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Using Light to Dramatically Enhance the Look of a Room

lighting control systemsOne of my favorite mediums in which to work is light.  While we tend to take it for granted, light is one of the most important things in our lives.  It affects us on a physiological level.  With the proper lighting one can create a wide variety of moods using the same space.  One of our recent projects was a great example of how light can be used in conjunction with decor to create dramatically different looks depending on one’s mood.

Incorporating Lighting into Interior Design

I have always believed in creating rooms that have multiple purposes.  It’s easy to create a space that is used for one function.  The true test of one’s ability comes when a single space must be used for a wide variety of functions.  This is much easier to pull off when proper lighting is used in conjunction with the decor.

While many homeowners don’t think about it, light plays a very important roles in our mood.  The right light levels can actually improve your mood if you’re feeling dark.  It can set the tone for a room if you want calm and subdued conversation versus loud and boisterous.

Many design schools teach the basics of lighting design, but few interior designers rely upon light as much as they should.  Filling a space with natural light can have an uplifting affect that creates a subtle but distinguishable difference.

Lighting and Stone

One of the best ways to show off stonework in a home is through the use of light.  Even natural stone that is relatively smooth and flat actually has small imperfections in the surface.  By casting light upon the stone from different angles we can create an entirely different look without changing anything else.  This technique along can have a dramatic effect on the look of a room.  Light cast down upon rough stone creates a more somber appearance, while light cast upwards creates a more uplifting appearance.

Utilizing Automation to Simplify Lighting

In the past we were forced to use dimmers to create the lighting effects that we wanted in a home.  This was both tedious and offered only inconsistent results at best.  But with the advent of lighting control systems these processes can be completely automated.

There are a wide variety of lighting control products on the market.  Crestron, Lutron, and Vantage are three of the most popular. These are typically installed and programmed by custom integrators or AV dealers.  We have worked with Audio Video Experts in the past.  They offer home automation systems in Los Angeles and the surrounding areas.

Basically we supply them with the look we want for each room and they program the system to recreate that look with the press of a button.  This allows the homeowner to easily set the lights based on how they’re using the room.  Another huge advantage of these lighting control systems is that they eliminate the need for multiple light switches in each room.  Considering some designs call for eight to ten lighting circuits per room this saves a considerable amount of real estate on the wall.

These systems also allow for setting the entire house to a specific scene.  So if the homeowner is entertaining they can set the entire house to party mode with the press of a single button.  This also allows for incorporating the outdoor lighting into the same scenes.

While lighting design is often not a focus of the interior design of a space it can create a very dramatic difference in the appearance of a room or even an entire home.

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