Tricks of the Trade: Lighting

  |   Tips, Tricks and Insights

Lighting that is bright and ambient is essential for a cheerful new home – proper lighting changes one’s disposition, like the sun!  Make sure that the light is up, down, and through.

In terms of artificial light, the designer uses different types of illumination to create mood and purpose. Cove (or uplighting) and  downlighting are two functional and indirect types.  With downlights, light, though visible, is recessed into the ceiling, casting a downward beam.  Oftentimes, installed in a soffit, it is a particularly useful tool for displaying art or, if used in a kitchen over the cabinets, it’s glow reflects the counters below.

For more decorative and ambient forms of light, sconces, lamps, tracks, and picture lights do the job.  Track lighting, so popular in the ’60’s and 70’s, is task oriented.  That is, it is focused on an object.  As the humorist Thurber notes “There are two kinds of light – the glow that illumines, and the glare that obscures.”  And, so it is here, where the track’s glare strikes hard on the eye.  Task lamps work similarly.  Their beams of light are sharply focused on the subject at hand, such as the desk or bedside table lamp, casting a bright, concentrated cone of light.  Lastly, a picture light throws it’s direct glow upon the picture above which it sits.

With ambient lighting, an overall glow of light is dispersed. Here, lamps, sconces, and ceiling mounted fixtures are most effective.  Lamps provide a dispersed shed of light.  So, too, with sconces, where with its even glow of light, they shed light, like the sun. Used in pairs, they covet a mirror, adorn a fireplace, embellish a console.   Ceiling mounted fixtures are of a double variety: the surface mounted and the chandelier.

Using a variety, if not all, of these types of lighting insures a well-lit cheerful home.  Go from dark and dingy to bright, light and airy – it will evoke a happy feeling!