• Xception

Play of Light and Shadows in Interiors

Updated: Feb 12

No modern interior design can be observed to the fullest without proper lighting. Good lighting in your home provides a moist, welcoming and usable environment. The choice of proper lighting is therefore the key element in interior design as it improves everything in a room – from furniture, walls, fittings to finishes and textures.You can literally embellish your decorating plan with the innovative use of lighting. This blog intends to help you select the right lighting which will help you achieve a perfect balance of fashion, comfort and practicality in creating beautiful but functional interiors with aesthetics.


Colour Management . . .


The use of lighting can add to or subtract from the overall colours of a room or from only those surfaces the light is meant to enhance. Darker colours make a room feel smaller and cramped, while light-coloured walls do the opposite. The illusion of space is defined by light reflected off of the surfaces of the walls. Some types of lighting help with this illusion by further illuminating the walls. In addition, directional lighting, such as a track light, can soften the wall colours. There is also recessed can lighting, which has a soft, downward glow that illuminates the floors, not walls. This is opposed to lights hung from the centre of the room, which provide ambient illumination, or wall lighting. In both cases, this can affect how light or dark a coloured section can appear.



Functionality . . .


One major role of lighting in the interior setting is functionality. Lighting needs to serve a purpose, or it simply wastes electricity. Chandeliers are not only used in large, open foyers, entryways and rooms because of their centrally themed placement but also because they provide excellent illumination for the room. Wall lights add length and size, visually, to an entryway hall, as well as light the way.


Consider the style of lighting you want to ensure you get the best directional or luminescent type for the setting. Look into task-specific lighting for desks and other work areas where functionality is more important than overall room illumination.



Space. . .


Both natural and man-made lighting help with the illusion of space. For a darker room, find ways to bring in more full-spectrum natural light. If the room does not have sufficient lighting, it will feel cramped. This is worsened by close-proximity furniture arrangements, such as coffee table, end table, sofa, chair and love seat combinations in a smaller setting. Corner lamps, wall sconces and centrally hanging lights on the ceiling help brighten a room if natural lighting is not available and help create a visually larger space. This applies to any setting — home or office. Natural lighting is preferred above man-made lighting because it shows off colours better and adds to the visual space of a room by bouncing off reflective surfaces.


Consider skylights or large windows if you want more natural light, or use sheer drapes and curtains to allow the maximum amount of light from your current windows.


Mood and atmosphere:


Lighting has a dramatic effect on the mood and atmosphere of an interior space; different schemes are used depending on the purpose of the space. Some of the best examples of mood lighting in commercial interior design are restaurants and bars. From brightly lit and loud diners, to romantic candlelit restaurants, to mysteriously dim night clubs, lighting intensity and colour are valuable tools for creating a desired mood. And, of course, a good designer will also use those free shadows to enhance the lighting design. Light is a powerful tool, and as an element of design it must be carefully planned to suit the space it is illuminating.


Providing screens, skylights, and interesting facade elements can ensure beautiful play of light and shadow inside a space. However, one can also remember to play with interior details like staircases, furniture, plants and partition designs to get enhanced effects with shadow. Kinetic facades are also a beautiful way of obtaining an element of shadow in a space. Moreover, it adds beauty and freshness in interiors as well as exteriors.



As aesthetic it is to add light and shadow to a space, if not used correctly it can spell disaster for a space. For example, if artificial lighting is not designed correctly, ugly shadows under cabinets, on walls, and on floors can be formed. Another simple rule to avoid such ugly shadows is to place ceiling lighting lower than the fans, otherwise the moving fan will cause disturbing shadows.

It is important to stimulate the shadows created by screens and jalis before actually making them, because certain patterns might look good, but can create very bad or funny shadows in spaces.


On an ending note, enhancing the quality of interiors using shadows is a good idea to enliven the space, however, one should know when to stop. Too many shadow creating elements in the wrong space can mean more use of artificial light to light up the space or simply dark spaces. Hence subtle use of shadow creating elements, placed strategically is what designers need to learn. Proper lighting can enhance task performance, improve the appearance of an area, or have positive psychological effects on occupants. Indoor lighting is usually accomplished using light fixtures, and is a key part of interior design. Lighting can also be an intrinsic component of landscape projects.


IMAGE COURTESY : INTERNET