Fortunately for those on a budget, no amount of money can buy you a lighting scheme that brings the room to life. Well, if you have a personal lighting expert it can. But the point is, lighting is not so much about having expensive fittings but more so, knowing how to use natural, ambient accent and task lighting to create mood. Here are the basics.
In many ways, there simply is no substitute for great natural light. However, sunlight can be scarce at some times of the year, so you will not be able to rely on it consistently. In order to maximise your natural lighting options, try trimming the trees and bushes in your garden to allow more light in, or cheat by hanging mirrors around the house to bounce light around.
Ambient lighting is often used to compensate for the lack of natural daylight sun. Just using a central pendant light alone is generally not enough, as more often than not, it can have a very flat and uninspiring effect on the mood of your home. However, if you play around with your ambient lighting, by perhaps introducing some wall lights, lamps, uplighters and downlighters,you will instead create a very versatile and appealing lighting scheme. Perfecting this will take time and patience.
This is where you really create texture, mood and focus. Accent lighting is generally formed by a combination of halogen spotlights, downlighters, uplighters and tracks, though obviously these can be substituted according to the the specific atmosphere and feel you desire for your home. Use the lights of your choice here to add depth and shade to your lighting scheme, casting shadows in some corners and sending bright pools of light into others.
Task lighting is lighting used for a specific purpose, such as studying or cooking. And although perhaps not as central in determining the mood of your home, task lighting will still effect the overall balance of your lighting scheme. The rule of thumb is to only focus task lighting on the area you will be working in.
Time to Experiment
This are just the basics, and you’ll find plenty more information online should you like to explore lighting techniques further. The key thing to understand though, is that any of the above techniques are financially accessible to families on a budget. You don’t have to buy ludicrously priced bulbs. Some decent quality ones from Bright Lightz will be just fine.
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You may also enjoy my post on lighting trends in 2020