Lighting a home is one of the elements gaining specific weight over recent years and that, should be taken into consideration since the architecture studio. Knowing how to play with natural light and combining it with the new electric light technologies makes the difference between enjoying a warm or, by contrast, an extremely cold stay.
We all are aware that illumination activates emotions and therefore, we must pay attention on how we manage and generate light in our home. Aspects such as temperature, color, power, directivity, etc., should be taken into account, if possible, with the help of a professional and in a planned manner.
Assuming it is very important to enhance natural light, taking advantage of large windows conveniently oriented, it is necessary to consider what to do with artificial light.
The first three questions we should ask ourselves are:
- What do we want to illuminate? The importance of the space to illuminate is basic, being very different a task space from a living room.
- How do we want to illuminate it? Depending on whether we look for a functional light or, simply, an ambient light, we will resort to different devices and techniques.
- What devices we will use? We can choose from different options, from a simple single lighting to a group or, giving a twist, together, combining different layers of light.
Layers of lighting
We can group the light layers into three large types. Ambient lighting is the most basic layer of lighting, fills the area with a comfortable level of illumination, and is the base on which other layers of light are added.
We can achieve this lighting with typical floor lamps or wall sconces. The goal of this ambient lighting is to provide even, overall lighting, the shadows of furniture and other objects are projected with hardness on the wall.
Secondly, if what we want is to have a task area, we can resort to a more specific type of lighting on this general base. It is important to combine both, supplements the ambient lighting because if not when we are out of the radius of the task area (or reading, crafts, etc.) the contrasts will be too hard.
Finally, the accent light brings added visual interest to a room by creating different focal points and provides an artistic touch to spaces. Obviously, we will shy away from symmetrical approaches, such as hanging lamps in the center of the room, using it to highlight a special corner of the room or a table of the guests.
The LED revolution
Undoubtedly, LED technology has made a great difference in recent years. The quick evolution, even integrating the current transformer, has been up to the expectations when reached the market. The first consequence of this is that the dimensions have been dramatically reduced as it has increased its power.
The versatility of a lamp or LED lighting system is absolute, providing freedom when adopting sculptural forms, integrating perfectly into ceilings and walls, going unnoticed.
In addition, this technology combines solvency with domotic spaces, allowing remote control through mobile devices –such as smart phones- with very simple and intuitive software.
Within this revolution, OLED appears on the scene, with a range of possibilities still needed to be explored and an exclusive article will be devoted. It is a new source of lighting even more versatile than LED, due to its low temperature it is already integrated, even in furniture. It is another element to play with and, is more energy-efficient.