Residential lighting refers to provision of lighting in spaces used for day and night living. Residential spaces can be independent bungalows, apartments, terrace houses, or semi-detached houses. The lighting that is needed in a residential space is both daytime and night time lighting.
Artificial lighting and natural lighting
Daytime residential lighting can be either artificial or natural. Artificial lighting is given through lamps and other light fixtures. Lamps can be chandeliers, pendant lights, floor lamps, table lamps or sconces. Natural light provision is through day-light capturing through windows or skylights. Natural light is often claimed to be much superior to artificial light since it is supposed to influence the physical health of the inhabitants in a positive way.
Types of artificial lighting
While designing a home, it is important that you opt for a wide variety of lighting, instead of going for just one kind of lighting. Task lighting, accent lighting and general lighting are different types of lighting that should find a place in your lighting scheme for a living space. Each of these types can enhance your living space in a unique way.
Task lighting is best used when you need a particular task space illuminated. A good example for this is a study table, or a kitchen stove top. Pendant lighting or table lamps are best suited for this, though floor lamps also can be used for this. An important aspect of task lighting is that it has to produce enough light on the task area closely, without producing too much heat.
Accent lighting is for decorative purposes mainly, and are used to highlight paintings and such wall-mounted art, or plants and other elements of interior design or landscaping.
General lighting, also called ambient lighting, is used for illuminating an area, without focusing on any particular space. Usually light fixtures hung from the ceiling, table lamp or floor lamp will provide general or ambient lighting.
Methods of lighting
The most common method of lighting found in residential spaces is down lighting, which means that light is cast downward, from the ceiling, either from fixtures or recessed. Another method is up lighting, which is far less common than down lighting. It is used to reflect light off the ceiling and down, to gain uniform luminance and to minimise glare. However, it is not considered to be economical. Front lighting is another method, but it makes the subject look devoid of dimensions since almost no visible shadows are formed. Backlighting also is common, and is used mainly for accent.