Looking to create a flattering glow yet still have enough wattage to read and do other tasks? These room-by-room tips will illuminate your way.
Lighting a room seems easy enough: plug in a LED light, flip a switch, and voilà! What was once dark is now bright. But today’s home is more than just a place to relax – it can also be place to work, cook, read, and watch TV, so it calls for functional lighting (a.k.a. task lighting) to accommodate these various tasks. Since your home is where you spend the bulk of your time, it’s important that the space is designed just right, especially when it comes to task lighting. Read on to see our advice – your eyes will thank you.
The Living Room – The Heart of the House
When you curl up on the couch to enjoy a good book or finish a crossword puzzle, a nearby lamp will improve the activity.
Since living rooms have no specific purpose (unlike a kitchen or a bathroom), it’s important to have lighting that can sufficiently illuminate whatever activities take place there. It could be reading, watching TV, etc. The best way to achieve this is to strike the right balance between these three must-have types of lighting — natural, overhead, and task.
One source of light could be sunlight coming through a window. Next, you should have an overhead lamp that fills the whole room with light. Since there are usually no workstations or productivity desks in the living room, specified areas of comfort and relaxation directly trail the spots that can be taken by our task lighting.
Ideally, it could be anywhere, so long as the light radiates on your side or behind you, tilted a bit downwards for diffusive effect. A reading nook for example, perfectly describes the task lighting profile that we need for a living room. LED lights of such configuration are usually separated in a spot that provides an optional, “I want to do something here” focal point.
Keep in mind though, that task lighting is but an optimization tool. If you can get by configuring natural light to work the same way, then by all means, make it your higher priority.
The Bedroom – Where Privacy Holds Supremacy
Above all else, your bedroom should be your sanctuary where you can flop on top of your fluffy duvet and snuggle under the covers to let your stress slip away. One might then think that LED light, or even task lighting in general, is of little significance here.
But with space at a premium in modern homes, bedrooms have evolved from simple slumber zones into multi-functional rooms that can be tricky to illuminate. If your bedroom doubles up as a reading place or a dressing room, carefully-placed task lighting could be the answer.
If you are an avid reader, swing-arm wall lamps are the way to go. Mount two sconces on each side of the bed – this way you can read in bed without disturbing your partner.
Keep in mind that bedside lamps should be the correct height. When you sit up in bed, you want the LED light to shine on the pages you are reading, but not hit you square in the eye. A good test is to see if the bottom of the shade is just above your shoulder height.
The Home Office – Productivity at its Brightest
Okay, maybe not all homes have offices. Otherwise, task lights are undoubtedly the most essential part of your home office or study area. Whether you work from home or just use your study space for reading, the area should be illuminated well enough to make reading and writing easy; poor lighting can cause eye strain and glare.
Since most of us have to put up with plenty of focus-intensive tasks in the home office, it’s best to have a dedicated task lighting for each. An adjustable-arm desk lighting – like an anglepoise – is an excellent choice and can put light exactly where you need it.
Keep It Indirect
A great general rule of thumb – LED lights should be set at a height around your chin. This way, there is zero chance that you would ever look straight at its source, so reading over documents or balancing your accounts doesn’t put a strain on your eyes.
A Game of Glare and Shadow
Where you place your task lighting is critical in avoiding irritating glare and distracting shadows. For instance, a bright source of lighting behind you will almost certainly create annoying glare on your computer screen and cause your eyes discomfort.
To avoid unintended shadows created by task lamps, place the light on the side opposite from your dominant hand – if the task lighting is set off on the same side, your hand and arm may cast shadows as you write.
It’s All About the Brightness
It’s important to note that paperwork activities require a higher light level than computer work. This means that most of us when at our computers ought to consider turning down the task lighting.
Choosing a desk lamp with dimmer switch is a quick and easy way to set the scene, depending on the time of day and task at hand. Try out this adjustable LED Desk Lamp from TaoTronics, as you can adjust it to meet whatever lighting needs you may have.
Being able to work from home can be a blessing or a curse. It can take following a few rules and guidelines to get the task lighting in your home correct, and these should get you started in the right direction.