Ambient light fills a room. It bounces off ceilings and walls to fill a space. If you have one light in the centre of your roof, this is its purpose. It does not shine directly at anything, and if you have a dimmer switch installed, can be adjusted to change the feeling of the whole room. Installing large mirrors reflects a lot of light, and they can be effectively used to amplify and disperse light.
When installing light fixtures, ambient light is the first type to consider. The bulb needs to provide enough light to sufficiently fill the room, and in areas such as hallways or very large rooms, one light will not be enough. In order to light a hallway consistently, strip lighting is often used. It can be hidden in recesses near, or in the ceiling, so that a soft glow unobtrusively fills the space.
Task lighting brightly illuminates a specific area to allow you to see clearly. A task light can be installed almost anywhere you need a bit of extra light, like above a bed for reading, in the study, on either side of the bathroom mirror, or in a dark wardrobe or pantry. Floor lights highlight great architecture and also create ambiance. They are particularly useful on stairs where their light provides a safe and subtle illumination of the steps in an otherwise dark house.
One of the most popular places for task lighting is the kitchen. A well-lit work space is essential for enjoying meal preparation! Because a bench is usually a long, thin space, strip lighting works well here. A series of downlights can also evenly illuminate the kitchen bench and splashback without casting shadows or looking patchy. For great ambient light in the kitchen try placing fluorescent lights on top of the cabinets to bounce light off the ceiling without themselves being seen.
Decorative lighting adds style and sophistication to a home. A well-chosen light fixture can tie together a design concept, or even become the focal point of a room. Chandeliers are an obvious example of decorative lighting, and look great in a room with a high ceiling, or other large space. Another option for high ceilings is wall lights, which will help to disperse ambient light throughout the room.
On trend are pendant lights and bare bulbs. Both types are popular in the industrial style. Pendant lights look great when suspended from a high ceiling, or above a kitchen counter or dining table. Bare bulbs are being used everywhere to create a vintage look. Visual interest is created by tying knots in the cords, or hanging the bulbs in clusters. When choosing decorative lights to add style to your home consider painting the walls or recesses around them dark to add drama.