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It is better to light a small candle
than to curse the darkness."

Submitted By :
Yamini Soni
IInd Year (I. D.)
Lighting or illumination is the deliberate application of light to achieve some practical
or aesthetic effect. Lighting includes the use of both artificial sources such as lamps
and light fixtures, as well as natural illumination by capturing daylight. Proper lighting
can enhance task performance, improve the appearance of an area, and have positive
psychological effects on occupants. Indoor lighting is usually accomplished using light
fixtures, and is a key part of interior.

Light not only illuminates but define ones path. It can change mood, hide or highlight
an object, kill or liven up a space. Light never stands in isolation, it can only be seen
through its impact on the object it falls on.

Today lighting up a space itself is a major task as nowadays light defines ones style
and mood. There is nothing better than natural light; one should go for its maximum
use. But, because of its dynamic nature one have to go for artificial lighting which can
be used in very playful manner. Unless one sees and experiences nature and
application of light in actual space, it is difficult to deal with it. Lighting can be
classified into various different methods of lighting. It can be broadly classified as:

1. Direct Lighting
2. Indirect Lighting
3. Concealed lighting
4. Semi-concealed lighting

For any built mass, both indoor and outdoor spaces get affected by natural as well as
artificial light. It is important to play in combination of natural and artificial light. It
determines functionality of both space and style and decor of environment it creates. In
homes, a thoughtful selection of lighting schemes enhances the aesthetics of interiors
as well as garden spaces.

Purpose Of Light
We use light in buildings for the following reasons:
To carry out tasks or work- reading, writing, operating equipment.
To create an area of comfort or an amenity this is general lighting to live
with either by daylight or artificial light and direct sunlight.
To create effects for aesthetics displays, artworks, shadows definition.
To ensure safety ensuring appropriate lighting levels for all those using the

How to plan lighting in your homes?

At first, there is a need of choosing a particular style and mood of whole interior
scheme going up with ones living style and then define a schematic design to all
spaces of the house so as to avoid clutter of different spatial environments that lighting
creates. Initially, one should go for planned position of lighting points demarcated by a
professional. Later on, one should go for selection of lighting types providing a specific
effect to the designated space while enhancing the functional aspects.

Making ones Living room more inviting

Living room is the core space of the
house, the only place where more
number of diversified activities take
place. One can create drama and
interest in the living space to make it
more inviting with lighting schemes.

General lighting should be there but

for occasions provisions should be made
to dim the general lighting which
creates different moods according to
ones own choice with the help of
decorative lighting fixtures.

One should avoid tube lights and

rather go for lighting types mentioned
to have clean walls for highlighting decorative pieces.

Main source of light should always spot the central sitting space then, in contrast or
harmony one can highlight special decorative pieces like plants, paintings, show
pieces, just to display best of the art work in the living room.

Bedroom Lighting
The most important light one needs
in bedroom bedside lights which can be
like mounted on wall (low heighten)
should be used but best is to put table
lamps aside to have an immediate
approach if needed in the middle of the

Other tasks can be completed with the

help of down lighters which provide
general lighting to the room with lower

One can go for task lights if study table

or dressing table is incorporated in
Also one can use decorative lights or highlighters for any decorative piece such as
painting, wall hangings etc.

Lights should be placed such that they dont fall on ones face while sitting or
sleeping on bed.
One should use warm color tones with white lights which relax the eyes and give a
warmer mood to the room.
Kitchen Lighting
First need is of general lighting which
can be fulfilled with the help of central
pendant lighter 4-5 central hanging
lights or down lighters mounted with
ceiling to illuminate the circulation area.
Central lights help to avoid ones shadow
on working area.

One can flexibly use the pendant light

by varying its height, like more the
height lesser the intensity but larger
area coverage and vice-versa.

Then comes Task lighting to highly

illuminate ones working slab tops, dish
washing area etc. This can be done with
the help of high intensity down lighters.

One should take care that the cupboards are to be fully illuminated either with the
help of illuminates inside the cupboard or by using general lighting.

One should paint lighter on the walls of kitchen to reflect more light.

Bathroom lighting
One should avoid window or any
lighting source in front of mirror of wash
basin and dressing table to avoid
darkness on the face while looking in the

Use frosted glass in widow panels to

make it comfortable for the user and get
sufficient natural lights in day time.

For general lighting one can use down

lighters if the space is big and wall
mounted decorative lights can also easily
solve the purpose.

One should use dimmers or diffused

lights to avoid reflection in the mirror.
Also, one doesnt need direct light in bathrooms.

One should go for side lights in case of mirror so that lights could illuminate ones
image without casting any shadow on to
the face.

Lighting for dining area

When choosing dining room lighting,
start with a chandelier in the middle of
the room, then work out with accent
One should use task lighting in terms of hanging lights, pendants which can
illuminate the table from top not from sides to avoid casting shadows on plates.
Use dimmers for general lighting to highlight the dining area.
A Crystal Chandelier over the center of the dining table can help to balance chi in the

Types of lighting:
Lighting is classified by intended use as General, Decorative, or Task lighting,
depending largely on the distribution of the light produced by the fixture. It is an
integral part of design. It determines the utilitarian and the aesthetic environment
provided by a designer, thus calling for the most careful planning and highest skills.

1. General / Ambient lighting

General lighting needs to illuminate the overall
space so that no corner could look dark. It is
the combination of light reflections from
various surfaces to produce a uniform
illumination called as ambient lights. It is
placed in the middle of the room.

Criteria for Ambient Lighting:

The ambient lighting systems should
be able to withstand heavy abuse as they are mounted within the reach of
the users.
Well designed furniture integrated lighting should be used as it is easy to
Electric discharge lamps should be used as they last longer than
incandescent sources and therefore require less frequent servicing.
Total possible connected electric load predictions between 1.5 to 2.5 watts
per sq. Ft are considered energy efficient.
In offices with partitions or other high obstructions, annoying shadows should
be avoided.
Ceiling finishes should be diffuse and highly reflective (80-90%) to
compliment ambient lighting.

2. Task lighting
Task lightings provide high illumination to a
specific area to perform a specific task e.g.
reading, sewing, working on the computer
working on the computer etc. It improves
visual clarity and offsets tiredness. Good task
lighting can help decrease eye strain.

Criteria for Task Lighting:

The lighting to be provided on the
work, in addition to the building
lighting, must be determined either by individual analysis of the visual tasks
in terms of the critical details and critical contrasts inherent in these tasks.
The table below gives a selection of generalized visual tasks with an
indication of recommended levels of work lighting. The essential features of
task lighting
Tasks of great visual difficulty require levels of illumination which cannot be
supplied either economically or without visual discomfort except by the
provision of local lighting.
Tasks of average or little visual difficulty can be performed in the levels of
illumination recommended for the building lighting.

3. Decorative lighting
These lighting themselves can act as focal
points for a room. Combination of glass, color
and light can change whole mood of the
environment. Decorative lighting can refer to
any lighting used in the space that adds
aesthetic appeal to the home as well as
functional lighting.

Shadow play:
Occurs where
pattern of light is
the background,
or negative
space, and shape
of shadow carries
the message.

Beam play: Opposite of

shadow play where light beam
becomes the visual feature.
Sometimes achieved with

Occurs when
bits of small
appear on a
Requires very
high contrast
to be effective.

light: Use of
colored light sources to create
special visual effects.

Criteria For Decorative Lighting:

The luminaries should be capable of 358 degree of rotation.

It should have minimum tilt of 35 degree.
An accent light should accommodate color filters and spread lenses and be
able to hold both the filter and the lens at the same time.
It should have adequate baffling to prevent direct sight of the lamp from
normal viewing angles when the lamp is tilted.
The luminaries working components should be easily accessible from either
below or above the ceiling line in order to adjust direction, change lamps,
change color filters and lenses, or change the orientation of light pattern
produced by the lamp.
It should be possible to lock all adjustable features in place once they have
been focused so that the light scheme is not altered.
An accent light should accommodate a variety of lamp wattages and beam
distributions without the need for external adaptors.
Any accent light should be efficient, some direct most of their light inside the
lamp housing when tilted more than 10 degrees.

Accent lightings
Accent lighting is one of the four types of light, along with ambient or background or
general lighting, task and decorative lighting. Used to illuminate architectural or
interior elements. General rule, if you add too much accent lighting the effect will be
lost. Common techniques include:

Grazing: Used to emphasize textural qualities of

vertical surfaces and to define a space by featuring
one wall over another. Achieved by directing light
parallel to featured surface, appx 6-12 from

Wall washing: These are ceiling mounted

lightings which illuminate vertical surfaces like a
column or a wall; provides soft, ambient reflected
light; attracts attention to wall; and unifies diverse
objects on wall, unifies a wall with sheet of uniform

Backlighting: A light source placed on the

opposite side of the subject (model, actor) from a
viewers (camera, audience) point of view. Rear
lighting technique that diffuses light through
translucent materials.

Highlighting: Emphasizes featured object by

creating 5 to 10 times the amount of brightness on
the object than in the background. When light hits a
surface, it naturally catches on the most prominent
areas. High contrast attracts attention.

Silhouetting: Sandwiches an object between

viewer and sheet of light. Object is outlined by the
light the brightness of which serves as negative
space. Details on face of object are obliterated. It
involves placing the light source at the back of any
object that needs to be lit.
Down lighting: These lights in downward direc tion and can be fully or half-
inscribed in ceiling. Mainly down lighters are used for general lighting of a space
but, it can also be used under cabinets of kitchen to illuminate the slab area.

Up lighting: These lights upwards and are mainly used for the steps of
staircase in homes. Good ambient lighting technique or accent for interesting
surfaces that are up; important that surfaces have high value, matte finish to
reflect light.