Do I have your attention? I can’t think of any example better to stress the importance of lighting than the iconic Lobmeyer crystal chandeliers at the Metropolitan Opera House in New York City. I think when the subject of lighting is brought up, our minds naturally tend to think of chandeliers, after all they are the center of attention in any room!
In both the above and below photos, the chandeliers probably caught your eye first, but I’d like to also point out that in each dining room there are a pair of lamps on the sideboards, because the best lighting practice in any room is a layered lighting plan. Rooms should have a variety of light sources, some overhead, and some at eye level or just below eye level, like sconces or table lamps. This is important because having light only overhead is not only unflattering lighting for the human face, it’s also hard on our eyes, so ambient lighting at eye level helps to “fill” a room out, and make the light soothing and more flattering. Be sure the overhead and the ambient lighting are on dimmers as well. Always better to have multiple low-level light sources rather than one bright light!
Rooms also need task lighting, ie, lights that have a job to specifically light a surface. Task lighting generally refers to lamps that illuminate a work area, like a desk lamp, but can also refer to a bedside reading lamp or as in the below photo, library sconces used to illuminate the spines of books (or anything, really).
In bedrooms particularly, it’s important to include multiple lighting sources. I prefer not to overly rely in overhead lighting, and instead have table lamps, floor lamps, and sconces placed anywhere someone might read a book, like at the sides of the bed and next to a chair. And, yes, even in the age of illuminated screens on phones and tablets, reading or task lighting to write a note or read a book is still a rule that must be followed!
There are so many creative and important ways to use lighting within a specific room, that I’ll have to revisit the subject in another post, maybe one devoted specifically to kitchens and baths, but in the meantime, I’ll leave you with this incredibly cool staircase and stair rail lighting combo. So dramatic!
For more lighting inspiration, please visit my “Light It Up” Pinterest board.