Home lighting is an important aspect to consider, especially by interior designers and designers. Light directly influences our mood and creating an appropriate environment makes the comfort in our home remarkably better.
In this article we are going to talk about the different ways we have to illuminate. First, we differentiate between natural light and artificial light.
Natural light is fundamental in our homes, as it directly helps to improve the quality of life. Psychologists say that natural light exerts a positive influence on our emotional state, as it forces the body to produce more serotonin responsible for the feeling of joy and happiness. This is one of the reasons why factors such as orientation and location of the house in the plot are so important when designing. One of the missions of the interior designer is to play with furniture and decoration to make the most of natural light.
The advancement of technology has allowed designing systems that provide natural light to premises that do not have windows. They are formed by a series of tubes and reflectors that allow light to be brought from the roof to premises such as interior bathrooms that do not have windows.
Since we can not have natural light throughout the day or in all rooms, we must rely on artificial light. In addition, artificial light allows us to complement the interior design of the house. Here we present different types of artificial lighting that we can apply in a home:
- General lighting: supposes the main light of an entire environment; shows the space in its entirety and allows basic actions to be taken in the absence of natural light. Its location is usually at a higher height, allowing to show the space evenly and free of shadows.
- Point or focal lighting: helps us to complete the general lighting. Its purpose is to show a specific area, and it is usually used as a complement to decoration. Floor lamps, table lamps, wall sconces or ceiling lamps allow us to provide such lighting.
- Ambient lighting: it is a more theatrical type of lighting, oriented only to create a certain atmosphere; it usually emits a light that is not enough to illuminate an activity. In this case it is important the design of the lamp and the color and intensity of light it emits, it should not be excessive.
- Decorative lighting: it is used to perform certain sectors, such as architectural details or to illuminate objects such as paintings, sculptures, plants and etc.
On the other hand, we can classify the lighting according to the lighting systems. When lighting the lamp, the emitted light can reach the objects of the room directly or indirectly by the reflection in walls and ceiling. Depending on whether the light arrives directly or indirectly we distinguish the following systems:
- Direct lighting: is that which occurs when all the light flow of the lamps is directed towards the ground. It is the most economical system with the highest luminous efficiency, but the risk of glare is high and produces important shadows. Direct luminaries are used for this system.
- Indirect lighting: in this lighting system, almost all the light (between 90% and 100%) is directed towards the ceiling and is then distributed in the room by reflection against the surfaces: ceilings, walls, etc. It is a more expensive solution because absorption losses are high. To improve reflection, the use of white paints is recommended. As an example of this type of lighting we find the pits that, in addition to their main function as general lighting, are also used for decorative purposes and accent lighting. The pits could be defined as the margin that is left in the assembly of false ceilings, either on the perimeter of the room or in certain areas as a decoration, creating a ceiling at two heights. General indirect lighting can easily become decorative lighting simply by using regulation, lowering its intensity to minimum levels to create subtle effects on the ceiling.
- Diffuse lighting: the light flow is distributed at 50% between direct and indirect sources. It minimizes the risk of glare and does not produce shadows, which gives a monotonous appearance to the room.
- Semi-direct lighting: most of the light flow is directed towards the floor and the rest is reflected in the ceiling and walls.
- Semi-indirect lighting: most of the flow comes from the ceiling and walls.
As you can see, choosing the lighting of a home is not an easy task, it goes far beyond a point of light placed in the middle of the room. In previous articles we stressed the importance of the figure of the interior designer and that, as you can see, the definition of lighting falls directly on him. Defining the lighting in the project allows adjusting the budget and avoiding future unforeseen events in the installation.