Whatever your lifestyle, lighting plays an essential role. Whether you live alone, in a large family, or work out of your home, you need effective lighting to get around, carry out everyday tasks, and also to create a space for you to relax and enjoy life. To get the right lights, you need to get the basics right. Each of the three main types of illumination - ambient, accent and task - has its own purpose and the judicious blending of all three is the way to success.
The most basic type of light in a home is known as ambient lighting. This provides the general illumination we need to function and is the artificial equivalent of daylight. Direct ambient lighting comes mainly from ceiling lights
Fluorescent strips were once the ceiling lights of choice as they produce a strong light over a wide area. Nowadays, they're considered too harsh for use in living areas and are being replaced with flush and pendant ceiling lights, often with several to a room. These use incandescent bulbs for a soft warm light. Examples are recessed spot lights which can beam down warm light to selected areas.
Using several lights in one room along with dimmers allows you to customise the mood and feel of your room depending on the occasion. For intimate tete-a-tetes, you can turn down the lights to create a romantic mood while for family get-togethers you'll want a brighter atmosphere.
Wall lights are another popular source of ambient lighting. These can be either directional or they can emit their light all around.
Accent lighting works to highlight key objects such as plants, paintings and tapestries. If you're single, you might like to show off your sports trophies. Families can use it to highlight precious photographs or souvenirs.
Task lighting is the illumination you need to carry out activities in your home. These include reading, doing homework, knitting, using the computer and so on.
These different functions each require a different type of lighting and your mix will depend on your situation and lifestyle.
If you're single, you need to create a cosy atmosphere to relax and welcome guests, as well as well-lit spaces to carry out your daily activities such as bathing, cooking and reading.
For females, bathroom lighting is likely to more important than for males as women tend to spend more time in the bathroom. You'll need proper lighting around the vanity mirror that's soft enough to make you look your best but strong enough for you to take care of your hair and put on makeup.
For a family, the lifestyle is more complex and the demands on the lighting higher. Children's rooms in particular demand special lighting considerations of their own. They have to have enough functional light for safety and should also create a playful and relaxing mood that fits in with kids' interests. You can get a vast range of special children's lighting decorated with themes from sports and cartoons and sure to appeal to the young ones.
If you work from home, task lighting in your home-office is of vital importance to your productivity. If you use computers, you'll need to keep your main ambient lighting low to avoid screen glare. You can do this either with dimmers or by using indirect ambient lighting which involves reflecting light off the ceiling. You can then use accent lighting such as wall lights to fill in.
Whatever your situation, one nice touch is to install a ceiling fan light. These stylish accessories not only provide illumination but also cool you down on hot days. The gentle swirling of the fan sends a gentle breeze which is most welcome on summer days.
Ceiling fans with lights are also very economical to run, especially when compared to air conditioning. In fact running a ceiling fan light allows you to turn down your air and get some significant savings.