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The Art of Lighting - How to Design the Perfect Lighting Plan for Your Home

Have you ever walked into a room and felt like the lighting was off? Perhaps it was too harsh or didn't properly highlight the space. Dark corners or uneven lighting limit the impact of a well appointed room. Can lights won’t create a cozy reading nook or invite people to a dining table for a delicious meal or a family game night. A lighting design plan for fixtures, lamps, picture lights, and sconces has to coordinate with furniture and decor selections and the layout of a room to create an inviting and comfortable space.

Why is Lighting so Important?

Kitchen Island and Shelving

Beyond keeping you from running into something in the dark, lighting design allows you to bring focus to the main elements of a room as well as create functional spaces for work or play. Using a layered approach to lighting will create warm, inviting spaces that highlight artwork and decor. The choice of a chandelier for a vaulted ceiling can make a large space seem cozy. The use of pendants and lamps make work or reading easier at your home office desk, your favorite reading chair, or your kitchen island. Never overlook the lighting plan when designing a space.

What is the Power of 3 for Lighting?

Three layers of lighting that can transform any room from functional to fabulous. Where one layer of lighting can cause harsh shadows, using multiple layers can create a balanced and dynamic look.

This involves using multiple sources of light:

  • Recessed lighting
  • Floor lamps
  • Table lamps
  • Picture lights

The 3 Lighting Layers

Dining Room Table, Chandelier, Sconces, and Picture Lights

Consider the 3 lighting layers when designing the lighting to any room in your home. Whether it's your living room, bedroom, or home office, incorporating at least three layers of lighting will make a significant difference in the overall look and feel of your space.

1. Ambient Lighting

The first layer of lighting is ambient lighting, which provides overall illumination to the room. This layer is typically supplied by overhead lighting fixtures such as chandeliers, track lights, or recessed can lights. While ambient lighting alone can create a harsh and uninviting atmosphere, it sets the foundation for the two additional layers of lighting needed to create a warm and welcoming space.

2. Task Lighting

The second layer is task lighting, which is used to light up specific areas or workspaces. Task lighting can be provided by pendant lamps or fixtures and is essential for activities such as reading, cooking, or working on a computer. Pendant lights over an island or counters are a perfect example of task lighting.

3. Accent Lighting

The third layer is accent lighting, which is used to draw attention to specific decorative elements in a room. This type of lighting can be provided by picture lights, sconces, or even recessed strip lighting built into shelves or cabinets. Accent lighting is perfect for showcasing artwork, decorative pieces, or architectural features of a room.

Benefits of Light Layering in Home Design

Stylish dining room with two minimalist pendant lights over the dining table

By combining all three layers of lighting, you'll achieve even illumination throughout the room, eliminating harsh shadows and creating a comfortable and inviting atmosphere from the moment you step through the door. This rule applies to every room in the house, not just the kitchen.

What Light Bulbs Should Be Used in a Home?

Bulb types are another important consideration when planning lighting. LED bulbs are energy-efficient and come in a wide range of color temperatures, making them a popular choice. Halogen bulbs provide a bright, white light that is ideal for task lighting, while incandescent bulbs offer a warm and inviting glow. Each bulb type has its own unique qualities, so it’s essential to choose the right one for your lighting needs.

Dimmer Switches for Mood Lighting

Finally, don't forget about the power of dimmer switchs. They allow you to adjust the intensity of the light and create different moods for any occasion. Dimmers also offer energy-saving benefits by reducing the amount of electricity used to power your lights.

Whether you are updating your space or embarking on building your dream home, never stumble into bad light again with three layers of lighting in every room of your home. By incorporating ambient, task, and accent lighting, you’ll achieve even illumination, eliminate harsh shadows, and create a warm and inviting atmosphere. Don’t forget about dimmers and bulb selection to have even more control over the ambience of your living space. Steph Musur Designs has all of your indoor lighting needs covered with our wide range of stylish light fixtures.

Counter task light looking out over ping pong roomKitchen island and range light fixtures and recessed cansBathroom vanity with sconces and bubble light fixtureArtwork and picture lightStaircases with sconces and chandelier



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