LIGHTEN UP!

Imagine a world that is dark. Like it is for some months of the year North of the Arctic Circle. It’s not nice. When the first homes were built in pre-history, they were dark until the discovery of fire, oil lamps, and finally a means to let in light without letting in the elements; windows. But light was and is still necessary to enable us to see one another in our homes. Compared to Victorian times when the only choices of internal illumination were gas lamps (noisy, smelly, dangerous) or oil lamps (ditto).
It’s a constant theme that when people plan to redecorate a room, or a home, they look at furniture, paints, carpets, soft furnishings, and yet neglect the thing necessary to see all those… Light! Many people don’t consider lighting until the project is completed and then come to the realization that the lighting is inadequate, or doesn’t display what they’ve done to its best. So please, when planning a home improvement project or even a minor redecorating project take into account the different types of lighting the room will require. Even now some people will think “surely all we need is a light in the middle of the room, and maybe a side lamp?” No. There are three types of lighting categories you need to think about when redecorating a room; general, task and accent. It’s not brain surgery or rocket science, but you might be surprised how many people don’t spend time thinking about the effect lighting can and will have on their rooms.
General lighting is just that, just general lighting, used for when you want to clean or want all areas of the room illuminated. Probably a central light chandelier. Task lighting is where you want a light to light up a particular area of the room for you to perform a particular task. This might be a standard lamp or a table lamp that you want to be using for reading writing, or some lighting in the kitchen where you want a beam of light directed to an “action” area- an area where you will be preparing food or onto the hob. Accent lighting is ambient lighting. It serves no function apart from making a nice background illumination. It can be a strip of LCD lighting in the hall taped to the skirting board to create a glow for your passage rather than a harsh hall light.
You need to have all the lighting possibilities before you when you are planning your room redecoration. They can be the difference between stunning success and just, well, OK.
Here are some other terms that you will want to be aware of when selecting the right lights for the jobs to be accomplished.
Recessed Lighting. This is a great choice for a living room; place above a sofa, coffee table, or the kitchen.
Lamp Light. Table lamps and floor lamps are a key source of light for a room. They can perform general, task or accent lighting.
Reading Lighting. Think of the activities you will be doing in your room(s). If you read in your living room, a good light is needed near your favourite reading spot in the room.
Wall Sconce lighting. Uplighters. These are a superb decorative option that will add colour and style to a room. You can have coloured lighting to create a real cool ambience.
Finally, Track Lighting. This lighting can accent architectural elements in your home such as a fireplace or mantelpiece, a sculpture, a painting. You can do this with special spot lighting that is on a track.

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