Without light, we’d be living in complete darkness. Decor, paint colors would be meaningless without light. Before we go into types of light, let me introduce you to Lord Kelvin, he is well known for defining the color temperature. Color temperature is the appearance of a light source. On a scale from 1000k to 10,000k, Lower color temperature displays a warmer tone while higher color temperature displays a cooler tone. Most residential settings use light range from 2500k – 4000k and commercial settings use a wider range from 2000k (Coffee shop) to 6000k (retail location). You may also seen the word lumens when passing by the light section of a hardware store. Lumens control the brightness of the light, the higher the lumens the brighter it is.
Technical aside, there are three types of lighting we typically see in a home. Primary light, complimentary light, and decor light.
Most primary lighting is ambient light. The core function illuminates the entire room when turning on. These are the flush mount you see at the entranceway, or the pot light you see in the kitchen. Primary light will also set the tone of the house. If you are looking for a home that is more cozy and warm, you would want to have your primary light set up around 3000k and walls and floor in warm color (yellow tone) as well. European minimalistic design homes can use 4000k neutral lights with wall and floor colors in a neutral tone (grey tone). For a space that is dedicated for display artwork or high ceiling, 5000k and above are recommended. The last tip is if your home has a dedicated movie or TV area, we recommend adding dimmer to the lights in these areas. After deciding on the light, the distance of the light fixture will also impact results. Each light fixture should be 3-5 ft apart based on the luminosity of the fixture.
Complimentary light is also known as task lighting. Task lighting is used to increase luminosity in an area. Under-cabinet lighting in the kitchen, recess lighting on the stairs, or pendant light above the kitchen island are all considered complementary lighting. When selecting complementary lighting, you have to consider how it’s been used. Take under cabinet light for example, we a customer using it as night lights in the kitchen for grabbing a snack, 4000k neutral light works well for this purpose. Another client use the under cabinet light to enhance food coloring during preparing, we would recommend 3000k for this purpose as the yellow tone can help with appetite. The staircase on the hand are mostly 2700k dimmed yellow light as these are like the stars in the night sky. It’s more as a decor in the setting.
Decor lights are also known as a spotlight or accent lighting. These light are used to put a focus on certain objects such as painting or photo. Decor light can also use to add personality to a room. Take a wall decorated with wallpaper, for example, putting decor on a wallpapered wall may disturb the consistency of wallpaper and it won’t look as good. Instead, have a hallway of focus lighting can help accent out the wall and the decor light fixture itself is enough for decoration.