Best Lighting Design Ideas
The distribution of light around a room matters too. The areas where you are likely to sit and relax or work should obviously be brighter than the background, so that you are drawn into a pool of light. And displays need to be highlighted, but not to the same extent that they become distracting. In general, it is best to avoid over-dramatic contrasts of light and shade, especially if you are reading or working in a space, as this causes eye strain.
If you plan to use a room for more than one purpose, several types of fitting will be necessary These need not match; instead choose fittings that do their job properly. Pendant lamps fixed close to the ceiling are fine for background illumination, but task lights should be placed so that they keep work or display areas free of shadow.
Of course, compromises will have to be made, especially if you are furnishing on a tight budget or find your options severely limited by a tenancy agreement. If the only source of light is a centrally-placed bulb on a flex, consider replacing it with a surface-mounted track or ‘bare wire’ system positioned close to one of the walls this allows you to use several smaller light sources to wash the wall, and perhaps highlight an item of furniture such as a dining table. You will need to run a longer piece of flex from the centre of the ceiling to your new fitting, but this can be concealed in a channel painted to match the background.
Make the most of plug-in fittings too. Look out for designs that will take tungsten or halogen bulbs, as they can be used with dimmer switches. Consider also whether you can improve on existing or inherited lamps; replacing lined fabric lampshades with examples made from a light-diffusing material, such as paper, does much to brighten up a gloomy room, and don’t forget that a simple change of bulb from pearl to crown-silvered, for example can do wonders for the efficiency and attractiveness of a fitting.