Lights that sparkle

Lights that sparkle

shine & glimmer

Lights that sparkle

Lights are an important aspect of home decor. So, use them intelligently, keeping their true purpose in mind, suggests Nirja Rao

The grandeur of our home is accentuated by smart lighting. Our home need lights for all
seasons and purposes. But, at times, there is too much of light, while other times, we find the light to be scarce, especially in important areas, which makes the environment
famished. So, how much light is actually ‘sufficient light’? How does it look? How do we achieve the balance between both the extremes?

Light sources are the main players in our home decor here, but their placement is always fortuitous. Sometimes, it so happens that we live in a beautiful ambience, but feel suffocated every moment. This is mainly due to lack of conceptualisation, limiting cost factors and improper definitions.

If you have assigned a designer to decide the decor of your home, make sure he has a definitive plan for lighting. Also ensure that s/he incorporates your ideas into the plan for a customised appeal.

The different light source categories that are implemented in designing a house are – task light, decorative light, indirect light and backlight. There are many other categories of light fittings available in the market, but the above mentioned are the pre-requisite items for a residential space. The individual name specifies their specific deeds. Try to
categorise the shortlisted light sources before purchasing them.

Every company in the market has similar properties in its products, but they may only vary in their appearances.

Always choose lights according to your requirement. Don’t steer towards a
particular brand mindlessly. Analyse the market thoroughly.

Proper analysis

Before categorisation, analyse your space. Understand its orientation by studying the existing space in the daylight - that is,
direction of light and its impact on the rooms. Also review the space during night to evaluate the street light impact on the rooms. This is quite an important issue because we tend to expect curtains to play a crucial role in debilitating the exterior glare of light.
To make the process easier, here is a formula to identify the intensity of light required for your space:

Grid formula: First trace out your house layout. On the entire plan, make grids of maybe 12” x 12” or 36” x 24” and so on. Place the light source on these grid lines and then place your furniture layout below this layout. You can now augur the light requirement according to the grid, but remember to filter it in context to your requirements. Analyse all the details on the plan as the final consideration. You can decrease the quantity because we tend to use more light than required. Remember, smaller the grids, greater would be the intensity of light.

Now do a judicious survey of the market. Remember, your choices must customise the aura of your home. Market survey sounds as a fun errand, but this may produce incoherent results. There are myriad brands in the market. It’s very important to be clear on your requirements and budget. Don’t get carried away by all the attractive offers and brands. Do a thorough check before you shop for the fittings.

When it comes to specific types of lighting, don’t invest in too many task lights for a particular area as these lights have an intensity that is directly proportional to the height of the ceiling and space. They are mostly favourable for a concentrated task area. So, the best location for these lights would be the study table or desk.

Decorate right

In addition to task lighting, indirect lighting and direct lighting, the main branch of interior lighting is decorative lighting. There are different types of decorative light fittings like wall-mounted lights, table lamps, floor-mounted lights, chandeliers, hanging lamps and so on.

Evaluate your requirement out of these and expunge those that are not suitable for your space. Don’t buy the product just because you were emotionally surged by it, otherwise you may end up with excess products. As these are all decorative items, your evaluation should be based mainly on aesthetic measures.

For an ideal space of 500 sq ft (say one room), three decorative lights should suffice – one floor lamp and two wall lamps or vice-versa. Make sure that one room doesn’t entertain a combination of table lamp and floor lamp or a combination of ceiling lamp and wall lamp or else, it may crowd the room. Use the divided spaces as specified by the grid procedure to place different lamps. Remember, these are just decorative lights, they are not your main light sources. So, use them intelligently and aesthetically to turn on the entire appeal of your abode.

(The author is an interior designer and partner, Edge Interiors and architecture)

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