We’ve all experienced it. That feeling that something isn’t quite right about a shop, a restaurant, maybe even a friend’s house. Perhaps there was a weird vibe, or the atmosphere just wasn’t as relaxing as you’d expected. We tend not to dwell on such impressions, and get on with life. But if we did, what would we find? Surprisingly often, our impressions were a reaction to being in a poorly lit space.
Lighting has a powerful effect on the atmosphere of a place, which in turn influences how we feel, think and behave. Brightly lit places are energising in some circumstances and utterly soul-less in others, while low-level lighting can be romantic in one setting, dreary in another. Getting the lighting right in your home can be tricky; it’s much easier to identify when it’s just plain wrong!
Creating a lighting layout which works for your home requires time and thought, but with a few key principles taken from the field of lighting design, the challenge is made much simpler. Lighting experts describe a well-lit room as being composed of three distinct layers —