing on a sculpture on the wall is also artistic in nature, thus aesthetic.
This is the daylight provided by the sun, or candle light/firelight at night. It also counts as a type of lighting. This however, is a kinetic form of lighting as the quality of the light, sunshine in particular, changes depending on what time of the day it is. In Singapore However, this isn’t greatly affected as spring and winter don’t play a role in this.
There are ways to maximize the natural light in your office or home. They include:
i. Replacing window dressings with filmy materials such as voile and muslin.
ii. Hanging mirrors opposite windows to reflect light more into the room.
iii. Installing fanlights over door frames.
iv. Trimming bushes and tree branches that overshadow the windows.
v. Using bright paintings on the wall and light-reflective surfaces such as pale floor rags.