When it comes to apartment design, lighting isn’t something the average person thinks much about. But if you want to create a unique look that’s visually pleasing and functional, lighting can’t be overlooked. It plays an integral role in the overall look and feel of an apartment’s interior.
The Role of Lighting Design
Every apartment needs a good lighting plan. And to have a good lighting plan, you need to account for three different types of interior lighting:
- Ambient lighting. Also referred to as general lighting, ambient lighting is what provides the overall illumination for a room. It’s designed to spread light evenly throughout the room. The most common types of ambient lighting are ceiling-mounted and recessed fixtures.
- Task lighting. As the name suggests, task lighting is designed to help you perform certain tasks – such as cooking, reading, or working at a desk. Table lamps and floor lamps are common examples, as is lighting that’s mounted underneath kitchen cabinets.
- Accent lighting. This type of lighting is less practical and more aesthetic. It’s often used to highlight certain features – such as artwork or plants – and typically provides warm, targeted light.
A good lighting plan doesn’t stop with ambient, task, and accent lighting. You also need to account for natural light, which affords you and your family a number of benefits. Not only does it boost your body’s vitamin D storage, but it also leads to higher productivity, better vision, enhanced sleep, and better moods.
5 Lighting Design Tips
Lighting impacts everything from safety to mood – so it’s imperative that you come up with a plan for your apartment. Here are some things to think about:
1. Invest in Unique Light Fixtures
If you’re looking for a way to create a unique and appealing look in your apartment, light fixtures are one of the best ways to show off your style and get maximum bang for your buck.
Hanging light fixtures, in particular, take up a lot of room – spatially speaking – in an apartment and, therefore, have a big impact on the look of key spaces. You can find neat light fixtures at big box stores like Home Depot and Lowes, as well as online from sites like Wayfair.
2. Get Control Over Natural Light
Natural light plays a key role in the look of your apartment, but it can be overwhelming if you don’t have a plan for it.
Gain control over the amount of natural light in your apartment by using remote control blinds that allow for simple and automated control in east and west facing windows.
3. Stick to Warm Bulbs
There have been major shakeups in the light bulb industry over the last decade. Incandescent bulbs have been ousted, and government regulations have required manufacturers to produce more energy efficient models. The problem is that many of these new LED lights put forth harsh white light that makes you feel like you’re in a doctor’s office – not your home.
When shopping for light bulbs, pay attention to the type of light you’re buying, as well as the color temperature. As tech reporter Jim Rossman explains, “Bulbs generally come in two temperatures – warm or soft (more yellow) and cool or daylight (more blue). The colors are usually expressed as numbers on a temperature scale. The warm lights have a temperature of around 2700K, while the cool lights are up around 5000K. Look at the small print on the box.”
4. Use Mirrors in Small, Dark Spaces
If you have small, dark spaces, consider adding mirrors to large walls. Mirrors do two things. To start, they make a space look bigger. Secondly, they refract existing light sources and further brighten a room.
5. Try Dimmers for Ambient Lighting
When it comes to ambient lighting – particularly overhead and recessed lights – you need control. For best results, put these lights on dimmer switches that allow you to increase and diminish the brightness throughout the day.
Let There Be Light
Though it doesn’t receive nearly the attention that furniture, paint, flooring, and other popular design elements attract, lighting is a crucial element of your apartment’s overall look and feel. Spend more time paying attention to this aspect, and you’ll have a happier, healthier, and more attractive home.