Radiating light across homes

Last Updated 26 June 2014, 13:13 IST

Lights can play a huge role in sprucing up your home by lending it a very unique appeal, writes A Varsha Rao.

When it comes to home decor, we spend a lot of money on furniture, accessories, drapes, shelves, paints and sophisticated bathroom fittings, but conveniently forget about the lights. All the classy furniture and show-pieces in our priceless homes can be highlighted only when there’s proper lighting. But lights are not just a utilitarian item; they can also be an aesthetic addition to your home decor. 

Lighting has come a long way since the age of oil and kerosene lamps. The invention of the electric bulb was hailed as revolutionary. It opened the gate for many more inventions, be it the filament bulb, mercury vapour lamp or neon lights. Right from burning grass to the incandescent light bulbs, there has been a complete change in the way we look at light. 

Here are some ideas to change a modest home into an inviting abode:

There are mainly three types of lights available — ambient, task and accent lights. Ambient lighting is general lighting. It illuminates an entire room and allows for comfortable viewing. Ambient light sources can be ceiling lights, wall fixtures and fluorescent bulbs.

Task lighting is specific to your tasks. Anything from reading, writing, working in the kitchen and minute work needs task lighting. Accent lighting, as the name suggests, accents a particular entity or area. It could be a painting, a sculpture or a particular section of the wall. Wall-mounted fixtures are the best example for this. 

Lighting depends mostly on the area you are considering. For example, your bedroom needs subdued lights as this is the area where you will end your long and tiring day. Living room, on the other a hand, needs a vivacious lighting plan to cater to different occasions and plans. So, chart a separate plan for every area in your home.

Current trends

Sumit Joshi, Marketing Head, Philips Lighting, India, says, “Consumers in India are increasingly becoming responsible towards the environment and hence switching to energy-efficient lighting. Users today are looking forward to smarter and energy-efficient homes, thereby going for LED lights. Intelligent lighting is the new trend which is slowly picking up pace. Users can now dim the light or brighten up specific corners according to their choice by the touch of an iPad, iPhone or the Android systems.”

Something specific

Living rooms need a mix of all lighting accessories. We all have that single, long tube light that is highly outdated. Instead, use recessed lighting in the form of light fixtures in hollowed parts of the ceiling that illuminates the area right under it, brightly. Chandeliers are great centrepieces for your ceiling and also diffuse the right amount of light in the room. You can also invest in sconces, light fixtures that are attached to a wall and radiate light in a single direction. This can be used as mood lighting as their luminosity is not suited for any work.

Most of us have our dining table in a corner of the living room. You can have your dinner conversations under a single antique chandelier or a contemporary pendant light. Victorian and Georgian lamps also complement the dining area beautifully.Bedrooms can be your play ground in terms of lighting.

 If your bed boasts of a headboard, you will want to accentuate it with some track lights. The classic style of installing nightshades and bedside lamps also work beautifully. But if you want to save some space, then replace these bedside lamps with sconces. Another lighting trend that suits bedrooms perfectly is pendant lighting, which are fixtures hung from the ceiling by a metal rod. 

A set of pendant lights hung at different heights around your bed can change the look of the room entirely. Recessed lighting can also work here as long as you use dark-coloured drapes to keep the sunlight away and keep the focus on the artificial lighting.Floor lamps are also a great addition to the lighting family.

 Today, you can find floor lamps that have interesting patterns on them and throw fascinating shadows on the walls when lighted up. Add a dash of quirkiness by going in for crooked metal rods supporting the lamp, or colourful shades, or even a bold, designed lampshade.

Neglected areas

Coming to bathrooms, the most widely ignored area in terms of lighting, you can find that there is an entire world of beaming items just for you. Since the most important part of the bathroom is the mirror, you can focus on getting different kinds of lights around it. Sconces are once again a wonderful option. 

You can also place diffusers here and let the effect speak for itself. Ensure that the lights that you place here do not throw any awkward shadows on your face. If you go in for recessed lighting, make sure you get it in areas of the bathroom where you spend the maximum time.  Kitchens are an important part of every home. The best option for this most-frequented area is to go in for under-cabinet lighting.

They are small but strong lights that can be installed under the cabinets, near the sink and near the common work area. The same rule applies here when you use recessed lighting, which should ideally be concentrated on utilitarian areas. If you have an island in your kitchen, you can spruce up that area by installing a quirky chandelier or modern pendant lights.

If you are looking for something more offbeat to add to the lighting charm of your home, you can go in for paper lanterns. Made of thin, colourful paper, paper lanterns, with a lit candle, emit soft radiance. If you find candles to be a bit cumbersome, you could set up the paper lantern around a light fixture and add a beautiful twist to your room. If you go in for funky patterns, light can escape them in various forms and render the area magical.

So, perk up the spaces in your home by getting some bright sparkling lights and see the difference it makes.

(Published 26 June 2014, 13:12 IST)

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