Lighting and its many facets can raise a living space from beautiful to mesmerizing. Whether the effect is soft & subtle or all-out dazzling, illumination is as integral to space as is the décor. Designers have an arsenal of tools at their disposal when it comes to crafting a perfect lighting design scheme. Assessing the uses, sizes, and natural light levels in each room, a flawless lighting plan can be curated to meet even the most demanding of requirements. One of the key aspects of a good lighting scheme is to allow the personality of the owner to shine through it and add zing to the space they inhabit.
Lighting is often an afterthought for many people. Even though it is an important part of building the overall mood and aesthetic of a place, lighting aspects are often swept under the rug. Moreover, lighting also serves as a highly functional element in any household. There needs to be cohesiveness between the lighting used and the different functions of a room. It is essential that we address having proper lighting, especially in the winter days, as days get shorter and there is a greater emphasis placed on the functionality and use of indoor lighting.
An open-plan space consisting of a living, a dining and a kitchen layout needs to have several different circuits of lighting that includes a mix of LED spots and low-level floor washers, LED under cupboard task lights, and mains voltage lamp light to create depth and texture in the space.
Different rooms and spaces have different requirements. For instance, a utility room is well served with glare free compact fluorescent. On the other hand, in spaces where we do tasks, like studying or working, or even cooking, we need to have task lighting in order to provide adequate levels of illumination to ensure that the work is being done safely. It should provide enough illumination so as to see the flaws in the canvas or the textures. Relaxing zones like the bedroom need to have dim and diffused lighting, as excessive light at night, from lighting fixtures or even technological devices can harm the natural circadian body rhythms and even lend a contributing hand in exacerbating sleep disorders. Rohit Suraj, CEO & Principal Designer at Urban Zen shared with SURFACES REPORTER (SR) the different types of lighting for every room in the house. Take a glance:
Flushed Wooden Ceiling Lights For Dining Area
The use of wood as represented with the flushed wooden ceiling lights and suspended artisanal wood adds a touch of whimsy to this glossy dining arrangement at ‘Dancing with Nature’ by Urban Zen. The flushed wooden ceiling light is a great option to provide lighting for a common family area such as the dining room, without being overwhelming while providing adequate amounts of light. This type of light can provide enough ambient light while setting a distinguishing tone for the overall aesthetic of the room, building upon the existing elements. Here, a marble tabletop balanced on the top of a honeycomb structured design and brass-finished lounge-style seating serves as a focal point. The linear timber segment wall cladding with sophisticated muted furniture promotes a sense of space and harmony.
Ambient Lighting for Living Area
The goal of ambient lighting is to supply even light to an overall area. This is most frequently accomplished with recessed lighting or a gorgeous chandelier. This living area has a stunning chandelier by San Souci -’Aurora’ which is in many ways a piece of art. Ensuring a safe and easy passage of traffic, ambient lighting is the go-to option to illuminate common and public spaces like the living room. Here, the “Aurora” chandelier has each pendant that consists of two parts, a hand-blown crystal-clear drop with soda effect inside and a hand-blown crystal clear cap with the silver nano-coating finish. The light sources are programmed to exude different colored fans, rays, or drapes, imitating the fascinating phenomenon that originates in polar areas and is very rare in our latitudes. Staying true to its name of emulating the Aurora Borealis, it is breathtaking to behold, as the light reflects and refracts from this chandelier, creating a beautiful display of colorful shards of light.
Uplighting or Wall Sconces for Softer Ambience
The lighting preferences should be sorted during the initial design phase of a new build or renovation project. There is more to lighting than just deciding how many downlights to put in each room. Depending on the location, wall sconces or uplighting can be put to use to create a softer ambiance and avoid potentially harsh downlighting that can cast unappealing shadows. In addition to having a softer source of light like the wall sconces, it is important that natural light should also be in the mixture to provide the perfect warm and inviting ambiance to any room. The neutral color palette of the rooms makes it seem more open and comfortable, thus playing into the illusion of creating a larger space.
Recessed lighting is a great way to add spice to any room. It can easily be combined with the wall sconces, LED lights, or pendant lighting. Recessed lighting is a great option for anybody looking to add style and function into a space, without being overwhelming or unobtrusive. It will be great if recessed lighting is used in the combination with natural light - such in this case. As this room has ample of natural light coming in through the windows, recessed lights will add to the overall look of the room while maintaining a low profile and not being over the top. Lastly, a linear arrangement of the lights draws attention to the high ceiling of the room, which provides a great overall ambient lighting.
Cove Lighting for Staircase
Staircases are places where it is important to have adequate lighting. However, staircases are also tricky to illuminate since they are also an area that serves as an architectural design statement. It would be remiss if we simply used task lighting to illuminate the space. It will downplay the architectural elements of the staircases, even though it will make it safe for people to move. A good alternative to task lighting for the staircases are the use of cove lighting. The staircase in ‘Overlapping Volumes’ highlights the character of the Sefar (Brass mesh I layer) glass. The unique finish on the wall behind amplifies the depth of the staircase and ceiling. These lighting fixtures on the staircase wall fuses beauty and geometry within the designed lighting system. This type of lighting infuses chic and elegant design elements into space, amplifying its design elements while not compromising on the safety of its users.
When thinking about pendant lights, the first thought that comes to mind is its versatility. They can be used to provide a uniform source of light or it can be used to give a more directed light. These pendant lamps are from the Algorithm collection of Vibia. The array consists of configurations of spheres of LED light suspended at different heights and attached to the ceiling via a floating tubular structure. It is an individual wall lamp that has a Blown-glass finish. Its timeless sphere of the light evolves towards the organic. Slightly flattened like the shape of the Earth, it gives off a warm and adjustable light. In this dining room, the pendant lights are supplemented by the cove and panel lighting, making the pendants a primary lighting source, while others are supplying additional light to it. Brass murals and light pendants from Roberto Cavali add flawless finishing touches to the gorgeous dining space.
Lighting along a series of pendants is often known as track lighting. It lends a rustic and industrial charm to any room or office, and is best suited for furnishings and surfaces made of marble, concrete, or leather. Track lighting is a great way to boost the morale and motivation of the inhabitants, and is also a great way to provide illumination to the working space. It can be seen as the modern alternative to task lighting. That being said, track lighting is a great way to create a more relaxed and informal aura in the office, making both the clients and their guests more relaxed.
Beautiful wood panelling along with gorgeous concrete walls and floor characterizes this bathroom. A rustic and industrial look is given to the bathroom. Having backlighting in the wood paneling behind the toilet, gives it a modern chic and artsy look, adding to its level of sophistication. These types of light act as accent pieces for the bathroom, giving it a visual gravity and a focal point. The showering region of the bathroom has ceiling lights to properly illuminate the region so that the inhabitants can easily go about their regular business. In order to make them easier on the eyes and less harsh these lights are placed in one region as it will be able to light up other areas of the bathroom as well.
Sticking to the idea of having adequate lighting on the staircases to ensure safety of the users, the stairs leading to the main gate of the house have downlights that illuminate the steps. They give a sleek and a smooth look to the overall aesthetic of the house, taking it’s contemporary design to the next level. The steps leading to the garden have lights beneath the steps so a warm glow is emitted between the steps, which upgrades the look of the garden, making it look more royal. Instead of going with the traditional route of choosing garden lights, the designers have chosen panel lighting for the garden, which serves a dual purpose of illuminating the space while serving as a privacy barrier between this property and other areas. Lastly, they have simple and understated LED lighting fixtures attached to the exterior of the mansion, which simply does its function of lighting up the outer space during the night.
The Psychological Impact of Colour and Light
Various other factors like the colour of the light, the direction of the light, and the brightness of the light can have an impact on how we feel. For instance, brighter light can make us more energetic, however, low light can sustain the current emotion we are feeling. As mentioned before, blue or white light can have an adverse effect on the sleep patterns, whereas amber or red colored light will have the least amount of effect on the biological sleep patterns and even have some amount of positive influence on us. Lastly, the direct source of light on the eye level is more formal, but below eye level light leads to a creation of an informal atmosphere.
Taking all these elements into account will help build a better plan and result in a more cohesive lighting scheme. The main factors that need to be kept in mind while deciding the lighting scheme for a residential interior lie in its detail. The more information it imparts before embarking on the scheme, the better the lighting will be. Having an extensive idea about finishes, furniture layout, joinery details, and an understanding of how the house will flow, helps get the ideal lighting design in place.
Text and Image Courtesy: Rohit Suraj, CEO & Principal Designer at Urban Zen
Rohit Suraj, CEO & Principal Designer at Urban Zen
About Rohit Suraj
Rohit Suraj is the CEO and Founder of Hyderabad-based Urban Zen. He is also a TEDx speaker and has been awarded as one of the Top 50 Architects and Interior designers of 2019. Recently during the lockdown, he has added yet another feather to his illustrious cap & is now a Founding Member and the Lead Vocalist of the band SIRIUS. The lockdown gave him space & time to rediscover his passion for music & his love for performing, thus incepting SIRIUS. Interior Designer Rohit Suraj has been felicitated with a plethora of awards for his outstanding works.Keep reading SURFACES REPORTER for more such articles and stories.
Join us in SOCIAL MEDIA to stay updated
SR FACEBOOK | SR LINKEDIN | SR INSTAGRAM | SR YOUTUBE
Further, Subscribe to our magazine | Sign Up for the FREE Surfaces Reporter Magazine Newsletter
Also, check out Surfaces Reporter’s encouraging, exciting and educational WEBINARS here.
You may also like to read about:
Tips and Tricks to Light Up Your Home For Diwali
Modular lighting from Melogranoblu
Luxuriant Lighting Pieces Made with Handcrafted Brass Leaves
Inverted Lights by Lorenza-Bozzoli