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Setting the Mood with Lighting

There's nothing like a candlelit dinner or the flicker of a roaring fire, or even the uplifting strobe lighting of a nightclub or even the sun pouring in the window.

Lighting can have a profound effect on our moods and can help us to relax or invigorate us. We can easily recreate this mood enhancing effect with a few simple and innovative lighting ideas. From as little as a few pounds to thousands, it is possible to do it in your own home.

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There are so many different lighting products out there today that it would be impossible to list them all, but they do come in a few general categories.

  • General ambient lighting – the simple bulb hanging from the ceiling or wall. It can be shaded or not. Generally this form of lighting can be rather harsh, although soft light bulbs are available.
  • Task lighting – a lamp or bulb directed at an area where you work. A desk lamp is a good example. The light is concentrated and offers strong light suitable for illuminating your task.
  • Accent lighting – this type of light, usually fixed to a wall or pointing toward an object, is designed to highlight certain areas. The lights you see above paintings in art galleries are a good example.

These types of lighting can now be split into different methods of achieving them;

  • Downlights –These point from the ceiling down to the floor, casting light across a wide area. This type of light can be quite harsh, but a way of avoiding glare is to keep them on a dimmer and adjust depending on the time of day or other lighting being used in the room.
  • Uplights – These point in an upwards direction causing the light to reflect off the ceiling. This can avoid the glare of the downlight.
  • Recess lighting – Set into the ceiling or walls, these lights are incredibly popular in our minimalist homes these days. Usually sitting flush with the ceiling, they can be directed individually to different points. Each one offers lower energy usage and gives the home owner a chance to place lights all over the ceiling rather than one standard light in the centre.
  • Lamps – There are so many choices in this category that eventually it just comes down to taste. From the tall uplighters to the lava lamp, they are ideal for creating a soft light in a small area. Used on their own or alongside other forms of lighting they are perfect for recreating a relaxed and cosy feeling in the home.

So you can light your home in a myriad of ways and the best thing about lights is that they are completely adjustable depending on your mood. You could even turn them all off and indulge in a little bit of candlelight and a glass of wine. What better way to wind down after a long and brightly lit day?