Tips and Tricks for Working with Lighting and Color in Home Decor

Thursday, June 7th, 2012

Few people realize that when it comes to design and decor, lighting and color go hand-in-hand. The type of light bulb you choose can have a dramatic effect on the paint color you choose and unless you’re planning to install those same fluorescent ceiling fixtures in your home that you see over the paint chip display, then your color is going to look different on your walls. Here are a few tips and tricks for working with lighting and color in your home decor.

The Effect of Lights on Paint
Colors

Living Room Light Fixtures

One of the biggest factors many people fail to take into consideration when choosing a wall color is the effect of both the natural light from the windows and the light from their light fixtures. Always remember that the color you see in the store beneath those bright fluorescent lights will never be the same color you see in your home. This is true even if you happen to have fluorescent lights in your home. This is because the dynamics of the space will be entirely different. You’ll have different floors, different furnishings, different natural and artificial light.

 LED Living Room Lighting

Secondly, if you don’t have proper lighting, it will also effect how your space looks. Not enough light can cause a space to look dirty or dingy. Meanwhile, too much light can make a space look washed out or even dated. Therefore, it’s important to work to create a space with proper light. This often means a wide array of light fixtures in a home from wall sconces to table lamps to ceiling lights.

Living Room Light Matching

Finally, different light bulbs and light fixtures will produce different colors. You’ll notice when shopping for light bulbs today that they often will note if they create a warm color, a cool color or a neutral color. Cool colors can bring out cooler undertones in color, and vice versa with warm colors. However, mixing and matching the wrong light bulbs and light fixtures with the wrong colors can create a less-than-desirable look for any space, so keep this in mind.

 Kitchen Light Fixture Combination

Don’t be afraid to mix and match different light bulbs and different light fixtures in each room of your home until you create a desirable lighting effect. If you’re still unsure, certainly don’t be afraid to hire a lighting professional. Having proper lighting in your home is key to creating a comfortable space.

 Pacific Coast Kitchen Lighting

With paint colors, the type of paint you choose can also have an effect on the overall lighting in a room. For example, glossier paints will reflect a small amount more of the light from a light fixture than a flat paint will. However, this reflection is often minimal and may not even be necessary to take into consideration when looking at different paints.

 Living Room Color and Lighting

It is always important to take light into consideration when decorating your home. This is especially true not only when choosing light fixtures for any given space, but for deciding how many lights and what type of light bulbs are necessary to properly light the space. Images 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6

Visit Arcadian Lighting to find a light fixture that works with the color scheme of your home today.

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Lighting Trends: Spring and Summer 2012

Tuesday, May 29th, 2012

Today we would like to share a collection of the latest light fixtures and lighting trends for Spring and Summer 2012. We hope you find them as inspiring as we do!

Lighting Trends

Unique, unexpected shapes are becoming more and more popular when it comes to lighting. This stunning custom made ceiling light picks up on the geometric shapes in the abstract paintings.

Lighting Trends

Not only is this amazing cascading chandelier eye-catching and unexpected, but its highly reflective quality represents another popular trend for this year. It’s easy to see why!

Lighting Trends

This cool, modern kitchen features plenty of lighting, from recessed lights to brilliantly reflective pendant lights over the island. This is perfect expert lighting.

Lighting Trends

Kitchen lighting is a vital element to your design. Rustic, contemporary interiors are incredibly popular, and it’s no different when it comes to lighting. This re-purposed whisk light shade gives new life to an old kitchen item and makes a wonderful decoration.

Lighting Trends

 Organic shapes inspired by nature are increasingly popular in home designs. This lovely pendant light is inspired by the bulbous shape of dandelions, and makes a striking focal point in this room.

Lighting Trends

While dark, matte paint colors become more common, contrasting contemporary lighting fixtures provide a wonderful accent piece, like this kitchen pendant light.

Lighting Trends

These Pyrex glass bowls have been transformed into charming pendant lights, perfect for any kitchen. Recycling ordinary items into functional, fun accent pieces is a major trend for this year.

Lighting Trends

The bold color trend of the season is, of course, tangerine. This simple pendant lights show off the beautiful hue and add a bright pop of color to this fairly monochrome living room. Images 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8

Which of these trends is your favorite? Let us know in the comments! And be sure to stop by Arcadian Lighting for a brilliant contemporary light fixture to complement your kitchen lighting scheme! 

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Eco-Friendly Lighting

Tuesday, May 1st, 2012

Lighting is important, especially when it comes to interior design. If you have poor lighting then you have a poorly designed room, everything else is secondary. The difference between good lighting and bad lighting is substantial. Comfort, happiness and productivity are all characteristics that improve with good lighting. Stores even see an increase in sales if they invest in better lighting. Lighting can also be expensive, almost half of all the electricity consumed in the United States goes towards lighting. Thankfully, there are many lighting options out there that can help you save some money and have the added benefit of being better for the environment.

Eco-Friendly Lighting

The most energy efficient choice someone can make is to not use any energy to begin with.  Consider using the greatest light source in the world (The Sun) to help light your home. Things like windows and skylights are great ways to utilize natural light for your indoor spaces.

Eco-Friendly Lighting

Switching from incandescent light bulbs to compact florescent bulbs (CFLs) is another great way to consume less energy. CFLs use about a quarter of the energy and last ten times longer than incandescent bulbs do. CFLs also produce less heat, which makes them safer to handle.

Eco-Friendly Lighting

LEDs or light emitting diodes are the future of lighting. When compared to a CFL an LED uses 85% less energy and lasts over 100,000 hours. The issue with LEDs at the moment is the cost.  But that is always the issue with new technologies, once upon a time a VCR cost $500. As the LED industry expands, the price will drop accordingly.

Eco-Friendly Lighting

It may not be as practical as some of the other choices, but fiber optic wallpaper is an ingenious way to add a hint of energy efficient accent lighting to your home. Fiber optic wallpaper is the invention of Swedish interior designer Camilla Diedrich.

Eco-Friendly Lighting

Regardless of the type of light fixtures you may have, the most eco-friendly thing you can do is turn off a light that you are not using.  No need to be wasteful, its a simple step that everyone can do and it doesn’t hurt that doing so will result in the saving of money and the environment. Images 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5

They may not have fiber optic wall paper, but Arcadian Lighting does have plenty of energy efficient light fixtures to choose from. Go see for yourself.

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Top 5 Lighting Trends for 2012

Tuesday, April 17th, 2012

If you’re contemplating updating any space in your home, you’re probably wondering what the latest and greatest trends are in lighting and light fixtures. Knowing the trends can help you choose light fixtures that not only suit your space, but will give your home a more updated look. Here’s the low down on the top 5 trendiest looks for light fixtures in 2012.

Light Hues

Top 5 Lighting Trends for 2012

For various light fixtures, from table lamps to chandeliers, lighter tones and hues are particularly popular in 2012. This includes hues such as grays and other neutrals, as well as naturals and pastels. This can apply to the finishes of various light fixtures, the bases or the shades. A perfect example of this trend would be a set of lamps may feature a pastel colored base with natural linen lamp shades.

If It Ain’t Baroque…

Top 5 Lighting Trends for 2012

Baroque is a relatively new revival style in which exaggerated shapes and forms from the Baroque period (starting around the 1600s) have been reinvented with a modern flair to suit today’s needs. This style has been affecting light fixtures of all kinds from chandeliers to lamps to wall sconces to pendant lights and beyond. This style also features a plethora of shapes, sizes and colors, making it a surprisingly versatile look.

Crystals

Top 5 Lighting Trends for 2012

In the contemporary world, crystals have reemerged and are reigning supreme. They’re being found on just about every light fixture from table lamps to wall sconces to ceiling fixtures and of course, on chandeliers. When opting for a crystal light fixture, choose one with clean lines and modern styling, as these looks will last for years to come, even when the surge in popularity dies down.

Nature Inspired Lights

Top 5 Lighting Trends for 2012

Though not quite readily available to the majority of markets, nature inspired lights are growing significantly in popularity. This style typically refers to light fixtures that mimic the look of various nature-inspired elements, such as a bouquet of flowers or trees. Though this look is beautiful, it can be quite expensive and furthermore, somewhat difficult to find. However, it is also worth noting that this trend can also refer to more contemporary looks. For example, a set of table lamps whose bases mimic the look of a tree or branch paired with contemporary styled drum shades made from a linen fabric.

Wall Sconces

Top 5 Lighting Trends for 2012

Finally, wall sconces are another trend that is reemerging on the scene. These light fixtures are great for many reasons: first, in a small space, wall sconces can take the place of floor or table lamps, thus saving valuable floor or table space. Secondly, they’re surprisingly easy to install and not all require hard-wiring. Furthermore, they come in a large variety of styles, shapes and sizes so you can find wall sconces to suit just about any space desired.

These are just a few of the many different lighting trends out there. Chances are, if you are looking to update your home’s lighting, there is a trend out there that will suit not only your needs and your budget, but also your style. Images 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5

Turn your design ideas into a reality, browse through our selection of kitchen lights. With thousands to choose from you are bound to find one that fits both your style and budget.

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5 Simple Steps for Kitchen Lighting

Friday, January 6th, 2012

Many people forget that an important part of interior design is proper lighting schemes. Fortunately, choosing the right light fixtures for any particular space in your home, such as the kitchen, doesn’t have to be difficult. When designing a kitchen lighting scheme, there are many tips and tricks out there on how to achieve the right look. Here are five simple steps for creating ideal kitchen lighting in your home.

1. Create a Budget

To create a lighting scheme, you need to first know how much you’re willing to spend on various light fixtures for your kitchen space. Though this isn’t necessarily the first step, it is still an important step. Once you know how many light fixtures you need for your space, you should create a budget and divide it up to make sure you have enough for each lighting fixture you desire.

However, though you may not have enough for the light fixtures of your dreams, it will help you ensure that you don’t overspend on one fixture and end up not having enough for the rest of the fixtures in your kitchen. Plus, it will teach you to sacrifice where necessary in order to create adequate lighting, which will be more beneficial in the long run than having a single beautiful fixture.

2. Determine What Light Fixtures You Need

Before you can set up a budget for the different light fixtures you’ll need, you first need to figure out what light fixtures are required for your space. Typically in a kitchen you will have an overhead light, task lights over an island or peninsula, such as pendant lights or even under cabinet lights. Finally, consider including light fixtures for ambient lighting or accent lighting, such as interior cabinet lights if you have see-through glass cabinet doors.

3. Work from the Ceiling Down

When determining what fixtures you need, you should start from the ceiling and work your way down. This will help you determine what light fixtures are necessary and what fixtures are not.

4. Choose a Style

Once you know what light fixtures you need based on your individual kitchen needs, you’ll need to choose an overall style. Light fixtures come in a variety of sizes, shapes, colors and finishes, so it’s easy to find the right fixtures to suit your kitchen decor, whether you’re looking for pendant lights or ceiling lights. Potential styles include contemporary, traditional, modern, rustic, cottage, classic, renaissance and so forth.

5. Reassess

Once you’ve completed your kitchen lighting scheme and everything is installed, you should assess the space and how the light reacts to the design and decor. You may find you need to add an additional light fixture, or you may find that it’s perfect the way it is. Either way, don’t rush the process either. You may find that it takes time for you to acclimate to the new lighting scheme, and you may find you have too many or too few light fixtures. Again, take time to really let the new scheme sink in before you make any rash decisions of adding or removing fixtures. Images 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5

To warm your kitchen with aesthetically pleasing, yet functional, lighting fixtures, browse our vast array of stylish fixtures!

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What is Ambient Lighting?

Friday, December 30th, 2011

When creating a lighting scheme for a home, there are thousands upon thousands of different styles and types of light fixtures to choose from. Some manufacturers even label light fixtures as ‘task,’ ‘general,’ ‘outdoor,’ ‘accent’ or ‘ambient.’ However, this leaves many homeowners stumped: what is ambient lighting and can I use an ambient light fixture for something other than its intended use?

What is Ambient Lighting?

Ambient Lighting

Simply put, ambient lighting is similar to general lighting but with a twist. In the lighting world, ambient refers to a hidden source of light that still manages to create a nice, ambient glow in a room. However, the term ‘hidden’ refers to the bulb itself. For example, chandeliers often feature visible bulbs whereas enclosed, flush-mounted ceiling lights do not show the bulb itself.

Living Room Ambient Lighting

Here’s where things get complicated: ambient lighting can also refer to light fixtures, such as a ceiling light (which is typically used for general lighting) that are on a dimmer switch. By dimming the ceiling light, it now gives off a more glow-like light rather than general light. As noted earlier, since some ceiling lights do not fully conceal the bulbs themselves, not all ceiling lights can also be considered ambient lighting. This can create a bit of confusion.

It should be noted that ambient lighting can also go by a number of additional terms including aesthetic lighting or low-key lighting.

What Are Some Examples of Ambient Light Fixtures and Where Should I Use Them?

Wall Sconces

Perhaps one of the best examples of ambient lighting is the wall sconce. Wall sconces typically conceal their bulbs rather well using various styles of shades. Furthermore, this light fixture produces an even, ambient glow that washes over the room rather than creating general overhead light.

Wall Sconces

Wall sconces are ideal for rooms such as hallways, as these spaces do not require an excessive amount of light but rather just enough light to pass through without bumping into something.

Paper Lantern

Another type of ambient light could include paper or plastic lanterns in which the entire bulb is concealed. These lanterns typically do not produce enough light to be used as a main light source, but they do produce an even glow that is typically expected and desired when looking to create and include ambient lighting in a light scheme.

Ambient Lighting

Ideal locations for ambient lighting include the living room, bedroom, foyers, hallways and corridors. It should be noted that as always, ambient lighting should be mixed with other types of lighting to create an overall light scheme. Images 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6

Explore more gorgeous wall sconces and hanging lanterns at Arcadian Lighting and create an ambiance that will warm your home!

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Types of Lighting Every Room Should Have

Friday, December 16th, 2011

Good interior design will go to waste if it’s not properly lit. That being said, it can be difficult to find all of the right light fixtures if you’re not even sure what a proper lighting scheme is to begin with. This guide will help you determine what light fixtures are necessary based on the types of lighting that every room should have.

General Lighting

Ceiling Light

It is inevitable that every room will have general lighting, which is typically seen as a general overhead ceiling light. This works for most rooms, as ceiling lights can be used in bedrooms, bathrooms, hallways, foyers, dining rooms and kitchens. However, the vast majority of living rooms do not have an overhead light fixture.

If an overhead ceiling light is not present, other fixtures must compensate for the lack of the overhead light.

Task Lighting

Pendant Lights

The secondary source of light in a room should be some type of task lighting. In a kitchen, this often means pendant lights, recessed lights, track lights, or under cabinet lights. In a bedroom, living room or home office, this means light fixtures such as table lamps or desk lamps.

In short, task lights are easy to incorporate into a lighting scheme because they are lights you would use to complete tasks: reading on the sofa, paperwork on your office desk or chopping vegetables on the countertop.

Ambient Lighting

Track Lights

Among the most commonly forgotten part of a good lighting scheme is the use of ambient lighting. Ambient lighting is lighting that is used to produce a warm glow in the room. Ambient lighting can be done using a number of light fixtures, which can make it tricky.

For example, light fixtures that can produce ambient light include ceiling lights, recessed lights, wall sconces, track lights, and so forth.

Accent Lighting

Accent Lighting

Another commonly forgotten portion of a good lighting scheme: accent lighting. Fortunately, accent lighting is easy to create. In short, this type of light is meant to accent a specific element of the home. This could mean an architectural element, such as an arched doorway or a fireplace. It could also mean a piece of artwork such as a painting or even a sculptural piece.

Accent lighting should be dramatic. It should draw attention to an area, to highlight it.

Decorative Lighting

Decorative Lighting

Last but not least, decorative lighting serves no purpose other than to be decorative. It is a part of the overall design scheme of the room, rather than part of the lighting scheme. Despite this, decorative light fixtures still play an important role in interior design and in the lighting world.

Decorative lighting may not give off any useable light, but draw attention to themselves or make a dramatic statement. Decorative lighting can also refer to the light fixture itself, such as an overly ornate chandelier or pair of wall sconces that provide little light and are there rather for looks than for adequate lighting. Images 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5

Hopefully this guide helps you create amazing lighting schemes for every room in your home. Apply these tips to enhance your living spaces and explore other lighting fixture options!

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The Fundamentals of Home Lighting

Thursday, December 8th, 2011

A number of factors should be taken into consideration when working on home lighting. Not only must you choose the right light fixtures, you must also adequately and properly light the space. Few people stop to consider the very basic lighting fundamentals and how it affects their space. This guide will help you get started on understanding these fundamentals and how they work in your space.

Determining Necessary Lighting for a Space

Interior Lighting

The lighting formula is something that exists but that few people actually know about. However, it is a true fundamental of home lighting. By using the lighting formula, you can find out how many watts are needed to light your space and thus; determine how many light fixtures that you’ll need for the space.

The lighting formula takes the square footage of the room (length multiplied by width) and multiply it by 1.5, which gives you the total wattage needed for a room. For example, a 12 foot by 20 foot room is 240 square feet. Multiply that number by 1.5 and you get 360 watts to adequately light the space.

This can translate into a number of light fixtures including table lamps, wall sconces, ceiling fixtures, floor lamps and so forth. You just need to take note of the wattage for each light fixture and subtract it from the total wattage for the room, until you reach the proper amount.

Types of Lighting

Ambient Lighting

With home lighting, there is task lighting, accent lighting, ambient lighting (which may occasionally be referred to as general lighting) and decorative lighting.

Ambient lighting is lighting that gives a warm, general glow in the space; task lighting is meant for specific tasks, such as reading; while accent lighting and decorative lighting are both meant to highlight different areas of the space.

Task Lighting

Examples of light fixtures for each of these include: ceiling fixtures (ambient), pendant lights (task), track lights (decorative) and wall sconces (accent).

Quality of Illumination

Light Bulbs

Many people realize that a certain quantity of lighting is needed for a space, but few people realize that quality of the lighting is also important. When you look at different light bulbs for your light fixtures, you’ll want to take note of their actual light output, which is measured in lumens.

Quality of illumination also applies to the light level and overall brightness or intensity of the light. You may want to go to a store that specializes in lighting and light fixtures to see how these different factors affect different light fixtures, as many lighting stores will be able to demonstrate these differences to you.

Lighting Needs

Fireplace Lighting

Finally, perhaps the most basic of lighting fundamentals is taking into account what the lighting is needed for. For example, if you need more lighting for evening reading, you’ll want to take this into account when designing a lighting scheme and include some additional lamps. If you’re looking to highlight an architectural detail, such as a fireplace, then you’ll want to include some accent lighting into the space such as wall sconces or track lights.

It’s important to consider a number of fundamentals and so forth when designing a lighting scheme for any room in your home. Lighting fundamentals can help you ensure that you don’t over-light, under-light or improperly light your space in any way. Images 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5

Feeling inspired?  Check out our huge selection of lighting fixtures!

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Tips and Tricks for Lighting a Living Room

Wednesday, December 7th, 2011

With a few rare exceptions, almost every room has a ceiling light. The living room is one of those exceptions. In fact, it’s rare for a living room space to have any type of ceiling light. That being said, it’s important to properly light a living room space without the use of a general overhead light. Light fixtures are an important part of any room, no matter what the overall style is of the space. Here are a few great tips and tricks on how to light a living room.

Living Room Lighting

Layer the Lighting

Every good lighting scheme has multiple layers of light: ambient, task, decorative and accent lighting. Just keep in mind that this does not necessarily mean you need an over abundance of light fixtures. In fact, many light fixtures can serve multiple purposes. For example, a table lamp in a living room setting can provide both ambient light and task lighting.

Living Room Lighting

Though there are no typical mounted ceiling fixtures in a living room, such as a flush or semi-flush mount light fixture, there are certain types of ceiling lights that can be added to the space. For example, can lights, also known as recessed lights or pot lights, can be a great way to add ambient lighting to a living room.

Have Portable Lighting

The terms ‘portable lighting’ refer to light fixtures that can be moved around as needed, at will. This includes popular favorites such as table lamps, floor lamps and torchieres. Though these are all classified as portable lighting, they all serve different purposes.

Living Room Lighting

For example, a floor lamp is typically designed to diffuse light throughout a space or can be used as task lighting, whereas a torchiere directs light upward and is only useful for creating a general, ambient glow.

Don’t Forget the Decorative and Accent Lighting

Sure, it’s easy to incorporate ambient lighting and task lighting into a living room. Just throw in a couple of table lamps and a floor lamp. Bam, done! Lighting needs covered, right? Wrong! That rule about incorporating all the different types of lighting still needs to apply.

Decorative lighting and accent lighting come in a number of forms for the living room. Depending on where they are placed, wall sconces can be decorative or accent lighting. Track lights can also perform both tasks, depending on where the track heads are pointed.

Living Room Lighting

For example, wall sconces that draw attention to a fireplace or other architectural feature are considered accent highlight. When those wall sconces are placed elsewhere and stand on their own, they are considered decorative.

It should be noted, however, that ‘decorative lighting’ may also refer to the light fixture itself and not necessarily the light it produces. In these cases, decorative lighting refers to the details of the light fixture such as the shape, style and other minor details that make the fixture visually appealing.

Living Room Lighting

Lighting a living room can be a challenge. A large living room may require several different light fixtures in order to be properly lit. Fortunately, with a few tricks in hand, anyone can learn to light the spaces in their home. Images 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5

Feeling inspired? Check out our selection of wall lamps and ceiling lights to help accent your living room!

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The Basic Stages of Lighting

Wednesday, August 10th, 2011

Lighting can add dimension, character and ambiance to your home. It can give a boost to colors, add drama to art and set the mood for the entire decor. When choosing lighting fixtures think of them as functional accessories and use them to enhance and accent your decorating scheme. There are many types of light fixtures available, making it easy to choose just the right one for your lighting requirements and your taste. So, incorporate lighting into your decor and illuminate your style.

The First Stage

Arcadian Lighting via Design Shuffle

When considering lighting for any room of the home, think of it as a 3-stage process. The first stage is ambient lighting. This refers to the light that simply illuminates the room, such as that from a chandelier or recessed lights. Ambient light also includes natural daylight from windows. Don’t discount light from windows, as it can play a major role in your decorating scheme.

The Second Stage

Arcadian Lighting via Design Shuffle

The second stage of lighting is task lighting. When you want to read or work on your computer, the proper lighting makes that task easier on your eyes. In the kitchen task lighting is important to the cook, especially in prep areas. Task lighting includes table lamps, floor lamps, or a desk lamp. For the kitchen, this can be directional ceiling spot lights or attractive kitchen island lighting.

The Third Stage

Arcadian Lighting via Design Shuffle

The third and most fun, versatile stage of lighting is accent. This is where your imagination can run wild, creating dramatic coves and showcasing beautiful artwork or special collections. Accent lighting adds visual interest and brings character to your rooms. It is picture lights that mount over or under your treasured artwork, illuminating your walls with warmth, character and depth. Install decorative wall sconces on each side of a mirror to magnify radiance in a room.

When you begin with a lighting plan set in these three stages, the result is layers of light that not only serves as basic illumination but goes beyond to offer a beautiful accent to your rooms. There are many options available for achieving your lighting needs and wants. If your room lacks character or warmth, adding light can bring out the natural beauty of woodwork, the different textures of a wall hanging or enhance the color of the room.

See all of your lighting fixture options on ArcadianLighting.com

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