Last week, I wrote about different types of lights and sources of light. This week, I am going to focus on how you put them together so that your home in Mexico will be relaxing, comforting and stress-reducing. For anyone who missed previous articles, you can catch up on the Vallarta Tribune website or the SOLutions Mexico website (www.solutionsmexico.com).
First, when placing your lighting fixtures, it is essential to remember that there is a difference between useful and aesthetic. For example, having a large reading lamp behind or beside your favorite spot on the sofa is primarily useful. Having a lamp on either side of your bed in your master bedroom is useful and aesthetic. When you are in the planning stages of furnishing your home, it is a good idea to identify not only where you want to light, but also whether you need it to be useful, aesthetic or both.
For rooms that you perform tasks in, such as the laundry room, closets or storage areas, your best bet is task lighting such as recessed or pot lights.
For all other rooms, a combination of ambient, task and accent lighting working together will create a fantastic effect. Interior designers use this approach to take a room from good to great. They use at least three different sources of light in every room. This creates multiple levels of interest and focus. In a dining room, in addition to a chandelier, add a couple of lamps to the buffet and a spotlight over a painting. In a living room, consider a low-set ceiling fixture, a table lamp, a floor lamp, and two wall sconces. This approach will give you options to create drama when you have guests over for dinner and switch to useful lighting for during the day.
Always start your plan by selecting ambient lighting, layer on accent lighting and then add task lighting.
A few other tips about lighting: most recessed or track lighting comes out of the box with wide flood light bulbs. Replace them with medium and narrow flood light bulbs and spotlights so that you can create a mood. Take one of the spotlights and shine it on a chair, décor items or artwork.
The bulb is what determines how much light is cast not the size of the lamp. Opaque or dark shades allow light to shine down on the table rather than out to light the room.
Whenever you can, opt for dimmers because they give you the most flexibility to change the mood you want to create in your room.
For those not sure about light bulb types, here are some options. Halogen is perfect for spotlights. LED lighting is best for task lighting, and compact fluorescent bulbs are best for table and floor lamps. Remember that the higher the Kelvin rating, the whiter and brighter the light will be. Between 2500 and 3500 will produce a pleasant mood.
Lighting fixtures are not easy to find in Mexico. If you would like some free lighting catalogs, email me at email@example.com