“In order for the light to shine so brightly, the darkness must be present.”
The Lighting Design is often underestimated but one of the most important parts of the design process. It is crucial for the overall impact of the Interior and can easily change the mood or the perceived size of a space. Good lighting could underline and enhance the qualities of an average interior, but bad lighting can ruin even the best concept.
Before to start thinking about our project first thing we need to do is to observe the space and study the natural light. And after that decide for what purposes and what kind of atmosphere we want to create. For example if it is a romantic restaurant or a disco, a cozy home or dramatic scenography. All these considerations lead to the main decisions to divide the space also in order of functions. Same room can offer different functions and according to this we could create a few types of changeable lighting.
If we want to create a bright and open space we must consider how daylight enters into the space and give the best solution how to position all the different functions and in this example the interior is divided with glass doors in order to keep it bright and spacious.
We can observe also how artificial light corresponds to the daylight and the transition is very soft and natural with a spot light in the center, decorative lighting above the painting, floor lighting, wall lighting next to the mirror etc.
Artificial light adds layers and depth to the space. It can highlight or underline something. It can divide optically in different zones or change the perception of the proportions. So it is often the most powerful tool that designers can use to play and transform an interior.
It can be warm or clear and to draw a scheme I will divide it in 5 main categories: general, ambient, mood, task and accent.
General lighting provides the uniform glow in the room and its purpose is mainly functional. It gives the general illumination of the space and usually the brightness can be controlled. It can be a pendant light, a luxury chandelier, an artistic installation etc. People are often attraqued by the brightest place of a room so it is easily converted to the main meeting point. Of course general lighting is barely enough to complete the scene.
Ambient lighting is like a second layer in a painting. It is more decorative than functional but it creates depth, drama and feeling. It is very important when you want to enhance a piece of art or part of the architecture. It is very soft, gives shadows and usually is controlled by a dimming system to change the light levels depending on the occasion. It is attractive and the best accent of a room. Could you imagine this interior without ambient lighting?
The name task lighting comes by its purpose to light a particular task such as cooking, reading and it must be stronger wattage but of course the difference between ambient and task lighting shouldn’t be too sensitive. Especially in offices or in professional kitchens where the concentration and work productivity are of utmost importance. At home it can be used also in bathrooms as mirror lighting or to create foot floor paths for safety reasons etc..
The overall picture won’t be complete without mood lighting. It makes the room pleasant and inviting and plays with the shadows which immediately changes the mood. It adds style and functionality. But be careful when you choose that type of lighting, it should correspond to the rest of the apartment and you should consider that lit, the lamp has very different impact so choose wisely.
The purpose of accent lighting is to lit artworks and sculptures, to underline objects or cabinets. Sometimes to highlight textures or to define perimeters. In general gives the accent in the space.
The balance of all types of lighting plays main role in designing the layout. And whenever it comes to residential or public interior don’t hesitate to search for professional opinion, because it will deffenetely affect the final result.