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How to find the right light for your home

How to find the right light for your home

Light determines our lives and our personal well-being. Therefore, the light is of course also a very essential part in our home. Especially in interior design, light influences how we perceive a room, whether we feel good and how we experience a mood. With the appropriate lighting we create warmth, comfort, work atmosphere, coolness or even elegance.

With well-placed light, we also emphasize the furnishing style and set the scene for certain areas of the room. Colors and materials are also shown to advantage in a completely different way, depending on the lighting. So depending on the effect you want to achieve, light can be used accordingly in the room. Since each room is individually furnished and fulfills different functions, the light should also be precisely matched to them. Beautiful designer lamps and the variety of illuminants offer the perfect solution for every style, occasion and room. With these lighting basics, the light planning also succeeds in your home:

The 3 basic functions of light

Not all light is the same. There is a wide variety of luminaires with different light effects and beam angles. Just as huge is the selection of light sources, as well as their light color and brightness. In order to find the right light, lighting design first of all distinguishes between 3 basic functions. Rooms in which all 3 basic functions are harmoniously represented are perceived as particularly pleasant.

The 3 basic functions of light

Basic Lighting

The “light to see” is the general basic lighting of a room. In other words, a brighter light that illuminates the entire room as evenly as possible and makes everything clearly visible. The “light to see” we need at home, for example, in the kitchen, stairs, the entrance area and in the home office. In addition, everywhere where we want to look more closely at everything on larger surfaces and the color rendering of the illuminated objects should be as true as possible. At the bathroom mirror it may be even a little brighter.

A good basic lighting is advantageous for every room, because for cleaning work alone, one should have a higher light intensity available from time to time, which is similar to daylight. A light source with a neutral white light color of 3300 – 5300 Kelvin is suitable for this.

Such basic lighting can be created with stylish ceiling lights or wall lights. If the luminaire models are also dimmable, they also immediately fulfill the 2nd basic function of light: accent lighting. This is because dimming changes not only the brightness but also the color temperature of the light from neutral white to warm white. Even a well-dimmable pendant luminaire above the dining table can – at full light output – provide a good light output and illuminate the room completely if required.

Accent Lighting

“Accent lighting” is the term used to describe the light that draws our attention and gaze at a particular area of the home. Individual luminaires in the room are placed very specifically and the illuminated area is thus particularly set in scene. The positions of the luminaires are very important. Even moving a single table lamp can completely change the impression of the room.

For the “accent lighting” pendant lights above the dining table, table lamps on the lowboard and floor lamps next to the sofa are suitable. Wall luminaires that can also be used as reading light also belong in this category, as well as recessed spotlights in a wall niche.

Very effective is the combination of several different accent lights. A room looks particularly harmonious when different types of luminaires are used together. The individual luminaires may also spread light of different brightness.

Accent lighting is intended more for the relaxed moments and may therefore be a little warmer and less bright than the basic lighting. For this feel-good light, a warm white light color of 2700 – 3200 Kelvin is very suitable.

Dimmable lights are also perfect here, because they cover several functions of light at once. Depending on which illuminants are used, the set light accents can be further enhanced or refined.

Ambient Lighting

“Ambient lighting” classifies the “light to look at”, which is intended mainly for decoration. These can be natural candles or small LEDs, but also mini point light sources as in a chain of lights and even mirror reflections on materials are meant in this basic function of light.

Especially with these lights, the light color may even be extra warm white – as with a candle, which shines at about 1500 Kelvin. Therefore, it is best to choose a light source with less than 2800 Kelvin. The light intensity may vary – depending on the luminaire.

Light for windowless rooms

A person’s daily need for natural sunlight is considered to be at least 30 minutes. No artificial light is permanently able to replace the beneficial influence of natural sun rays.

Light for windowless rooms

In many corridors, but also living rooms, it is not possible to realize natural lighting due to the layout organization and the location in the building, because the room is neither adjacent to an outer wall nor directly under the roof. Here, the Daylight Spot puts an end to the shadowy existence by bringing natural daylight into the living space.

The luminous flux, colloquially called the amount of light that can penetrate the room through the daylight spotlight, depends primarily on the intensity of sunlight. The more light falls on the upper part of the daylight spot, which is located in the roof, the more light enters the interior through the daylight spot. The diagram shows the luminous flux in lumens (lm) as a function of the reference month and the sunlight intensity (sunny day and, for comparison, cloudy day). Measurements were taken here on the upper part of the daylight spot located in the roof.


An important element that determines the amount of incident light is the location of the daylight spot on the roof.

The placement of the daylight spot plays an important role. When planning, the following rules should be followed:

  • the dome of the daylight spot should be placed on the roof in a location that receives the most intense sunlight possible (preferably facing south)
  • the reflecting pipe should be laid on the shortest possible way and with as few turns as possible
  • the flexible pipe should be laid under maximum pipe tension

When determining the number and dimensions of the daylight spots to be provided, the following parameters should be taken into account:

  • Room size, height and shape or floor plan.
  • Distribution of the daylight spots in the floor plan.
  • Colors and structure of walls, ceilings and floors.
  • Planned distribution of furniture and other furnishings according to the room’s purpose and usage profile.

Daylight Spots

Daylight spots transmit natural daylight via mirrored tubes into the desired target rooms. The incident light is reflected until it reaches the room via the prism diffuser. Thanks to its optical properties, the prism diffuser ensures that the light is diffused and not just selectively distributed in the room, so that the room or part of the room is illuminated as evenly as possible.

Can LEDs replace natural light?

Unfortunately, no synthetic light can replace daylight 100%, although the color temperature can have an emotional effect. Simple ceiling lights or floor lamps with conventional bulbs can in no way replace the effect of the sun. However, there are some types of LED lights that have been proven to have a positive effect on a person’s mood and health. For example, because cool white (> 4,000 K) has a high blue content, this shade supports active work, which is why it is used specifically for office lighting. As industrial lighting or for working in healthcare, a temperature of > 5,000 K (daylight white) is suitable.

Can LEDs replace natural light?

What is the most natural LED lighting?

To mimic daylight, it is not only the color of the light that is of interest, but also the brightness of the light. There are dimmable LED lamps such as the Philips DimTone or the Osram GlowDim, where the hue and intensity can be adjusted so that the light can be set according to the time of day: either in the morning to enhance performance or in the evening to relax. Please note: In order to dim LEDs, an LED dimmer is also required.

However, something else is crucial for our organism, namely the particular spectral composition of daylight. As mentioned, most LED lighting does not contain IR and UV radiation. A full spectrum lamp, on the other hand, almost completely imitates natural daylight. Still, full spectrum light sources are not necessarily better for health than most other light sources. The reason for this is that light from nature has a dynamic light spectrum and people’s daily activities are strongly influenced by the night-day cycle.

How to make the light at home perfect

How to make the light at home perfect

In order to create a harmonious lighting in the room, you may plan different light sources and combine different types of lights. The 3 basic functions of light should always be taken into account. This is how the lighting design works in a room of about 30 square meters:

  • a luminaire as basic lighting such as a ceiling luminaire, pendant luminaire with glass shade or evenly distributed recessed spotlights in the ceiling.
    Light parameters: Bright (1300 lumens or more) & neutral light color.
  • at least one floor lamp in the area of sofa, armchair or even dining table.
    Light parameters: pleasantly bright (up to 800 lumens), in any case dimmable & warm white light color
  • several different table lamps in different sizes.
    Light parameters: pleasantly bright (up to 800 lumens), in any case dimmable & warm white or extra warm white light color
  • Candles and small light objects set highlights and round off the lighting concept.

With this combination of luminaires, it is also very easy to create several lighting scenarios in the room. Depending on which and how many luminaires are switched on at the same time, the room appears sometimes in a pleasant relaxing light, sometimes in a dinner atmosphere or in brighter light for working.

Tip: with switchable sockets, the connected lights can be operated directly from the wall light switch. Often, the sockets can also be retrofitted so that several lights can be switched on and off with one switch or remote control.

With these lighting basics, you can create effective and pleasant lighting in your home!

How to find the right light for your home Pin

One comment

  1. […] From efficient LED lamps to luxurious chandeliers, there are numerous light sources available for lighting design: A ceiling spotlight creates a different mood than a reading lamp. But creating an ideal lighting atmosphere is not difficult at all. As a rule of thumb, a mix of three different sources = the ideal lighting. […]

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