Lighting is no longer a case of choosing between visual appeal and practicality. Today’s lighting trends are easy to copy and combine the best of form and function, lending your home that well-aired feel without compromising on everyday performance and energy awareness.
Recent years have shown a huge leaning towards eco-lighting in the home due to austere financial times and a growing environmental consciousness. LED bulbs are by far the most energy efficient compared with other methods of lighting, reducing overall electricity bills, while providing the instant brightness that usually eludes other energy-saving bulbs. They provide good clarity and are equally as effective as style statements: install a row of LED spotlights along your bookshelves, in a window awning or even on the stair treads, to create a truly modern look.
While architectural lighting has been leading the way for innovative new steps in domestic interiors, technological advancements such as CFL (compact fluorescent lighting) are placing the environment and money-saving right at the forefront of the home lighting market. It’s definitely something to consider when thinking over your own lighting needs.
As far as today’s lighting designers are concerned, a lot can be achieved with a fresh new lighting plan and a bit of inspired thinking. In terms of colour, you don’t have to limit your decorating to painted accent walls and feature throws for a room. Instead, think directional lights in key colours such as emerald or turquoise.
If coloured lights aren’t for you, try amping up your fixtures by introducing some brass. The warm metal lends a vintage quality to a free-standing lamp, ceiling light or wall fitting and is bang on trend for this spring/summer season. Or if you want to go really ornamental, invest in some crystal lighting, minus the chandelier. A bit of pomp and ceremony can be brought right up to date with some hanging crystal strands around a simple pendant.
In fact, many homes are now getting in on the action when it comes to innovative fixtures. The sculptural look is on-trend for 2013, with detailed and intricate designs emulating the foliage of the natural world; think leaf-shaped bulbs and asymmetric wire frames. At the other end of the spectrum, bold abstraction is leading the way, with functional geometric shapes given a stylish twist with bright colours or unusual angling.
It’s a good idea to plan your natural light sources as carefully as your artificial arrangement: while bulbs and lamps can create the desired look, make sure you’re maximising the daylight through windows and sky openings. Whether you’re making a focal point in the lounge, getting inspired by architectural lighting or revamping the bathroom cabinets, the smallest of changes in lighting design can make a huge impact on the feel of a room, so take some time to study all the trends and pick the right look for your home.
Gerry Oberon is an interior design commentator and guru who writes on the latest trends for various blogs and websites. He holds a special interest in unusual and one-of-a-kind light fittings, but likes to keep updated on current trends in the market: click here for further examples on what’s new in lighting for 2013.
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