Saturday, September 21, 2013

Time toTalk About Lighting


To light a room successfully appropriate lights must be placed where they are needed to keep the feeling of balance and proportion and bring out the charm of the room by their relation to its furnishing. They should also be so placed that the life of the household can go on as cheerfully and smoothly in the evening as in the day time.

The position and style of lighting fixtures is decided by the type of house, the size and height of the rooms, the amount  of wall space, the use  for which  the rooms are intended,  their style of furnishing, the chief  center of interest, such as  mantels,  doors,  furniture,  and pictures of importance , and also  the manner  in which  the walls are treated , whether paneled or papered. If one is building a house one should give all possible data to the architect in regard to any special pieces of furniture or pictures which one may wish to use in certain places. By doing this the tragedy of a slightly too small wall space will be escaped, and the lights will be properly placed in the beginning.


One must always remember in planning the position of the lights for a room that the eye naturally seeks the brightest spot, and badly placed lamps and   side lights will upset the balance of a room. The room must not be glaringly bright, but there should be a feeling of certain evenness in the distribution of a light. A top light makes  the light come from  the wrong direction. Artificial light in a room should take its general idea from the lighting  of the room in the day time.  They daylight comes from the window, the sides of the room,  and  the decoration of the room  is building up with that mind; so  when we are planning  the lighting scheme  we should remember this and realize that  the light should come from lamps placed advantageously on tables, and wall lights placed slightly above eye level.


Living rooms should have a sufficient number of well placed sidelights to enhance the beauty of the room, and they should be placed near centers of importance such each side of the fireplace, or wide door, or on each side of some important picture or mirror. I f there is a group of two or three windows which need to be more convincingly drawn together to form a unit, lights may be placed on each side of the group. Sidelights can be placed in the center of panels, thus forming a decoration for the panel, and, flanking paintings or mirrors or tapestries, make beautiful and formal rooms, especially for the different periods of French , English, or Italian decoration.  This treatment with simpler forms of fixtures may also be used in our charming, but more or less nondescript, chintz living-rooms or dining-rooms. With a sufficient number of lamps in the room the side –or  wall-lights  need  not be lighted  during  the average  stay-at-home evenings but are ready if there is some special occasion for  brilliancy. There are some rooms which are much improved by having no side –lights  at all, all the light  coming from lamps. There should  be plenty of floor  sockets  so placed  that lamps  may be used on tables  near  sofas  and armchairs  and on the writing table  or large living room table. It is  this  proper placing  of lamps which has so much  to do with the charm and comfort  of a room when evening comes.

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