Quick tips on how to light a room

Is your room well lit? You might not know for sure if your room is well lit, but you will definitely recognize the symptoms that you’ve got bad lighting: sore eyes, headaches, frustration of not being able to see what you are doing in the room and so on. If you recognize these symptoms, it means it is time to improve your lighting and make the room more comfortable and welcoming. Here are some quick tips on how to light a room.

1. Consider room location and natural light.

The angle and quality of natural light coming into a room can enhance or lower the aesthetic and lighting aspect of any room. So, pay attention to the room location and natural light when planning and deciding how to light a room.

  • North facing rooms

North facing rooms receive sunlight that is usually cold and harsh rather than direct. If you have a room that receives this kind of light, consider turning it into an art studio where applicable as you will get great light that gives truer colour renditions.

  • South facing rooms

South facing rooms get warm natural light all day, although the light changes throughout the day and during the different seasons of the year. If you have a room that receives this kind of light, consider turning it into the main living area or other room where you spend more time in to enjoy the warm light.

  • West facing rooms

West facing rooms get a lot of sunlight at the hottest part of the day and you might even experience glare. However, late in the afternoon, the room receives softer light and long shadows. Use artificial lighting to maximise available light and to control glare in these rooms.

  • East facing rooms

East facing rooms get bright light early in the morning followed by long shadows and low sun later in the day. Here too you might need to use artificial lighting to maximise available light and to control glare.

Using artificial lighting to light a room

There are two key things you need to keep in mind when lighting up a room using artificial lighting:

  • Diversify your lighting

If the available lighting fixtures aren’t providing adequate light in the room, the easiest thing to do is install a new source of light that is completely different from the existing light source. For example, you can add a wall sconce or table lamp in a room lit solely by recessed downlights. Try and incorporate at least three distinct light sources in each room where applicable to provide more light to the room.

  • Incorporate reflective accents

Another fairly easy thing to do when correcting a poorly-lit room is to introduce reflective elements into the room. For example, you can paint your walls white to reflect and amplify available light and or hang a large mirror on the wall to reflect light and brighten the room.

The take away

The take away on how to light a room is to pay attention to the kind of natural light your room gets and choose a flexible lighting scheme that blends well, takes care of your lighting needs and adds to the aesthetic value of the room. You will know your room is well lit when everyone looks their best in it and also feel relaxed and comfortable, even though they might not immediately know why they feel that way.

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