#1 The problem:
When you switch the lights on, the room feels dull.
#1 The reason:
The lighting is not layered. It’s important to layer lighting in a room in order to make it feel interesting and give it dimension. Having only one type of light leaves a room feeling flat and lifeless.
#1 The solution:
Always use three different types of lighting in a space: ambient for general lighting, task for specific functions, and accent to highlight objects or features. Also consider the Colour Rendering Index (CRI) of the bulbs you use. The higher the CRI, the truer colours will look under that light. A bulb with a low CRI may make the space look flat and washed-out.
#2 The problem:
The bathroom vanity lighting is unflattering. When you look in the mirror there are dark shadows under your nose, eyes, and chin.
#2 The reason:
The only illumination you have in this area is positioned above the mirror.
#2 The solution:
When lighting your bathroom vanity area it’s important to install lights on either side of the mirror. Flanking your reflection with wall sconces provides the best light for detail-oriented tasks such as applying makeup and shaving, and shows you in a flattering light. The colour temperature of the bulbs also impacts the way your reflection looks. You ideally want a cool, white light which is between 3500 and 4100 Kelvins. Colour temperature is measure in Kelvins – the higher the Kelvin, the cooler the colour temperature.
#3 The problem:
You struggle to see exactly what you’re doing during food prep or when reading from a recipe book.
#3 The reason:
If your work surface is an island then pendant lighting suspended above will provide you with sufficient illumination. But if your counter tops have cabinets above them then a lot of the ambient lighting in the room will be blocked.
#3 The solution:
Under-cabinet lighting will solve this problem. You can focus on specific task areas, for example, if you only chop vegetables on the counter space next to your stove then you might get away with installing under-cabinet lighting in this area alone. Lining all your cabinets with under-cabinet lighting will also serve as ambient lighting when all other lights in the room are switched off.
#4 The problem:
You’ve chosen a fixture for a space but it looks out of place.
#4 The reason:
The fixture is either too big or too small for the space. A fixture that is too small will look silly in a large room, while a fixture that is too big will overwhelm the space and become the focal point.
#4 The solution:
Scale is important when choosing light fixtures. There are a number of formulas and guides to help you calculate the ideal fixture size in relation to the room, but an easy way to actually visualise it is to create a model. Simply create a mock up using cardboard to get an idea of how the shape and size of a particular fixture might fit the intended space.
#5 The problem:
The room feels uncomfortably bright.
#5 The reason:
Look up. Chances are there are too many recessed lights. This type of fixture has become increasingly popular, with architects and contractors favouring them for contemporary building projects.
#5 The solution:
Recessed lighting undoubtedly looks great but it’s important to have the right amount of fixtures correctly spaced out otherwise the room can look more like a lobby than a home. To avoid this dilemma ensure a well-thought-out lighting plan is in place. Adding a dimmer switch will give you the added flexibility of adjusting the brightness to suit your needs or mood.
#6 The problem:
You’re hosting a dinner party but the ambiance in your dining room just doesn’t feel right.
#6 The reason:
The bulbs in your fixtures are not ideal for the dining room.
#6 The solution:
You can have the finest decor and serve up a delicious meal, but if the lighting in your dining room isn’t ideal your guests won’t be basking in that cosy, intimate glow we all love when seated around the table. Ideally, the sum total of all bulbs in the dining room should be between 3000 to 6000 lumens. You’ll also want your bulbs to offer a soft, warm light as opposed to cool or bright light. To really set the mood, incorporate a dimmer switch for total control of brightness in the room.