DECORATIVE AND ACCENT LIGHTING

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Throwing pools of gentle light in different corners of the room is a great space-enhancer, and there are many styles of lamp available that will do just that. Highlighting tall areas of the room, such as a ceiling rose or covering, can make a place seem larger simply by emphasizing the height. Using accent lighting to highlight a painting or sculpture leads the eye away from the confines of the room, and highlighting plants, especially at night so that they are silhouetted against a darker part of the room, can be amazingly effective.
 
MOOD LIGHTING
 
  • Pools of light don’t necessarily give much illumination to see by but can fundamentally alter the atmosphere in a room.
  • The ubiquitous Chinese paper lampshade, which has helped so many central ceiling fitments to diffuse the light and appear more pleasant, has now taken on many different sculptural forms.
  • In a child’s bedroom opaque lamps in the form of friendly animals can light a corner of the room and take the edge off the dark.
  • Traditional table-lamp bases with shades that allow a glow of light through and cast the light downwards may not be bright enough to read by, but they give a serene and atmospheric glow in different areas of a room.
  • Watching television in the dark is tiring for the eyes but watching in very bright light makes the picture lees clear. You should be able to switch off the main lights and rely on a number of low mood lights instead. However, make sure they do not reflect in the TV screen.
 
HIGHLIGHTING ARCHITECTURAL FEATURES
 
  • Highlighting architectural features will lead the eye through and give a spacious feel.
  • A small room will seem larger if the interior is flooded with soft light from wall lights or lights shining downwards.
  • Cove and cornice lighting, with specially designed fitments that run under the cornice, give a soft and gentle light that blurs the boundaries of a room.
  • Highlight an alcove by concealing one or more lights in the arch or ceiling above it.
 
HIGHLIGHTING PICTURES AND OBJECTS
 
  • Picture light are attached to individual works and are most practical for lighting pictures no taller than 61cm, otherwise the bottom of tall pictures can remain unlit. They do bring a picture to life and, if the rest of the room is not too bright, greatly diminish any "enclosed" feeling.
  • An adjustable spotlight recessed into the ceiling can spread a board beam of light over a large painting.
  • Sculptures and bowls or vases can be lit with a spot lamp from below or above.
  • Plants with architectural foliage look spectacular lit from below. But remember that plants need daylight in order to flourish. If there is limited light, use special "daylight" bulbs to ensure the plants receive enough ultraviolet light.
  • Books are very seductive, so use wide-angle spot lamps to light a bookcase from an angle, thus emphasizing the effects of shadow and texture.
  • Glass objects on glass shelves can be lit from underneath with low-voltage tungsten-halogen spotlights, or from behind with tiny, wall-mounted fluorescent strips to diffuse light through a translucent screen of semi-opaque glass or muslin
 
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