Wednesday, December 2, 2009

The importance of lights and shadows

Do you ever pay attention to the shadows in your house?
People fall in love with a lamp and don't realize that it is very important to evaluate a house not only starting from light but also from the shadows created by it. Without shadows everything appears artificial and shallow.
Imagine stairs totally white and a light strong and diffuse from above, almost no shadows. It could be hard to descend those steps but if it was lit creating shadows at each step it would be easier to manage. Solution: wall light with precise shadows at the end of each step or different color of woods or carpet on steps (best solution will be to hire a designer who will help to establish the best way of lighting a space).

The image below represents an extreme example, which can be terrific or...tragic!


a better example

In a bedroom instead we need less shadows, they need to be soft and imperceptible, a strong ceiling light will create too harsh shadows and take away feeling of relaxation and coziness, but an halogen lamp directed to the ceiling will lit it indirectly and it will reflect soft shadows, and of course table lamps (or wall mounted ones) will always create atmosphere.



Many mistakes are made in the use of lights, especially when we don't pay attention to the shadows they create, just think for a moment about a beautiful painting with a shadow projected on it by a nearby piece of furniture, we'll always see only half of the painting. Pity!


Another aspect of lighting is that sometimes when you cannot find a solution in furniture placement the problem can be solved giving each area a specific source of lighting, which can help in reorganizing the space based on functionality. The cone of light will help to concentrate our attention without our eyes looking all over to find a reference point.
On the contrary in a passage area it is best to have many lights of the same lower intensity distributed along the path.


Everyone knows this but I want to say it anyway:
Direct light: think about a sunny day
Diffuse light: think of sun filtered through clouds

We often need direct light on a table


and always direct light where we work

but we always need diffused light near a TV.

He will agree...!


Naturally rules can be broken and personal preference is also to be taken in consideration, but the right source of light will create a better space, not to mention atmosphere or the relax and take a nap!

Don't forget my "100th post giveaway"... to read the rules click here.

Images from Canadian House and Home and from House Beautiful, last image from Stock.


qerat said...

Great post about a very important often neglected area of design. The pictures are also beautiful.

Dumbwit Tellher said...

Thank you for this useful information. I am one of those that does not know the rules. I am aware that lighting makes the world of difference in a room & often think of my poor kitchen. It's nice but looks like a dark tunnel. Much to learn. Happy weekend to you ~

home before dark said...

As always the knowlege giver! Last picture shows dogs have different light requirements! I love the pool of light of incandescent bulbs. At 60, maybe I'll go before these are extinct! I detest can lights in ceilings. Looks like an airport landing strip. Lately experimenting with metallic ceilings (golden glazes) as a way to bounce light in an interesting way. That said, I am seriously considering painting the ceiling of my second floor landing black and the walls in black matte/satin stripe. There's a large wattage semiflush chandelier. It looks down onto front door with glass inserts and has borrowed light from two western facing rooms. I plan to put a collage of mirrors on the black walls, so not much black will show. Does this make your teeth ache? I think I show you exactly why you need to continue posting. We struggle with too much excitment and not enough knowledge!

Brillante Home Decor said...

Thanks Tareq for your kind comment.

Dumbwit, I don't know your real name but I know your blog and if you keep organizing magnificent Balls of course you have no time for your kitchen! Stay home Cinderella! or no, wait...actually go dance with the prince and enjoy, kitchen can wait!

Home before dark, you don't have a profile unfortunately (at least I am unable to find your blog) but I can tell you here that I like the idea of black, so dramatic and I can imagine the end result. Would you come out and show us te final picture?

Milka said...

I recently came accross your blog and have been reading along. I thought I would leave my first comment. I dont know what to say except that I have enjoyed reading. Nice blog. I will keep visiting this blog very often.


Artemide Tolomeo said...

Thanks for sharing your knowledge with us. I liked your work and appreciate the examples which you gave. It makes the things quite simpler and interesting to understand.

T E E said...

Dear Brillante!
I am Triyatni, an architecture lecturer from Indonesia. I like your blog because very useful. May I use your content in my book? Absolutely with your name inside.
Thank you for you attention.


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