Mood lighting ideas for your new home!
Most people underestimate just how much lighting they will need in their new home. More often than not, you will be left with a single ceiling pendant hanging from the middle of the room and that. Is. it. Whilst this lone bright lightbulb might be fine for stimulating activity and carrying out household tasks, it probably isn’t going to help you feel relaxed and rested at the end of a busy day!
Well thought out lighting can, more than any other element of the design, affect the experience of the user in a unique way. Not only can light improve visual comfort but it can also impart certain emotional responses from a space and you can choose what, how and when! By using different lighting patterns, sources, levels of illumination and colour it is possible to produce a variety of moods including warmth, calm, restfulness and even drama.
But where and how to you begin to create these moods when all you have to start is one solitary light? Well, you have come to the right place! Follow my advice and ideas below and you will have impressive, well-lit spaces in no time.
A good place to begin is to plan every room to have between 5 and 7 different sources of light - however it's not unheard of to go as far as 9! Ideally, these would be a mixture of general lighting (ceiling lights), task lighting (reading lamps, desk lamps), spot lighting (accent lighting or wall lights directed at artwork or shelving, creating shadows on the wall) and atmospheric lighting (dimmable small lamps, fairy lights, candles).
Vary the levels that your lights are placed. It is important that your lighting works collectively and if it is all positioned along the same plane - you may find the space lacks variety or it feels a bit bland. A tall floor lamp is good in the corner as it will create a higher pool of light and can make the room feel bigger than it really is!
Understand your lightbulbs! Over the years we have become accustomed to measuring lighting using watts. As technology has advanced, we are using more energy efficient, brighter and longer lasting LED bulbs. These don’t measure the lighting level in watts - but in lumens. 400 lumens is roughly equivalent to an old 40W tungsten bulb going up to 1300 lumens, which is similar to the old 100W bulbs. But there isn’t just lumens to think about now - the colour of the light is important too and this is measured in Kelvins or K. A cool white light is approximately 4000K (or more), these can be bright and stimulating whereas a warmer white (around 2700-3000K) is far more welcoming. And just for comparison - a candle is around 1500K!
Dimmers. As lighting designer, Asa Fjellstad once said “Not to have a dimmer switch on your lighting is like having a loudspeaker with only one setting”. And I couldn’t agree more! Brighter lighting is perfect for creating a more lively atmosphere during the day, whereas you will want to use the dimmer for a cosier, more relaxed ambience in the evenings.
As you can see, there’s a fair amount to think about but even making a few changes can result in a big difference! Ideally, all spaces in your house should have a variety of lighting options so that you have the flexibility to adapt them depending on your needs at any given time.
I hope that this has given you some inspiration and ideas to try in your own homes and I would love to see or hear about how lighting has transformed your spaces!
If you are thinking about getting started and wondering how I could help - get in contact firstname.lastname@example.org - I would love to hear about your next project.