Let There Be Light: A Short Guide To Lighting |
February 2, 2012
How do you even begin to approach the subject of lighting? Lighting is beauty, it’s mood, it’s design; but lighting is also electricity outlets, technical terms and a major pain in the neck when you can’t figure it out. That’s why I decided to write a short guide to lighting, of which this post is the first part.
It all started in Chanukah, when I thought it’d be fun to post my favorite lighting fixtures to the Rooms & Words Facebook page. Turns out, I had too much to say to fit into a Facebook album… So let’s start with 3 basic types of lighting:
Overhead: Your basic overhead lamp is either mount to the ceiling or hanging from it. Many people use this as their main light source, which most designers and decorators depict as a major decorating mistake. Using the overhead light as the main light source may cause every person (or piece of furniture) to look awful. Deborah Needleman even calls it the overdread. It’s also not your friend when you’d like to set the mood for a cozy dinner or a party. Two handy tips are to “spread” the amount of light you want to get between different kinds of lighting fixtures (more on that below) and to install dimmers, which will help you set the lighting according to the wanted mood.
Task: As you can probably guess, task lighting is lighting that helps us complete tasks- like your table lamp or night light (which helps you read in bed), low pendant lights in the kitchen (helps you cook) or your regular task table lamps (also called work lamps) that help you work… or procrastinate on Facebook (hey, tell me I’m not alone in this!).
Accent: This is the fun one! Accent lighting can help you set the mood, accent an otherwise drab corner in your room or just be decorative on its own right (like this sconce, which I’m a little bit in love with).
Now that you know what types of lighting you will need in your space, let’s move on to the style! There are many many trends in lighting, but some of them stick – like the industrial style, which is much more then a trend by now. One of my favorite lighting designers of all times is Serge Mouille, whose legendary lighting fixtures grace the living room above (Which belongs to Christine d’Ornao and was photographed by Simon Upton). Unfortunately, it’s out of reach for a lot of us, with prices starting at $3000. Good thing a lot of the home decor chains were (very literally) inspired by Mouille. Ikea has a great floor lamp, Kare has a nice version (for those of you living in Europe) and West Elm has an amazing series, which I actually think can stand by its own right. You can also go with a sconce inspired by the industrial task lamp (like this one from House Doctor) or the very hot trend of exposed bulbs (#1 is House Doctor and #5 is from One Bedroom in Jaffa).
What do you think about industrial style lighting? Would you hang a fixture with exposed bulbs in your home? I know there are so many opinions about this – what is yours?
Stay tuned for a very new and exciting blog series debuting later today!