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    Often, people have a tendency to view lighting as an afterthought — something functional, rather than something that can be styled like the rest of a home’s interior.

    However, the truth is, that lighting is an important aspect of interior design and it can have an effect on the overall feel of your home. With that in mind, we’ve listed some lighting trends as well as ways to improve the lighting in your home. Read on below to learn more.

    Know your lighting options

    First and foremost, there are a few different types of lighting that you can choose from when designing a room’s lighting plan. They are ambient lighting, accent lighting, and task lighting. Here is a brief explanation of how each kind of lighting should be used.

    • Ambient lighting: In interior design, ambient lighting is generally seen as the foundational lighting for the space. Typically, this light comes from the ceiling, either through recessed lights or hanging light fixtures.
    • Accent lighting: Next, accent lighting is used to draw the eye to a particular focal point in the room. Wall sconces and track lights are common examples of accent lighting.
    • Task lighting: Lastly, task lighting refers to a smaller, more concentrated form of light. As the name suggests, this type of lighting is there to help you see when you’re performing specific tasks. For instance, under-mount light in the kitchen is an example of task lighting.

    Aim for at least two layers of light

    Now that you know more about what types of lighting are available to you, the next step is to learn how to use it properly. In interior design, developing a lighting plan is all about layering. Here, your goal should be to use at least two of the three types of lighting for each room in your home.

    First, focus on ambient lighting. Ambient lighting is the base of every room’s lighting plan. Ideally, each room should have enough ambient lighting to help you use the room functionally without needing to add any other light sources. However, it should also be soft enough to not cause a harsh glare.

    Then, add in your accent and task lighting. accent lighting should go around all of the rooms’s focal points, like a fireplace, dining table, or bed. Meanwhile, task lighting should go in any areas where you think that you will be doing work that could strain your eyes. For example, you should put task lighting next to the chair where you read and above your kitchen island so that you can see when you’re preparing meals.

    Unify your light bulbs

    Once you understand the lighting basics listed above, creating a great lighting plan becomes about the small details. In particular, it’s important to make sure to unify your light bulbs. Doing so will give you your home and a cohesive look.

    With that in mind, go through your home and change out each of the light bulbs. If you don’t already have a favorite type of light bulb, consider going for a 2,700-3000 kelvin option, which is often advertised as “warm white.” This type of lighting gives your home a warm and inviting look.

    Many interior designers recommend that you stay away from lighting options that fall higher up on the color-temperature scale. Lights with a bluer hue — which are usually advertised as “daylight bubs” — have a tendency to look too harsh in indoor settings.

    Invest in dimmer switches

    Next, consider investing in some dimmer switches. Dimming the lights gives you more control over the ambiance in a room. It also allows you to accommodate the different levels of lighting that you’ll get from your windows at varying times of the day.

    Keep in mind that the type of lightbulb you use will also influence whether or not you have the ability to dim the lights. If you’re using incandescent light bulbs, any dimmer should work. However, if you’re using an LED or CFL light bulb, make sure that the light bulbs you’re buying are dimmable. Additionally, check to see that the switch you’re using works with that type of bulb.

    Do a lighting check

    Lastly, do a lighting check before you consider the lighting in your home complete. Truthfully, this is simply an exercise to ensure that the lighting in your home is usable and that there are no missing areas. For example, people often forget to light the corners of their homes.

    When in doubt, it’s better to have more lighting than less. There is no saying that you have to use every light that you have in a room. However, it’s nice to have the option of turning a light on when you need it.

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