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Understanding The Lighting System

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Light can define space, substance and style. Outdoor, with the shifting sun and atmospheric conditions, light and the shadows change the appearance of things natural and man made. But in the indoors, the play of natural and artificial lighting largely determine both function and decoration.
Today lighting is considered to be a very important element of decorating scheme. The invention of the incandescent bulb in 1978 revolutionized lighting systems as it allowed light to be easily manipulated. Apart from exploiting natural light by using opaque or transparent glass walls, sky lights, large windows etc. for offices, architect work out the detailed light fittings which are conducive for a work environment. In homes, a careful selection of lights extends and enhances the aesthetics of interiors. Similarly for hotels, showrooms, museums, gardens, water bodies, individual lighting requirements are worked out. Artificial light falling from various angles and heights on different surfaces guide us to perceive various features and dimensions while creating a specific mood. With technological developments and the stress on precision lighting, a variety of lighting fixtures are readily available with options which offer manifold possibilities in terms of effect.
The choice of fitting according to the room, gets very difficult, one gets puzzled off as there are so many varieties in lights like the table lamps, spot lights, clamp lights, recessed/surface mounted lights, uplighters, halogens, incandescent bulb, pendants, fluorescent fixtures and lots of others. Once the basic idea of the space, mood, interior design, highlighting, function of work have been specified, one can then consider the basic types of lighting. Initially only the planned positions of lights need to be decided. Later, the selection of bulbs and the exact effect can be created. One should always keep in mind some of the basic rules while designing the light.

  • Every activity that takes place in the interior must have lights of the right kind, intensity and the right direction.
  • The eye prefers even lighting with the minimum of contrast between the brightness of the room surfaces and the lighting fixtures.
  • The eye works best when the work surface is more brightly lit then the surroundings.
  • The eye is stimulated by the contrast of tone and sparkle.
  • When room lighting change , color changes or disappear, thus objects become more or less important in the room.
There are three basic types of lighting which are categorized according to the intensity of the light used.
General lighting
It supplies an overall illumination in the area.
Task lighting
It supplies the required illumination for specific tasks such as reading, painting etc. It directs strong local illumination without high general illumination as required for activities carried in a particular area.
Accent lighting
It offers a decorative element to the area by highlighting the particular objects or features in the area. They are auxiliary to the general lighting and provide an added, and at times, dramatic dimensions to the scheme.
Spaces can be provided with one, two or all types of these lightings, depending upon the requirement. With different types of lighting in each room and dimmers to adjust the intensity of light, an ordinary space can be infused with much dramatic look to convey different moods to suit different times of the day.

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