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Indoor home lighting

Confused about how to illuminate a specific room in your house? There are so many lamps out there that one can start mixing bathroom ones with the bedroom light. Here I’ve detailed some basics for each room in your home. But before you start lighting everything like a Christmas tree, read the three types of lighting that should always be present in all areas.

On every room in your house, there should be three basic types of lighting whenever possible. These are:

  1. General or ambiance lighting: This provides the overall and general illumination to any room with a comfortable brightness. It can be a chandelier, a ceiling mounted, recess or track lights. 
  2. Task lighting: This kind of illumination helps you to perform a particular task such as: reading, cooking, doing homework, etc. For this type of lighting one could use recess or track lights, under cabinet lamps or pendant lamps. Also, floor and table lamps are very useful; for example beside your favorite reading sofa.
  3. Accent lighting: Have you ever had a painting that somehow doesn’t seem to capture your eye? Use an accent lamp! This type of illumination helps to draw the visual interest to an area. Either if it is a master piece, sculpture, or collectibles; make it a focal point by using wall sconces, wall-mounted picture lights, track or recess lights all directed to the object.

Lets see how one can implement these types of lighting in several areas around the house. Here is the legend with the colors:

Entryway lighting

A well illuminated entryway, instantly gives the visitor a warm welcome. To make the most out of this area, use a chandelier on the center of the entryway which will be your general light and it will create an ambient. Combine this with a task light above a console or small table and if you have wall art, illuminate it with a picture light.

Entryway lighting

Living room lighting

This area should be well lit since it is mostly a high traffic one were the family tends to gathered. To create harmony, a general light should consist of a centered lamp or a ceiling fan with a light kit. These lamps will be working in combination with floor lamps (for tasks such as reading) and accent lighting like recess or track lights that can be directed over a wall art or a display of collectibles.

Living room lighting

Dining room lighting

Here, everything happens over the dining table. With that being said, the area to be illuminated should be over it. Use a chandelier or a pendant lamp. If your dining room has a sideboard, you can use a small table lamp to compliment the lighting of the room and/or accent light inside the cabinet to display your pieces.

Dining room lighting

Kitchen lighting

Kitchens should always be well illuminated. Why? Because here is the place where you need a light for cooking preparation, a good general light (to brighten all the room) and an accent light, to compliment. In the example bellow you can see that all the task lamps are in red dots. These lamps are placed on areas where there is a task to be accomplish (under the cabinets and over the island). The general lighting is in yellow dots (in this case, recess lamps) and the accents are in blue. These accent lamps can be use to illuminate inside the cabinets but also framed art in your walls. 

Kitchen lighting

Bedroom lighting

For bedrooms you should always use, in the general lighting, a dimmer switch to generate a calm environment and to adjust the brightness of the room at different times of the day. The side table lamps are used for reading (task lighting) but try using a shaded one to prevent eye tiredness. Accent lamps can be used to illuminate wall art by using track lights which can be redirected.

Bedroom lighting

Bathroom lighting

For day to day use, try implementing wall sconces beside (at face height, for fewer odd shadows) or above the vanity mirror. These will function as your task lighting, but don’t forget to use the general illumination. 

Bathroom lighting

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