Brightening a Dark Room with Steel Lighting
Humans are funny creatures. While it’s fun to argue that the houses we live in are really just fancy caves with better plumbing, the one thing that separates the modern marvels of today from the damp, dark places of our very ancient ancestors is lighting.
We like things to be bright pretty much anytime we’re in a room, whether it’s a task-specific piece of lighting or something that better sets the mood. Although we live in shelters that shield us from most of the light we experience, the amusing contradiction is that we still want there to be plenty of light in the cave itself.
Of course, not all rooms are made equal. Every space has a purpose in a home. As a result, every room needs a different form of lighting to make the most of the activities performed in that room – whether that’s simply sleeping comfortably or completing a technical hobby!
Sometimes, a room, whether through a lack of natural light sources or a choice in decor, will suffer from being overly dark. For those incredibly dark spaces, a lot of thinking is going to go into your lighting setup. Unlike brighter rooms that face the sun or have plenty of windows to take advantage of the natural light, your darker spaces will always need that little extra oomph to make the space livable.
Thankfully, there are more than a few different techniques to make the most of any space, as this blog entry will show you!
If you haven’t read any of our other blogs or just need a refresher on the basics of lighting design, we’re going to give you a crash course on the three different types of light that can be used to make any room feel perfectly lit. Those three different lighting styles are:
- Ambient Lighting: Ambient lighting is the most common form of lighting and refers specifically to the type designed to cover as much real estate as possible. Ambient lighting is your “base layer” of light that you’ll use in just about every space and is the most common form of lighting in any room.
- Task Lighting: Unlike ambient lighting, task lighting refers to lights that emphasize lighting up a specific area to complete a task. This lighting is meant to be bright and intense enough to allow a person to complete a technical activity efficiently and safely with complete visibility and is usually focused on a single small space.
- Accent Lighting: If ambient lighting and task lighting are the “meat and vegetables” part of your lighting meal, then accent lighting is definitely dessert. Accent lighting is all about adding a bit of flair and drama to space or object and is meant to enhance that space more than efficiently lighting it. Accent lights are popular in outdoor areas and rooms where the mood is the primary concern.
Every room has differing needs in the home, so a mix of these styles will emphasize different elements. A space like a kitchen may have a far greater need for task lighting compared to a dining room or lounge where a base of ambient lighting supported by flairs of accent lighting will often be more appropriate.
Remember, good lighting is like an onion (or an ogre) – it has layers, so figuring out what layers work best will be a massive step towards achieving your perfect lighting dreams.
Combining those light layers is going to be tricky in a few ways. If the space features a limited amount of natural light because of a lack of windows, then lighting your room to eliminate dark corners will be crucial.
While ambient lights, such as ceiling lights or downlights, are fantastic at filling a room with a comfortable enough amount of light, the reality is that you will always have corners of the room that will be darker than the ideal. Filling these spaces with carefully selected light sources – such as floor or table lamps – can help lift the darkness.
Similarly, floor lamps that can specifically be pointed upwards can prove to be an inventive way to introduce new light sources to a room. The principle behind this is to point the light towards spaces in the room that will allow light to bounce back into the room, creating a relaxing effect that acts as a form of accent lighting – but with greater utility.
Wall-mounted lights, such as Steel Lighting Co.’s Venice steel light, are particularly suited to this idea, with the light being able to be pointed towards the surface it’s mounted on. The Venice is perfect for situations where lighting an abstract space is the goal with its angled steel shade.
In spaces where most of the room is dark because of a darker shade of wall paint, a slightly different technique is needed. Darker shades that tend towards black will absorb any light projected onto them, making ambient lighting have to work double-time to achieve a comfortable coverage. LED lighting can counteract this phenomenon, with its brighter and neutral color making it easier to reflect off darker wall paint.
For darker rooms, sometimes it’s not about the different light styles but the sources themselves that make a difference.
If you can’t have an abundance of natural light in your room, the next best thing is to try and imitate that as much as possible. For the best result, LEDs or Light Emitting Diodes are the key.
LEDs produce a light source that is far more similar to natural daylight than any other form of artificial lighting. With a color temperature of approximately 6500K, LEDs are far brighter and far more intense than conventional globes, making them ideal as replacements for natural daylight.
On the subject of LEDs, all of Steel Lighting Co.’s lights come with LED globes as standard on our products. Combine that with some of our most popular models, such as the Manhattan or Hollywood Bowl lights, and you’ll never feel short of adequate daylight again!
And that’s it for our lighting guide for the darkest rooms of the home! If you have any additional questions about how you can light the dark corners of your home or business, then don’t be afraid to give our team of steel lighting experts a call!