This post is not about light fixtures per se, but rather it is about uses and qualities of lighting.
From a useability perspective, lighting is as important as how your space is laid out and used. You need the right amount of the right kinds of light in the right areas at the right time.
Types of lighting fall into the following categories:
The “everywhere” or “background” lighting of the general area. Although this next statement is somewhat vague (and applies to all forms of lighting) ambient lighting must be not too bright and not too dim.
When the ambient lighting is too bright, it both causes eye strain and cast shadows which makes a well lit area seem not well lit (our brains deceive us).
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So how do you do ambient lighting effectively?
You use “soft” lighting and do not directly shine on the room, but rather you direct it at the walls and ceiling where it scatters creating the softer effect. Or you shine it through an opaque piece of glass, which also creates the desired scattering.
LED bulbs are now producing better quality light and are a very good choice for ambient lighting. I personally consider ambient lighting to be very important and have been known to spend $20 a bulb for grow lights (from hydroponic shops) because they produce the best quality of light, but some consider this to be overkill.
The next post discusses accent lighting and task lighting.
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