Interior Lighting Design

Up lighting and down lighting

Lighting designers use a range interior lighting design techniques to achieve different moods. The overall effect is created by balancing the array of methods available. Indoor lighting needs to provide a general overall ambience, highlight specific features and be practical enough to work by.

Paintings, sculptures or architectural features can be spot-lit with focused lighting to draw attention to them. Task lighting is required in work areas in kitchens, such as counter tops where food is prepared, and for reading by. Each lighting element adds to the effect as a whole so should be considered in conjunction with the rest of the lighting.

Down and Up Lighting Interior Designs

The most common types of interior lighting to install are down-lights. Down-lights create cones or arcs of light on the walls with shadows on the ceiling. Having a single central down-light as the main light source lights the floor but leaves the perimeter and the ceiling in shadow creating a gloomy effect. This can be rectified with wall lights. When deciding where to position down-lights, consider the effect of the lighting on the walls, rather than trying to create a symmetrical pattern on the ceiling.

Up-lighting gives a sense of height to a room by directing light towards the ceiling which then reflects it back. This works particularly well if the ceiling is light in color. Up-lights can be free-standing or wall-mounted and work well at different heights. Halogen lights create sharp lines against the wall so try not to position them near paintings or furniture. "Wall-washing" fixtures direct light evenly across a wall to provide ambient lighting. They make any room feel bigger!

Another important aspect of interior lighting is being able to dim the lighting to create different moods in a room. Each lighting element needs to be controlled separately to be able to vary the relative brightness between the different light sources.


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