(NewsUSA) – When considering lighting design, chances are you picture major fixtures like ornate chandeliers, groupings of colorful pendants or elaborate track lighting. However, even small fixtures, such as portable lamps, can transform a room, according to the American Lighting Association (ALA).
Joe Rey-Barreau, education consultant for the ALA and associate professor at the University of Kentucky’s School of Interior Design, says, “With the proper light bulb and shade, a lamp can provide effective task lighting while also serving as an important decorative element in a space.”
It is important to view a lamp as a piece of the overall whole, not the only source of lighting in a room. One or two lamps cannot effectively illuminate a large space if they are the primary light source. Think of table and floor lamps as lighting accessories that create layers of light throughout a room.
Layering Your Lights
“Layering of light means there are multiple types of lighting fixtures in a single space,” says Rey-Barreau. “For example, in addition to recessed and decorative lighting at the ceiling, table and floor lamps can provide lighting for dark corners.”
The difficult part of deciding which lamps work best for your space may be choosing from the nearly infinite range of types and styles available.
Focusing on Bulbs
While in the past, table and floor lamps typically used incandescent bulbs, the introduction of LED light bulbs now provides a better option. LED bulbs are five to six times more efficient than incandescent bulbs and can last 25 times longer, making them both money and energy savers.
“It is important to choose the correct color temperature of the bulb,” Rey-Barreau says. “Incandescent and halogen bulbs all have the same warm color temperature, which is a measure of how visually warm or cool a space appears. LED bulbs are available with different color temperature ratings, and consumers sometimes make the mistake of choosing a color that appears too cool or bluish.”
Bulb packaging includes detailed information about light output, wattage consumption and color temperature. Rey-Barreau suggests choosing a color temperature in the 2700K to 3000K range, which will match the color of incandescent and halogen bulbs.
Your local ALA-member store has a large selection of lamps, as well as trained professionals to help you find the perfect fixture for your home. More information is available online at americanlightingassoc.com.