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Why Is Lighting So Important in Interior Design?

Updated: Feb 23, 2023

What are the qualities that make the interior design of a home pop?

To make sense aesthetically and functionally, the interior design of any room must have the following: balance, rhythm, emphasis, scale, proportion, contrast, harmony, and unity. But for these elements to work together, the interior design also needs good lighting.

Lighting is an integral part of interior design that you could liken to the batter inside a cake and the icing on top of it. As SCUDO Real Estate explains, this is because the lighting is both an essential function and an aesthetic accessory in interior design. It infuses every aspect of design and determines the result.

Lighting influences the way the human eyes perceive the proportions of a room. A small, well-lit room appears to be larger than it is to our senses. Conversely, a large room with poor lighting will appear gloomy and unwelcoming.

Lighting also affects the colors in a design. Lighting determines how the colors in a room appear. Lighting will also distort the dimension of shapes or enhance them. Lighting can inject elegance into rooms, and the lack of illumination can strip a room of class.

Good lighting improves the appeal of the other elements of a design. It helps to create a room's ambiance by influencing its occupants' mood and the key features of the design. Good lighting helps design do everything it is meant to do.

Understanding lighting in interior design

In interior design, everyone should understand four key aspects of lighting. There are also three different layers of lighting that every room needs. To create an interior design that stands out, you must know how to employ these four aspects of lighting in your interior design.

What are these key concepts in lighting?

The four key aspects of lighting in interior design

· Space

Lights create an illusion of space or lack thereof, depending on how they are used. In smaller rooms, full-spectrum natural light or bright artificial lights will make the space feel bigger. But insufficient lighting will make the most spacious room feel cramped.

A few factors that help lighting create visual space in a room are paint colors, the presence of reflective surfaces, and the size and arrangement of furniture inside the room.

· Color

Lights also interact with the colors in a room to create the illusion of space. By absorbing the light falling on them, dark colors reduce the amount of light in a room, making it appear smaller. Light colored walls and surfaces do the opposite.

The impact of dark-colored walls can be lessened by illuminating them. Recessed can lighting also helps by lighting up the floors of a room instead of its walls.

· Direction

Lighting can provide illumination across an entire room or light up sections of it and specific elements inside it. Positional or directional lighting is used to highlight room sections or specific items.

This type of lighting is vital for creating focal points of interest in a room or defining zones within that room. Examples of directional lighting are track lighting, adjustable lamps, and recessed lighting.

· Function

Every light source in a room must serve a function. The function of a specific type of light fixture determines the best place to install it. Wall lights play differently from chandeliers.

While chandeliers are great as centrally placed light sources, wall lights help to light up an entryway or wall. Understanding the use of every lighting fixture is easier when you know the different types of lighting in the home.

The types of lighting in the home

· Ambient lighting

From a functional point of view, ambient lights are the most important. Ambient lights are the primary light source of a room. That is why they are often placed in the highest points of the room – ceilings and walls. From there, they can shed their light evenly across the entire room. Ambient lights serve the basic function of making rooms and surfaces brighter and improving the navigation of those spaces.

· Task lighting

Unlike ambient lights, which try to spread their light as far as possible, the light from task lighting has a limited range. Task lights provide focused lighting in specific areas or on a particular surface. They may be installed in the kitchen to light up the Kitchen Island, countertop, or sink. Task lights can also help to light stairs and pathways. They help to make specific tasks or activities easier or safer.

· Accent lighting

These are more decorative than they are functional. They are the lights you add to a room as decorative accessories. You can use accent lights to highlight a room’s architectural features, a design detail, or a piece of art. Accent lights help link the room's decorative components with its lighting. They introduce a dimension that helps to give the design a wow factor.

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