Get to know your lighting types

Private Property South Africa
Anne Roselt

Lighting plays an important part in an interior and not just from a practical point of view. Lighting has the ability change the atmosphere, mood and size of a room.

Modern lighting fixtures

Eli Kalmi, owner of K. Light Import, has provided some enlightening tips for décor and design.

“Regardless of the trend, there are three basic types of lighting that will feature in the home - ambient, task and accent lighting,” explained Kalmi. “It’s important to determine which lighting you need first, before considering the various options.”

1. Ambient (or general) lighting:
provides an area with overall illumination, radiating a comfortable level of brightness without glare, allowing you to see clearly and walk about safely. It can be achieved using chandeliers, ceiling or wall-mounted fittings, as well as recessed or track lights. Having a central source of ambient light in all rooms is fundamental to a good lighting plan.

2. Task lighting:
helps you perform specific tasks such as reading and grooming or preparing and cooking food. This is offered through recessed and track lighting; pendant lighting; under-cabinet lighting; as well as by free-standing floor and desk lamps. In the kitchen the light over your work area is most important and the best options are pendant, or cluster of pendants, hanging above an island, counter or table. Pendant is best fixed overhead so as to avoid any blockage of light.

3. Accent lighting:
adds focus to a specific area or point in a room. It is used to draw the eye to house plants, paintings, sculptures, or any other decorative object. It can also be used to highlight the texture of a brick or stone wall, as well as landscaping elements such as at the base of a large tree. Accent lighting is usually provided by recessed, spot and track lighting or wall-mounted picture lights.

Wire light fixtures

The best choice for bathroom lighting

Correct lighting throughout the home is optimal, but the one room where homeowners often get the lighting incorrect is the bathroom. There are few different types of light which can be used to enhance the bathroom atmosphere.

Natural light is always the preferred option, but the addition of different types of light fittings can also play an important role in the outcome of the appearance and the feel of a bathroom. Always remember to ensure your fittings are moisture proof.

Task lighting is important near the mirror as this is needed for up-close functions such as applying make-up and shaving. Avoid adding a light to the ceiling above a mirror, including recessed ceiling lights, as this light throws the light on your forehead and nose, but shadows your full reflection. Rather use a pair of sconces mounted at eye level on either side of the mirror, or on the wall above the mirror, to provide a shadow-less illumination.

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