For interiors, all lighting fits into one of three main categories: ambient, task and accent. Most rooms use a mixture of lighting types and mix the three to create visual interest and meet the functional needs of the space.
Ambient lighting: flat all-over illumination bright enough to allow people to move about safely and perform simple tasks. It can be achieved by lighting the lower part of the room (direct lighting), or by reflecting light off the ceiling and upper half of the room (indirect lighting), or with recessed ceiling lights.
Task lighting: Lamps light the lower part of the room that makes it possible to read your mail, your book, your Kindle, you or the kids can do homework. There should be some ambient lighting so the room does not have dark holes, and the kids don’t fall face down on their homework. Yawn . . .
Accent lighting: For enhancing artwork, an architectural feature, a sculpture, but If the space is lit only by accent lighting, there will be hot spots and glare. Proper ambient (general) light will soften the lighting so your eyes do not tire.
Uplights – there are wide choices
In addition, reflecting light upward off the ceiling and upper walls tends to give a room a spacious feeling and soften shadows on objects and faces. It can be attained with hanging pendants that direct light upward, wall sconces, or freestanding torchiere-style floor lamps.
Dimmers give you a way to control how much light is dispersed. Just remember the basics, the three ways to light a space. Depending on the mood you want to create, you can vary how you disperse the light. To avoid glare on a shiny surface, such as a glossy magazine, light coming from one or both sides or slightly behind of the work reduces glare. Light will reflect back at you if the light is directly in front of you on the book, etc.
Kitchen ambient lighting
The kitchen is a perfect place to demonstrate the three basics of lighting. The way we live today, most kitchens see us cook, entertain, watch TV, do schoolwork, teach, do your bills, and . . . have a glass of wine. So, you need good flat general overhead illumination, under cabinet lighting for specific tasks, like dicing vegetables or reading a recipe or doing bills. If you were to have art on the walls in the kitchen, as some collectors do, recessed accent lights would enhance the art and add reflected light to the space.
Kitchen task lighting
Candles as accent lights
Candles add mood to any space, and even the battery operated candles work, they are fun and safe. Now there are remotes for them. Check out Pier One. Remember . . . for all spaces, a combination of strategies works best.
If you have a room that needs light, use the basics to light it up.
What is your favorite type of lighting? What kind of space do you have that would take any of this lighting?
This article includes excerpts or adaptations from Best Practices Guide to Residential Construction, by Steven Bliss, courtesy of Wiley & Sons.
Hiding in her room, she shivered knowing she was soon to be convicted of thievery. A crime by the government of France against the people of France.
Marie Antoinette 1783 Portrait
Is the crime one of this regime, Louis XVI and his Lass, or is it a crime of near bankruptcy through the opulence of their predecessors, Louis XIV and Louis XV? The crime of taking the taxes of the people to buy the latest fashions and furnishings for the kings and queens of France. Louis and Marie were young and foolish, he fifteen, she fourteen when they married.
Louis XVI Portrait
After donning the crown in 1774, they built monuments to themselves, imported porcelain, had fabrics woven to their specifications, cabinetry designed and created by the high paid Ebénisters (high-grade cabinet makers). The economy spiraled downward (unemployment in Paris in 1788 is estimated at 50%), crops failed, the price of bread and other food soared. The people were not happy. To top it off, Louis had the misfortune to marry a foreigner, the Austrian Marie Antoinette. The anger of the French people, fueled by xenophobia, targeted Marie as a prime source of their problems. Le Petit Trianon at Versailles was fashioned and furnished for Marie, Louis’ Lass, in the Neoclassical style.
Neoclassical - end of Rococo's curves of the past
A style eliminating the curves of the past. You can identify a Louis XVI chair easily by the typical chair leg. It is straight with fluting and rosette in a square on the top corner of the leg. Although these chairs pictured here, are dark, furniture of the period is often painted white, and upholstered in needlepoint, silk, damask, and velvet upholstery.
Occasionally chair backs have wood carvings of various motifs like garlands and ribbons.
This furniture took the skill of many talented Ebénisters. Costs were high. The money used did not belong to royalty. Louis and his lass lost their heads for robbing the people.
If you want to buy a chair in this style, would you know what to look for? Can you identify the rosette in the square on the top of the leg?
…History says it takes a village, an army, the world to save the planet. Devastation of the earth
is happening at an alarming rate. After lifetimes of disposing, denigrating and devastating our waterways, our parks, our forests, we, as a human race, are reviewing and working on mending our ways. Hopefully. Are we getting smarter? Are we learning about greening our planet? Oil spills into our ocean, rivers, lakes, wildlife kills in our parks, desecrating our rain forests.
And what about air pollution? What formations do you see in the clouds, the sky, the flowers. Pollution affects cloud formation. In the case of aerosol pollutants, if the air pollutants reflect the sun’s light, the cloud cover increases. If they absorb it, cloud growth is stunted. Look at the cloud masses.
In the 70’s we tried to get industries to stop filling the air with the end products of mass production. And for awhile, a short while, manufacturers stopped the smoke, the ground fill, the medical waste. Who is in control, the government, the people, commerce? It always seems to boil down to the who gets the mega money.
What do the once beautiful waterways, parks and forests look like to you?
Polar bear walking in water
The ice the polar bears walked on to find fish is melting. Now they have to swim for their dinner, or starve, or become vegan.
Mother of two cubs in snow
Oil around rig
Oil floats around a rig at the site of the Deepwater Horizon oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico. Photograph: Jae C. Hong/AP.
The White House says the BP oil spill is probably the greatest environmental disaster the US has faced, but the true impact on surrounding ecosystems could take years to emerge. Experts say the unprecedented depth of the spill, combined with the use of chemicals that broke the oil down before it reached the surface, pose an unknown threat.
How would you express your views on “Place and Politics” as an artist, a writer, a philosopher, from your life/your travels?