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Home improvements: Chapter 2 - Lighting

Let there be light…
In any interior or exterior space, one of the most significant features is lighting. It “makes” a space or it “breaks” it. Lighting a space is an art of its own. It is the one home improvement someone can make that may have the biggest impact in a space. Changing some of the light fixtures in a space, can make a great difference especially if you choose to go for a different style.

Suspended lighting made of hanging bulbs at different heights
Image by Igor Ovsyannykov (174017) via unsplash

Before you begin any remodeling of your habitat, consider carefully its lighting. Using natural or artificial light to make the desired practical or aesthetic effect takes a lot of good planning ahead. One must know factors such as the source, direction, luminance, intensity, diffusion angles, space orientation, surface area, texture of the materials, reflecting surfaces if any etc.

Windows, skylights and clerestory windows with or without light shelves, allow the benefits of natural daylight to illuminate a space. Similarly, artificial lighting i.e. suspended, recessed, led lines etc. may create a similar effect during the night.

Ceiling suspended lighting is ideal for lighting “large” areas and they work well in spaces with tall ceilings, especially ceilings with interesting features. Ceiling fixed lighting is ideal when the ceiling is relatively low and a downward only light diffusion is a must (180 degree diffusion). Spotlights create a coned shape light diffusion thus, shifting one’s focus onto a feature i.e. work of art. They create tension. The light beam is usually very concentrated but if the ceiling is very tall, one must avoid using a large diffusion angle bulb. Recessed lighting in false ceilings is also very common lately. It adds a touch of “sophistication”.

Led lines are great for creating a moody and atmospheric effect. They complement extremely well most rough textured surfaces (i.e. 3D wallpapers and masonry walls). Table lamps and floor lamps are great because they act as "fillers". They fill the space with light, just where you need them! Word of caution: the height of a table lamp/floor lamp and the shape+texture of the lamp shade are of great significance. They are absolutely essential for a peripheral lighting effect.

Personally, I am a fan of peripheral lighting as opposed to a central source. The illumination of the space has a much softer and moodier effect. As a matter of fact, I will be creating a new window in my living room to allow more natural light in (see upcoming posts) which will be complimented by a table lamp I have already bought for this very purpose, in order to enhance that very corner during the night.

TIP: A great inexpensive back-lighting effect is to use a simple light source i.e. compact table lamp (preferably without the shade) right behind your TV monitor. It evens out all the TV flashing, making an impressive effect especially when the rest of the lights are turned down low, while it makes it easier on one's eyes.

Another simple home improvement idea is to add lights on a bookcase. It turns your bookcase to an interesting feature, especially if you own some great books. 

In the case that you plan to make some serious remodeling then, I suggest that you consult with your architect for the best possible effect. The difference makes it all worthwhile.



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