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How to Select Light Fixtures that Delight and Soothe You

As we get closer to turning our clocks back, and we begin flipping more lights on at home, it’s time to think about how well the light in our favorite spaces surrounds us.

Are you squinting, because it is too bright? Are you leaning in, because it’s not bright enough? Does something feel OFF?

We believe that selecting the right light is a bit magical, as it can completely change the energy of a room.

Think of the spaces you love most–how are they lit? I am willing to bet that your favorite spaces (restaurant, shops, living rooms) have a few things in common. Let’s break down how to select light fixtures that delight AND soothe you!

LAYERED LIGHT

Whenever we are designing a space, we pay attention to the different layers of light. Generally, we like to have recessed cans, to offer bright, clean light when needed. Then we add sconces to light the walls, or art. Sometimes under cabinet lighting can have this same complementary effect. Lastly, we add floor and table lamps, to offer a glow that feels cozy. When you add all of these elements together, you find yourself in a room that is lit in an interesting way, with options that make you feel good any time of day or night.

Think about this: putting together a puzzle requires bright light, and we can achieve with well placed recessed cans. We may want some accent lighting to soften the room while we watch television, as sitting in the dark doesn’t always feel good. But when we rise first thing in the morning, bright just won’t do! A table lamp is a nice first greeting. I set mine on a timer, so my living room is ready for me, first thing!

SOFT LIGHT vs. COOL LIGHT

We notice that the tone light bulbs is often overlooked–and the simplest way to achieve more pleasant lighting. Sometimes we’ll walk into a home and notice that some of the bulbs are soft white, some are daylight, and each room feels different, based on the bulb. Something is off, but often our clients aren’t sure why. Here is a brief guide to the difference between soft light and cool light.

Think of light bulbs hues as a scale–they run on the following spectrum: warm, soft, neutral, cool, daylight. As designers, we have numbers associated with each value on the scale. For your home, just remember this: select Soft White.

This article about light bulb values breaks down the difference with a visual, but we really have one goal when working in a residential space: make it feel cozy and bright. Soft white feels good. Soft white (LED) is almost always our choice.

MUST HAVE: DIMMERS

The simplest trick in the lighting book is to add a dimmer. This small change can affect the whole vibe of a space. We put them on recessed cans, pendant lights, sconces, and anywhere else we can. Being able to adjust the light is important.

You want those recessed cans bright for your puzzle, but not always. They’ll gently light the space in the early evening, with a dimmer installed.

Dimmers are especially important for clear glass fixtures, that may expose your eye directly to a bulb. Sometimes you can select frosted bulbs that soften the light, but the best way to ensure you’ll love that sparkly glass chandelier is to put a dimmer on it. Just be sure that your bulbs are also rated to be use with a dimmer, or the switch will not work!

I would argue that pleasant lighting is essential for mental health. A combination of fixture styles impacts both the design, as well as the energy of a room and the importance of the selections cannot be overlooked!

Styleberry Creative Interiors specializes in fresh, relaxed design crafted in a meaningful way. With a team and process you can trust, we’ll help you create soul-soothing spaces that inspire you to unwind, connect, and finally… exhale.

Styleberry Creative Interiors is based in downtown San Antonio, Texas and serves clients in the Alamo Heights, Olmos Park, greater San Antonio Metropolitan area and Nationwide.

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