Some fittings are designed to be decorative rather than useful. Colored lights can be projected on to wall via a spotlight and color wheel unit or by strobe lights flashed at irregular intervals. Or the fitting itself can become a piece of light sculpture. Decorative lighting may be used for festivals, functions or for display.
Different functions demand different lighting solutions like spotlights, flood and down-lighters. Low-voltage spots and dimmers are among the comparatively recent developments which are now available for the home.
It is essential to work out a furnishing plan before deciding on positions and types of light fittings. Allow for greater flexibility in the living-room than you would in the kitchen, say where the light is directly related to specific jobs. Many rooms are multi-purpose. This may mean several different kinds of light distribution. For instance, in just one room you may need a light over the dining table, another on a desk, a separate reading light and a more general light.
Since eyes deteriorate with age, the average 60-year-old person needs about twice as much light as a 30-year-old for the same job. Dark walls/floors provide less reflection and require more light if the same degree of general illumination is required as for light-colored walls.
The following check list may be used while planning and deciding the lighting:
- To what use will the various areas in home will be allotted.
- What type of light is needed - direct, indirect, static, adjustable, strong or light background.
- Will the amount of light on all horizontal and vertical surfaces be sufficient for the activities/ purposes?
- Is the light sufficient for the activities and the person using the room/area?.
- Are there enough existing sockets, outlets and switches? Are they in the right place? Not only for sockets and switches, but also for wall and ceiling outlets?
- What kind of lamp-shade or fitting will suit the style of the room?
- Is the color of flooring, wall, ceiling are compatible with the lighting?