Interior lighting is not just a part of decor, it is also a functional piece of furnishing as well. Ignoring certain rules can lead to an excessive consumption of electricity or creating unwanted dark spaces, or even both. As such, when you’re choosing which fixtures to install in your home, you must take care of both the aspects. Here are some of the most common home lighting mistakes all homeowners must avoid making.
- Not having task or accent lighting
One of the most important things to remember about interior lighting is that all well-designed spaces incorporate different types of light. This means including task and accent lighting in addition to the ambient light sources. Ambient light is the general lighting used for illuminating walkways and identifying objects in a space. Task lighting is a higher, more concentrated lighting for dedicated tasks like food preparation, reading or applying makeup. Accent lighting is used to highlight artwork or special architectural features in your home, such as the feature wall in your bathroom or a photo gallery along your entryway. Combining all three types of light will ensure greater functionality and visual interest in your spaces, and increase the likelihood that you will have sufficient lighting throughout your entire home.
- Using light fixtures for decorative purposes
From distribution to output, as well as the quality of light and colour, there are many factors that go into picking out a suitable light fixture for your home. Their decorative features however, are not that high on the list. We understand that sometimes, you’ll come across a beautiful lamp in a store, and there’s a temptation to buy it thinking that it will look great somewhere in the house. Resist that temptation, for such a rash decision often will result in a less than optimal light output for your space. Instead, employ good planning, and only buy fixtures that will be both good-looking and functional.
- Not paying attention to where shadows might fall
If lights are not well placed, shadows can create major problems for you. For example, if you are writing at a desk or working over the kitchen counter, and the light source is from above and behind you, your shadow may fall across your work surface, making it difficult for you to see what you are working on. As such, always give thought to how the different spaces in your home is used, and then narrow down the optimal areas to install your light sources.
- Ignoring the use of dimmers
During a home renovation, this is something that most homeowners will brush away without a second thought, but light dimmers have the ability to help you stay in control of your lighting. As you move from day to night, from an intimate date night with your partner or an all-out gathering with friends and family, dimmers let you take control of the light levels in your home and change the mood of the room depending on your requirements. In addition, having better control of your lights can help you save on your energy bills while increasing the lifespan of your bulbs.
- Choosing the wrong size of a light fixture
This is one of the most common mistakes homeowners make when they don’t plan their lighting fixtures properly. Hanging a too-small chandelier over a large dining table or placing an oversized desk lamp on the living room coffee table can make the area look and feel disproportionate. All these can be avoided by making sure your measurements are down to a T before heading down to a lighting showroom. And you should never rely on eyeballing it when you get to the showroom, as the fixtures tend to look smaller with the larger space of the room.
- Employing a superfluous use of recessed downlights
Because recessed downlights can be really inexpensive, many homeowners often assume that laying them out in a regular grid around the home can get light everywhere. Unfortunately, this is not true. As these downlights don’t illuminate your vertical surfaces, a room would not be properly lit if they are the only light source in the room. In addition, these lights also add no design value to a space. Instead, only use these downlights where it works best, and add other types of lighting, e.g. a chandelier, wall sconces or floor lamps to fully illuminate the space.
- Installing only one source of light in small spaces
When it comes to pantries or closets, homeowners usually don’t pay sufficient attention to illuminating these spaces, and often only install a single overhead light source. The result, however, is that some areas will be left dark, and we will find ourselves struggling to identify the items within these spaces. To counter this, install strip lights, lighting bars or under cabinet lights in addition to the overhead lighting, and this will make the interior feel more stylish and roomy, and be more user-friendly as well.
Image credit: akiHAUS