The importance of lighting in your home — highlighting

Filed Under: Home repair, Redecorating, Remodeling    by: ITC

Many people have decorative displays of china, glass or other collections, and objects such as copper pans, books and even architectural details can all be highly decorative. To do them justice, they should be well lit so that they stand out from the rest of the room.

There are various ways of highlighting. For pictures, there are special picture lights which are fixed above the picture and shine down on it, leaving the surroundings in shadow. Spot lamps can highlight objects satisfactorily but you need to experiment to make sure the beam falls on the object from the right direction and at the right angle, without glaring into people’s eyes. Ceiling tracks are useful if you want several spots on different objects, but again the placing of the track is important so that the spots can be directed without glare.

Glass is most effective lit from behind. Daylight coming through a window gives it a wonderful sparkle and a collection of colored glass bottles looks spectacular on a windowsill. At night, subdued light at the back will emphasize the colors and reflections in an entirely different way.

Flower arrangements also come to life when lit from behind. A gentle, diffused light will not compete with the flowers but will throw the shapes and colors into relief so that they and their container take on an extra charm.

If you are lighting objects in a glass cabinet, it is best to use small strip lights at the back. If you try to shine a light on the cabinet from outside, the reflections in the glass will prevent you from seeing the objects inside.

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