Mood and atmosphere lighting in the home

Many years ago, a light bulb was a light bulb and that was that. Bulbs were functional things, used to create light and not mood. How the times have changed. Now, householders have picked up on something that interior designers have known for years: that light can be just as powerful as colour and furniture, if not more so, when it comes to setting the tone and ambience of a home.

Cost effective

The good news is that using light to enhance a home need not cost a fortune - indeed, if done thoughtfully it can actually save money. For example, the use of dimmers or lower wattage light bulbs may mean that less energy is consumed. With a little thought and planning, incandescent light bulbs, the type that people have been buying for years, and which are still widely available, can give a wide range of atmospheric lighting options.

Warm and welcoming

Indeed, incandescent bulbs can be particularly effective in home settings, because they produce a warm-toned, diffuse light that is relaxing and welcoming. Incandescent bulbs are available in various colours, including pinks, reds, blues and yellows, and are ideal for use with dimmer switches. These facts alone present a range of options: why not try a dimmed pink or orange bulb in the lounge to create a restful, warm ambience? Or put a coloured bulb in a traditional standard lamp for a splash of colour in one area of a room? If the room needs to be available for work or study as well as relaxation, a table lamp, or moveable reading lamp, with a standard, uncoloured bulb in it can be useful and extend the options.

A light for every purpose

The lighting requirements of a room will vary according to its use, so for those wanting to enhance their home with lighting it is important first to ask, "what will this room be used for?" It is a very bad idea, for example, to have a kitchen preparation area or work area without bright light. However, for most rooms the lighting requirements will vary according to time and event, so flexibility is key. Dimmer switches are always useful - potentially saving money while enhancing atmosphere - but there are many other options. Dining areas may benefit from a statement light fitting, such as a chandelier or highly decorative lamp. Just because such an item is there, does not mean that it has to be used all of the time, but having such a light alongside more traditional illumination can hugely increase the lighting options, as well as create a talking point.

There is also no reason why mood lighting should be restricted to the inside of the home: it can be very effective on patios or in conservatories. Just make sure that the fittings and bulbs chosen are appropriate for exterior use.


Finally, a word about furnishing. Most householders want to create an atmosphere of harmony in the home, so it is important to make sure that the lighting and furnishings work well together. Some home owners, such as those who buy furniture at Forrest Furnishing, like to visit a showroom to see potential furniture in-situ with lighting options, and this can be very helpful. Another handy tip is to browse some of the many interior decorating sites online, most of which are well aware of the mood lighting options and have photographs and descriptions that can provide some great inspiration.