Spaces Tips

2016 Home Lighting tips

Porca Miseria
Ingo Schaer
Written by Ingo Schaer

A successful lighting concept sets the tone and provides for atmosphere. The prerequisite for this is the right mix of different types of light.

What the sun provides during daytime must be replaced in the evenings by electric lighting. Of course neither daylight nor the position of the sun or weather influences can be replicated, but the main characteristics of natural light – the mostly bright and directed light of the sun in conjunction with the soft flare of the sky – can take over as the principles for artificial lighting.

Knikerboker Lighting

Knikerboker Lighting

Knikerboker Lighting Lamp

 

Freedom of artificial light

If you are thinking about how you can illuminate your home in a good way with artificial light, it is quite helpful to determine that electric lighting must be based not only on windows and skylights. It is completely autonomous and it opens up possibilities that are far beyond what is possible during the day due to architectural specifications. Therefore, at the beginning, the question is: How much light and what light is needed at what point?

It is not just about practical things, such as a well-lit table or a bright work surface in the kitchen, but the play and the interaction of different types of light. Good lighting divides spaces and guides the eye of the spectator.
Especially when you feel like making changes or have moved recently, treat yourself to some time for lighting design. Go with open eyes through professionally decorated rooms and try to get a sense of good light and the fit of lighting and furniture. Just after moving into a new building, lighting design usually comes a bit too short, since funds might come up a little bit short due to all the other expenses. Plan the necessary budget for your light design ahead of time, because this is the only way to improve the mood and character of your home and this will ultimately improve your well-being.

Some information for your light fixture purchase

Before you head out to a light fixture dealer, try to find out how many watts or lumens the lamps in your home have and if the brightness is sufficient. You should also consider if you need a lamp that can be dimmed. Halogen bulbs can always be dimmed, energy saving lamps and LED lamps can only be dimmed in certain versions.

Moree table

Moree table

Of course, the red – LED luminous – Moree table belongs in every red room. It can be adjusted to any setting in every color imaginable.

But there are other parameters in selecting suitable lamps as well: While incandescent and halogen lamps always emit warm white light, you can not only chose between different light temperatures (warm white, cool white, daylight white) with LED’s and fluorescent lamps, but you can also choose the color reproduction degrees, switching strengths (with energy saving lamps) and light exit angles (with LED’s).

Depending on space and mode of application you should pay attention to the light color: warm white (2,700-2,900 K) for living and sleeping rooms is more pleasant than cold white light (3,300-5,000 K). Daylight white light (about 5,000 K) is most appropriate for work stations and workshops. Keep in mind that the color of light has a decisive influence on the mood of your room.
Today the important factor with regards to brightness is no longer the power consumption (in watts), but the luminous flux (lm). The 60-Watt light bulb with a luminous flux of about 700 lumen normally sets the standard.

Notredam

Notredam

 

A view of the dome of the church Notre Dame – this elegant filigree wall or ceiling light is also called “Notredam”.

For direct and directional light in your living rooms, for your work desk or for cooking and eating you should exclusively choose bulbs that have a good color reproduction. (Ra values from 90 and up). Halogen lamps are still in the first place with bright white light, followed by high-quality LED’s. The light of many energy-saving lamps seems to be white, but does not contain all spectral colors. Therefore, many object colors are not visible and some colorful areas appear in a diffuse gray color instead.

The basis of good lighting is the knowledge of the different functional requirements for the light. To illuminate a space well, a single lamp is never enough. Lighting design is being created by a reasonable arrangement of diversified light sources placed in a room.

The three types of light

Porca Miseria

Porca Miseria

 

Exploding porcelain – always fascinating! This lamp “Porca Miseria”, designed by Ingo Maurer in 1994, is always up to date. The lamp looks apart over the dining table, but is a real “eye-catcher” everywhere! The lamp will be individually manufactured upon request.

The first purpose of light is always orientation. A further step is the illumination of special areas (work areas, dining areas or other clearly defined purposes). Only in the third stage is lighting used to modulate or accentuate the architecture and the room. Therefore good lighting fulfills three main functions: basic lighting, zone lighting and mood lighting.

In analogy to the light of nature, the lighting of residential areas follows the diffuse sky light which provides for the basic brightness. The zone light, in contrast, accentuates individual areas – such as direct sunlight that falls through a window slit on special belongings and points those out. Both luminous types are important for the functionality of a home and the promotion of your well-being. The mood light is ultimately a complement to the room and zone light. It is comparable to the archaic fire that creates a homely atmosphere.

Roxxane

Roxxane

 

Now you no longer need to search for a book: The simple lamp Roxxane by Nimbus, available in five colors, can be stuck wirelessly anywhere, where it is needed.

For the primary or general lighting, luminaires that emit their light indirectly upwards to the ceiling or to the walls are a good choice. Many pendant lamps are unfavorable due to their narrow light cone, while models that radiate evenly in all directions carry the risk of glare. Think about ambient lighting that can be dimmed: You can change the brightness from subdued and cozy light during dusk to bright “cleaning light” during the day. Basic lighting also compensates for large differences in brightness. This will prevent the fatigue of your eyes – like when you read or watch TV.

Zone light is also known as field lighting and brightens specific areas that are important for you at any given time. This includes all the daily (vision) tasks, such as light for eating, reading or working. Zone light is likely to be the type of light that is already completely available in most households, because none of these activities could take place without the directed light of one or more mainly bright light bulbs.

Besides classic pendant lamps above the dining table, floor lamps next to the couch or desk lamps, ceiling or wall spots are also considered zone lights, since they can emit light either down or on walls and ceilings. This direct light corresponding to the sunlight sets the tone in a room that is conducive to a harmonious atmosphere.

The most variable luminaire design is the mood light: Let your imagination run wild, experiment and observe how your homelike atmosphere can be increased through small measures. One of the most important things is that mood light shines, but does not illuminate. It can create coziness and romance and – depending on your preferences – also arouse passion.

With regards to mood light, the merits of artificial light come to their full advantage. Set accents with designed objects! Or let the light from recessed spotlights roam from the ground over the walls and create reliefs of light and shadow, which you would never have expected there during daytime. Make your home a stage of your personal imagination. There are no limits to the imagination of your mood light: Create your mood light with colors, shadows or ornate light objects.

 

About the author

Ingo Schaer

Ingo Schaer

Ingo has been in the lighting business for over 20 years. He regularly blogs about trends and tips in the industry while running one of the most complete contemporary lighting ecommerce sites on the net. Please take a moment to browse his website and feel free to contact Ingo for all your lighting needs.

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