For a long time, natural illumination was the only way to lighten up interior spaces. It wasnâ€™t until the 19th century that the age of electric lighting changed the whole picture.
There are many different ways to light up your rooms with artificial light, natural light or a combination of both, in order to set the mood of a room. Just compare the difference in the atmosphere created on a bright, sunny day and a cloudy day, morning and evening or with a bright spotlight or candlelight.
Natureâ€™s lighting is much more dynamic than its artificial counterpart. The natural movement of the sun and clouds obstructing it, creates this dynamic. And of course we can influence a room's atmosphere by using a variety of modern light fixtures
, as well as classical light sources such as a fireplace or candles.
Experiment with Your Modern Lighting
As soon as you direct your attention toward lighting you will develop a new way of seeing things. Your rooms will appear as a combination of various illuminated surfaces and the objects contained within fall into the background. It is very rewarding to experiment and try out new things. Consider the following;
- What sort of reflections appear on your matte, glossy or metal surfaces.
- Cover your lighting source with etched, frosted or tiffany glass to create a new atmosphere.
- Point a light at the ceiling to indirectly illuminate it.
- Change your lightings color or diffuser and watch how that changes the aura of a room.
You will be surprised at all the possibilities. Proper lighting can steer our attention toward what is most important in a room. It can illuminate the beautiful areas of a room and tremendously improve the feeling you get when you enter that room.
Using Modern Lighting to Enhance A Room in Daylight
It is remarkable that a few years after electric lighting became available to the masses, windows were not made smaller but the opposite occurred, architecture began opening itself toward the sun. Windows were made larger than ever before, some buildings even utilized glass as primary building material, enabling daylight to reach every room inside. It is part of the character of natural lighting that it changes with the time of day, and the time of year. While sometimes the sun is high in the sky, other times it is barely above the horizon. On the north side of the building a cool light is found, while on the south side a warm light coming directly from the sun dominates.
On a sunny day, up to 100,000 Lux can be measured outside. This is far greater than the 50 to 500 Lux that can typically be recorded in interior spaces. Light is not only something that enables us to see our surroundings, but it also influences our bodies. Consider that our circadian (inner) clock is not activated until about 1000 Lux of illuminance, which causes us to live in biological darkness most of the day. Working with daylight not only includes knowing how to use it for illumination such as windows or light transport systems, but also how to protect ourselves from it by using classical blinds, shutters, awnings or glass tintings.
A good interior designer will know how balance the lighting to achieve the best lighting for all times of day and at any time of the year.