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The Importance of Lighting in Interior Design by Natalie Fogelstrom, West London Interior Designer

Most people don’t know this, but lighting is one of the most important elements in interior design! Lighting plays with our perceptions and can completely change a room. Just the right amount of colour and luminosity can work wonders. Striking the right balance between these two elements in order to create the desirable lighting is essential.

There are usually 3 types of lighting referred to in Interior Design:

- General Lighting: Also known as ambient lighting, this is the one normally seen in residential spaces like home interiors and hotel interiors. This involves up-lights and down-lights that fill spaces in order to create a warm ambience.

- Task Lighting: Generally used in offices and other workspaces/ professional interiors, Task lighting involves the use of light sources at least two-three times brighter than bulbs used in general lighting.

- Accent lighting: Accent lighting helps highlighting the architectural elements of your interiors. Halogen lights are used for accent lighting purposes due to their intensity and brilliance.

If the lighting in a room hasn’t been done correctly it’s immediately noticeable. We can find ourselves in the most beautiful room, but if enough time hasn’t been dedicated to the study and design of the lighting it will probably not live up to its true potential.

When designing a space, it is essential to define the experience that we want to create. Dim and indirect lighting will create a more intimate space that encourages relaxation, while white and direct lighting activates our brains and allows us to see smaller details. One should always choose the type of light depending on the design scheme and true to the rooms features. Lighting is, therefore, one of the elements that is essential to take into account to give a room that wow factor.

For example; using a warm light temperature for common areas; mixing direct light with indirect light to create difference ambiences, and using LED strips in wardrobes and for floor light and staircases. It’s truly a science and to hire a specialist to ensure this is professionally planned will truly be worth it.

By using several sources of light and ensuring that all darker areas are well lit you can up a room that can, in the wrong light, feel cramped.

Creating light and pushing it in certain directions can create shadowing and/or hotspots that show off aspect s of the room that would otherwise go unnoticed. Accent lighting encourages relaxations and social interactions.

The type of light used will depend on the experience you want to create. They can be technical, with a design that serves their function, but they can also play a decorative role. Which is much-loved for interior designers. One of the pieces and stunning lampshades or even a grand chandelier. A sculptured lamp or even the incredible Monlux mirrors which can change the whole ambience in a room and at the same time adding a design feature. There is so much that can be done.

Then there is natural light of course, which creates the kind of ambience you just can't replicate with artificial lighting and is ultimately good for the mind, body and soul. Sunlight promotes productivity. Always design a room allowing for maximum exposure to natural light. Let there be light! :)

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