Wednesday, December 24, 2014

light in 1,2,3

It's all about lighting, because we'd be lost without it~

Lighting adds drama, function, sparkle, a mood, and even color.  There are three layers of light: ambient, task, and accent.


1- Ambient light casts an overall glow in a room.  A floor lamp, ceiling pendant or table lamp are good examples.  When you come home in the evening and walk in the door, you automatically flip on the foyer light hanging above so you can see the room when you walk in.  The floor lamp in your living room, or a pair of table lamps don't serve a specific purpose, but provide light to the entire space.  Ambient lights glow in the room, and usually have a light colored shade to cast a soft light.


     Foyer ceiling lantern, ambient light: Heather Bullard





    Floor lamp, ambient light: Better Homes and Gardens





Table lamps, ambient light: Popsugar




2- Task lighting is lighting for the purpose of a task (just as it is labeled).  A desk lamp or under-cabinet lighting are perfect examples.  A desk lamp directs light down at your desk to write a letter, etc.  Under-cabinet lights on your kitchen cabinets are there to focus light at your countertops when you are preparing food.  When chopping carrots with a sharp knife, you should have optimal lighting for safety.  A series of small pendant lights over your kitchen island is fashionable, but it's main purpose is to light the task you are doing at the island.


      Desk lamp, task lighting: The Design Files





            Kitchen island pendant, task lighting: Apartment Therapy




3- Accent lighting adds the drama!  Wall washers and cove lighting direct light to highlight architectural details such as arched arched hallways, recessed ceilings, and brick exteriors.  Xenon strips tucked in a soffit highlights a recessed ceiling, and upward wall sconces highlight an arched hallway.  Light bounces off these surfaces and makes that element even more beautiful.  Exterior lighting also falls into this category.  For an instant example, think of Sleeping Beauty's castle at Disneyland.  It is washed in lavender uplighting which showcases all of the turrets and architecture of the castle.


   Cove lighting in soffit, accent lighting: Culthomes.com



     Recessed lighting, accent lighting: Arch Daily





                     Color wash of uplighting, accent lighting: Disney Tourist Blog.com


In theory, each room should have a light source from each of the 3 layers of lighting.  Don't fret about it, because it's easy as 1, 2, 3!  Let's take the bedroom for example.  1- A ceiling lamp such as a surface mounted fixture or even recessed lighting is your ambient layer.  2- Bedside table lamps  to read in bed are your task layer.  3- Lastly, a picture light over a piece of artwork is your accent layer.

Remember to 'missmatch' the style of your lighting for an extra LAYER of design! (Check out my previous post "mix-up your LIGHTS"for ideas)




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