Contemporary Lighting for your Modern Living Spaces
Given that living rooms serve multiple functions, lighting them can be a unique challenge. Family members do everything from relax in front of the TV to entertain formal guests, so the room needs to have versatile lighting for all occasions. A flexible lighting plan will allow for a variety of activities, whereas the lighting of other rooms is often dictated by their use. Given that lifestyles and furniture often change over time, the flexibility in modern home lighting will allow for these natural changes without major revamping.
Utilizing such pieces as contemporary table lamps and floor lamps are practical solutions to spread ambient light and warmth while also allowing for task lighting. The general emphasis for lighting living spaces such as dens and bedrooms is on atmosphere and mood. The occasional task such as reading, cleaning, and packing should also be taken into account. That being said, these rooms are often more difficult to design than more task oriented areas like kitchens and bathrooms. A good place to start is with accenting.
Points of interest such as artwork, architectural details, and display areas can be highlighted with spot lights or wall lights. A low voltage halogen bulb is a good option for spot lighting while also remaining energy efficient. Large lamp fluorescent strips are great for even lighting of large areas as in wall washing.
If there's a single point of great interest, track or recessed lighting can be good choices to do so, while larger areas such as bookshelves or wall art will benefit from wall washing. A valance can be built in to hold fluorescent strips to provide uniform wall lighting and light floating furniture such as coffee tables can provide a focal point for seating areas. After lighting points of interest, task areas such as those for reading or doing hobbies should be lit next.
The amount of light necessary will vary based on the task, so a good strategy is to bring the light source to the task, as a hanging light fixture or floor lamp would allow. Light can also be projected to the task with a portable fixture. If recessed lighting has been used, furniture layouts will have to be planned very carefully and if changes are made later, the tasks may no longer be appropriate in certain areas.
Lastly, after accent and task lighting are taken care of, ambient lighting is next. Smaller rooms with lighter colored surfaces may not require any extra lighting, as portable fixtures and light reflecting off artwork may provide enough light to comfortably move around the space. Larger rooms or those with darker surfaces may require addition lamination, however.
Recessed lighting would be a poor choice for this, so focus should instead be on wall sconces and ceiling lights. Portable fixtures can also be a great way to add ambient light to a room. Indirect incandescent lights can be used to create a cove or lightshelf on the walls that can then be used to bounce light off of the ceiling to help expand the space and add visual interest. Itâ€™s also important to remember to layer the light and control the layers independently so that the lighting for living spaces can adapt to different functions as desired. Dimmers can be a great way to help the lighting become more adaptable in addition to extending the life of incandescent bulbs.