Principles for Lighting in Your Home After Daylight Savings
Each of the seven fundamentals that make up The Art of Space plays a vital role in great design, but if there’s a drama queen in the crowd, it’s light. It may have the greatest power of them all to impact mood, evoke emotion and of course, to create a dramatic scene.
When you look up the definition of “lighting” in the dictionary, here’s what you’ll find: “The pairing of existing conditions, natural sunlight, and desired function with man-made illumination to enhance the overall human experience.”
And to think that some people think designing the right lighting in your home is all about picking out cool lamps!
When you add the dynamic changes in lighting that occur with the changing seasons, it can get really complicated. This time of year, the sun moves south for the winter. The angles of light entering your home change. Shadows are different. Humidity is lower, the air is clearer and colors are more vibrant. It’s a vivid season.
This time of year, we also go off of Daylight Savings Time. We reset our clocks to “fall back” an hour so it gets dark even earlier. Then, it continues to get dark earlier and earlier until it’s dark twelve out of twenty-four hours.
Let’s not forget the weather. In much of the country, it gets COLD. Cocooning season sets in, and we want to curl up under a blanket and take a nap.
But you don’t have to hibernate to get through the winter. You can actually enjoy it. With lighting, you can create a warm and inviting space that’s as stimulating as it is cozy. Lighting not only affects the way a room looks, it impacts our moods.
Here are some tips:
- Associate brighter lights with energy, excitement and enthusiasm.
- Lower lights inspire calm, coziness and romance.
- Layer your lighting.
- Use “can” or ceiling lights for your top layer.
- Chandeliers can be a great middle layer.
- Lamps are the bottom layer.
- Use dimmers everywhere.
I’m a big fan of dimmers. They allow you to mix and match your layers of light. They give you almost infinite possibilities to play with moods and emotions.
Take a look, for example, at the family room. It should be able to be brightly lit for kid’s parties, football games and working on kids’ toys with “some assembly required.” Medium levels of light might be perfect for a quiet evening of conversation or watching a movie. Low lights can be perfect for crawling under a blanket with a good book or a romantic evening by the fire. So right there, in one room, you have at least three layers of lighting.
When spring rolls around, the sunlight becomes more direct as the sun moves north. We’re hungry for more light as temperatures entice us to open windows and go outside.
Different lighting schemes can transform spaces and tailor them to evoke the emotions you want.
Light can raise or lower ceilings. It can expand or contract space. It can elevate moods and calm nerves. Light is fun. You should play with it. When you put it to good use, it can drastically improve your mood, your attitude and even your life…even in the dead of winter.