A short day, gray light, a small amount of sun means that in winter we turn on the light in the room a lot, and it happens that we spend the whole day with it. So it becomes an indispensable interior element. Especially in our latitudes.
Kama Mosha: We spend about 90 percent on buildings. time. and more than 25 percent. Homes are at risk. Artificial light allows us to work after dark, as well as in rooms without a window. It is also important to be aware of the effect of light color on the body – with warm-colored lighting it will be difficult for us to focus, but we will certainly rest better. The same applies to light of cold colors – it will be tiring in the bedroom, but in the office it supports concentration and work.
Why is it so important to properly illuminate the rooms we are staying in? Helps build mood, or perhaps affects our well-being, aids relaxation?
Artificial light should complement daylight – when the latter is missing (after dark) or hard to reach due to the architecture or function of the room. While artificial light cannot become more important than daylight, it should become a priority point when designing a space, it should result from the functions of the rooms and the needs of the people using a particular space, as well as the materials used in them. We will use different lighting in the office and different at home, different lighting for children (especially young children who are mainly lying on their back), and different lighting at school, restaurant or spa.
What do we face when staying in a poorly lit room?
Improperly designed lighting can tire not only the eyes, but the entire body. Fatigue after leaving malls or offices is often caused by excessively bright lighting. When sitting at a table in the home or restaurant with the family, we need a lighted table surface, but without the effect of glare that is unpleasant to the eye. Many of us in restaurants change the table because of the aura being too dark or too bright, and sometimes the setting is too bright in the eyes. It causes severe discomfort, lack of concentration, general exhaustion of the body, and sometimes headache. With properly selected lighting, we can influence not only luxury and the most intuitive use of space, but also architecture, emphasizing its values or hiding its flaws.
What should be considered when planning home lighting?
First of all, the functionality of the rooms, then the arrangement of furniture and zoning. It is also worth taking into account the sensitivity of family members to light, as well as their preferences and lifestyle. It is better to work with light on several levels, so that it can adapt to our needs during the day and with the change of seasons. Another very important aspect when planning lighting is the color of the light and a high CRI – above 90.
CRI is a color rendering index, and it quantifies the effect of light on our color perception. It is expressed on a scale from 0 to 100. Natural sunlight has a CRI of 100 which is the standard for other light sources.
General light is very important after dark. I always refer to my clients, even, and perhaps especially when I plan the lighting in my bedroom, which is treated a little negligently, because it has become a popular belief that only a bedside lamp is enough.
On the other hand, functional and local lighting is ideal for illuminating areas and defining the space – a table in the dining room or a kitchen counter. In addition, a layer of decorative lighting – is to create an atmosphere, giving the interior character. It would be nice if they were the same color as the rest of the lamps used in the room.
It is important to plan the proper connection between the lighting zones – unfortunately, it often takes a lot of switches on the wall, which spoils its appearance. Fortunately, control panels that support smart home technologies come to the rescue. You need to remember technology when planning lighting, since not all solutions can be adapted to it. Electrical installation requires significant financial expenses, so it is worth considering it carefully, because often after completion of the implementation it is impossible to make any corrections. Then it is worth considering the use of linear solutions that allow to reconfigure the system during use.
Can you uncover any architectural tricks in working with light?
Light has a huge power, it affects not only our well-being, but also the perception of space and can emphasize the type of materials used in the interior. For example, light colors reflect light, and dark colors absorb it. The white wall reflects up to 80 percent. Light, dark gray only 12 percent. It is similar to glossy and matte materials. By using the light reflected from the ceiling, we can make the room seem higher. By directing light into narrow walls, we expand narrow rooms. A CRI above 90 will better reflect the colors and materials used in the interior.
What kind of lighting should be chosen for certain rooms, for example for the kitchen?
In the kitchen, we must remember the functionality of this room. One bar in the middle of the kitchen is not a practical and convenient solution. In the kitchen, “delicate work” on the work surface is important – chopping, cooking and chopping, so we need strong countertop lighting. We want to have one spot of light so that our eyes do not tire when moving around the so-called working triangle. And here, a good solution is linear fixtures, as well as wide-angle spotlights. Remember not to light the table behind your back, because then we create a shadow for ourselves and separate ourselves from enough light on the work surface, which causes us to exert more effort – to achieve focus – while preparing meals, and this affects fatigue. A table-sized lighting will work in the dining room. It is important that the lamp is located at a height of about 55-60 cm above the working surface. Especially in this place, lamps with a visible light source should be avoided, as they can dazzle. People sitting at the table should be kept in the light shade, so fixtures with a clearly defined spotlight will work with a receding light source.
What is the appropriate light for the living room or bedroom?
The living room is a more complex space, here we deal with a variety of activities: relaxing, watching TV, receiving guests, cleaning, reading and much more. It is good if the lighting “disappears” from the foreground. In the decorative layer, it is worth planning lamps with the ability to control them in order to be able to create whole lighting scenes using smart home technology. On the other hand, the bedroom is a place of rest, tranquility and rejuvenation of the body, so a warm light that can be dimmed to the effect of a candle will work here. It’s not only worth focusing on general lighting and reading lights, you should plan for more diffused soft lighting. Unless we use technology and use low-light bulbs – then we can limit the number of luminaires to the minimum necessary, because we can create scenes using the app or the control panel.
It looks like you can really make a difference with light.
Oh yeah, sure. Let’s not forget about proper lighting, because thanks to it we can evoke a really great atmosphere, especially now, when we have the shortest days of the year.
Kama Lotte – Interior designer and owner of KAMA Mucha design studio www.kamamucha.com and Labra Brand Coordinator, responsible for all brand display booth designs. It works on a daily basis with light in public and private spaces.
“Music specialist. Pop culture trailblazer. Problem solver. Internet advocate.”