You are planning on the interiors for your home and have been working on the Civil and furnishing design along with finishes for the available space.
Possibly you have also given a thought on lighting your space and what sort of Lighting scheme shall be relevant to your overall design theme.
What colors should you select for different zones within your home space?
What type of light fixtures and light bulbs should be selected- Incandescent , Fluorescent or LED?
What is the appropriate wiring rating and methods for different lighting, switch points?
If that’s you, with all these questions and others in mind then keep reading. We shall take it one step at a time and build our understanding of Home Lighting.
Let’s dive in.
What is Home Lighting?
Home lighting can be simply understood as the deliberate use of Natural Daylight and Artificial lights to achieve clear visibility in space while attaining aesthetic effects, as and when required.
Proper lighting can enhance task performance, improve the appearance of an area, or have positive Functional, Psychological, and deep psychological effects on occupants.
Functional Impact for Home Lighting
A poorly-lit room can make even the most beautiful interiors ineffective. A lighting plan should focus on functionality first and later on aesthetics.
Functional Lighting Plan offers optimum illumination required for our daily activities. For example Processing area of the kitchen needs to be properly lit for healthy cooking. Well lit study areas increase productivity at work. Doorways/Passages need to be lit so as to ensure safety while moving at night.
It’s very much possible to ensure a lighting plan for your home to be functional at the max—it’s just a matter of knowing what you need.
Important factors to consider
- What will the available space be used for ?
Private time, Family time, Social Time, Study, Homework, entertainment, and other activities call for different types of lighting. Rooms can also be divided into different zones based on usage.
Lighting over a Dining table or Kitchen countertop is a must. If you prefer enjoying your books on the accent chair planned at the corner of your bedroom, the lighting arrangement needs to be planned there.
2. Who is likely to use the Space?
You, your kids, your parents each shall have a different lighting requirement. For aging Parents room maximum of both artificial and natural lights would be required for better visibility. Switches would be required within their reach should they need something in the night. Keeping the room airy and spacious along with generous lighting will ensure less strain for your elderly parent’s vision.
3. At what time of day will the room be used the most?
The kitchen is usually the most used room in the house after the living room and bedroom. Television watching, Cooking, and relaxing for the day are all activities respectfully represented by these three rooms.
The rooms we are in the most often are the ones that are going to mean the most to us, Hence lighting should be planned accordingly
4.Where does natural light enter the room and from what direction.
A Home filled with sunlight is cheery, warm, and inviting. Homes with abundant daylight help keep us physically and emotionally healthy. They also reduce the need to turn on electric lights during the day, Generous use of glass is the most obvious way to get light into a home and definitely increase functionality.
Incorporating daylight in overall Lighting design is not just how to provide enough daylight to an occupied space, but how to do so complimenting the artificial lighting scheme and without any undesirable side effects like heat gain/loss, glare, etc.
5. How much light do you need?
You don’t want the room to be too bright or too dim. Make your fixture selections based on how much light you need in each room. There’s a simple equation to calculate the lighting needs for a room.
Consider installing dimmers to create a truly customizable lighting design.
6. How critical is color?
The selection of color should be done based on the required functionality. Task lighting is best achieved with a neutral to cool white in the 3500K to 5000K range. Likewise, the right lighting color can make the colors in your décor pop. Choose a color temperature that is appropriate for each room.
Yes, Light does have a Physiological and Psychological impact on us Humans
Other than visual effects Light also has Physiological and psychological effects that can impact the health and wellbeing of humans that have evolved for thousands of years responding to the stimuli of sunlight during day and darkness at night.
For most people, Modern Urban living means spending most of the day in closed rooms with limited exposure to Natural Light.
Physiologically Light can improve or disrupt our sleep and overall well being. It can improve mood and stabilize our circadian rhythms, helping us get a better and deeper night’s sleep.
Light can decrease depression and even increase cognitive performance such as reaction time and activation.
Circadian rhythms are physical, mental, and behavioral changes that follow a daily cycle and can also be called our internal clock. They respond primarily to light and darkness in a Human’s environment.
Sleeping at night and being awake during the day is an example of a light-related circadian rhythm.
Lack of melatonin causes sleeping problems. Blue light suppresses melatonin levels while red light increases melatonin levels in the body. This insight is a key in planning bedroom lights.
Circadian rhythms can also affect a person’s feelings of happiness, sadness, anger, and other emotions.
Direction of Light
Lights when positioned above eye level can create a feeling of restraint, creating a more formal atmosphere. On the other side, lighting positioned below eye level can provoke a feeling of individual importance, creating a more informal atmosphere.
Lighting effects and its impact on space
|LIGHTING EFFECT||LIGHT DISTRIBUTION||PSYCHOLOGICAL IMPACT|
|Intense direct light from above.||Non-uniform||Tense|
|Lower overhead lighting with some lighting at room perimeter, warm color tones.||Non-uniform||Relaxed|
|Bright light on work plane with less light at the perimeter, wall lighting, cooler color tones.||Uniform||Work/Visual Clarity|
|Bright light with lighting on walls and possibly ceiling.||Uniform||Spaciousness|
|Low light level at activity space with a little perimeter lighting and dark areas in rest of space.||Non-uniform||Privacy/Intimacy|
Interesting impacts of Color
Color creates powerful psychological and physiological (or physical) effects. Psychological effects are recognized in the mind; physiological effects actually sensed in the body.
It is important to note that people may react differently to the same color, based on their previous experiences or learned behavior. Research studies have shown that:
BLACK: can be used to portray authority, power, strength, evil, intelligence, thinning/slimming, death or mourning, elegance, formality, mystery, fear, prestigious and aggressive.
GREEN: is the color of nature. Green light therapy stimulates the creation of growth hormones and strengthens muscles, bones, and other tissues. It can also boost your immune system.
Green can be used to portray nature, growth, cool, money, health, envy, tranquility, harmony, calmness, fertility, safety, and ambition.
BLUE: can be used to lower high blood pressure or to calm people down. It’s also used for light therapies for people who have circadian rhythm disorders.
In lighting and interior design, blue can be used to portray trust, loyalty, wisdom, confidence, intelligence, faith, truth, sincerity, cleanliness, air, sky, water, health, tranquility.
PURPLE: Purple light can help reduce emotional and mental stress.
Lighting and interior design projects can implement purple to portray royalty, power, nobility, luxury, ambition, wisdom, dignity, independence, creativity, mystery, magic and romance.
RED: In lighting and interior design, red can be used to portray love, romance, gentle, warm, comfort, energy, excitement, intensity, life, passion, danger, leadership, courage and friendship.
ORANGE: Also known as the “source of creativity,” orange stimulates the creative thought process and can help people come up with new ideas.
In lighting and interior design, orange can be used to portray happiness, energy, enthusiasm, warmth, wealth, prosperity,sophistication, change and stimulation.
YELLOW: Yellow can sometimes be beneficial in the treatment for depression.
In lighting and interior design, yellow can be used to portray happiness, laughter, cheer, warmth, optimism, hunger, intensity, frustration, anger, attention-getting, caution, sickness, jealousy, intellect, and energy.
WHITE: In lighting and interior design, white can be used to portray purity, innocence, cleanliness, sense of space, neutrality,safety, beginning, faith and coolness.
Brightness, Hue and Saturation
Brightness, Hue, and Saturation are the three main qualities of light in relation to color.
Brightness is the amount of light given off by a light source, usually expressed in lumens or lux. Some studies have shown that brighter light can intensify emotions, while low light doesn’t remove emotions, but keeps them steady.
This can lead to people having the ability to make more rational decisions in low light and find it easier to agree with others in negotiation.
Hue is defined as a color or shade. It’s been proven (through various studies) that natural light can make you happier, but colors created by artificial light can also evoke different emotions and have other effects on the body.
Saturation is the intensity of a color. More saturated hues can have amplifying effects on emotions, while muted colors can dampen emotions.
In art, saturation is defined on a scale from pure color (100% [fully saturated]) to gray (0%). In lighting, a similar scale can apply. Blue/white light makes us energetic and can interrupt sleep patterns if exposed to around bedtime — due to the fact that blue light suppresses melatonin levels.
Brain cells tend to be the most sensitive to blue wavelengths and the least sensitive to red wavelengths.
Blue wavelengths can even have an impact on those who are blind, when it comes to circadian rhythms.
Red light in the evening can help improve mental health. This is because red light in the evening helps increase the secretion of melatonin which leads to better sleep at night.
Better sleep at night leads to improved cognition and overall mental wellbeing.