The best ways to light from above

Winter is upon us. The sun has gone into hibernation for the season and grey clouds have consumed the sky. We’re all craving warm and cosy environments, so finding clever ways to produce light indoors is a necessity over the coming months.

Gone are the days when simply screwing in a light bulb is sufficient. The endless choice of lighting styles, fixtures and accessories available from means you can creatively decorate a room with lighting that will produce a particular mood.

Well-designed rooms utilise many different types of lighting. Ceiling lighting is the most important because it forms the basis for illuminating the entire room. But this doesn’t mean simply installing down lights.

Lighting designers consider the distribution of light, the output a fitting will produce and the aesthetic appeal when creating new styles. They consider light as a dimension in a room. This is an important point to consider when selecting lighting. You can’t choose a light based purely on the look – the functionality has to be considered.

Overlapping different lighting styles will produce the best results for your room and will create depth and character. By combining ambient, task and accent lighting you can create a modern ceiling lighting design that evokes the perfect mood.

Ambient lighting

Ceiling lighting should provide the general light and create the ambience for a room. This will set the overall mood of the space. The type of ambient light to select depends on the style and size of the room. In a bathroom or hallway, fittings mounted flush to the ceiling work best, whereas in an office or garage, fluorescent lighting will illuminate the entire area. Pendant lights, which hang down from the ceiling, are best used in dining rooms.

Task lighting

Particular areas in a room need to be exceptionally well-lit to enable activities such as preparing food, shaving or reading a book. This is where task lighting, a highly concentrated type of lighting, is best used.  The kitchen is the most obvious area for this as bench tops need to be well lit to work as safe and functional cooking areas. Ceiling track lighting, where one or more spotlights are positioned on a track and focussed on a specific area in a room, are an easy and effective option.

Accent lighting

Defining the feel of a room is best achieved by using accent lighting. This form of lighting is not required to light an entire room, but used for highlighting particular items in a room like a painting, architectural feature or plant. Recessed lighting or track lighting is a simple way to achieve this.

By projecting different lights from your ceiling and combining all three lighting elements you can create a room with multiple layers and a warm feel to ward off the winter chills.