Lighting a dark room – 10 top tips from experts – Homes & Gardens

Lighting a dark room successfully can be demanding. But a scheme that provides good overall illumination as well because task and mood lighting is a must if it’s going to be a space which is comfortable for all the activities that take place there, and one in which light levels could be adjusted to suit the mood.

There are a number of reasons why the room might become naturally dark. Small windows – perhaps in a cottage – the north-facing position, shading by trees, foliage, or other external features, or a basement location can all make it more gloomy than you’d like.

Whatever the particular issue, though, clever lighting ideas are usually required and here the experts provide their advice with regard to brightening plus lighting a dark space.

Lighting the dark area

A space that’s gloomy will feel profoundly uninviting and may well provide insufficient illumination for some of the tasks that go on presently there. Here specialists weigh in with solutions to the problem of lighting a dark room beautifully – from clever living room illumination ideas in order to advice regarding lighting a dining room .

1 . Make use of LED strips

(Image credit: Kichler Lighting)

LED strips can end up being a valuable resource when lighting the dark space. ‘If you have any joinery or cabinetry in the room, then be sure to include LED strip lights in the designs to bring within another gentle source, ’ says Shalini Misra, interior designer and founder, Shalini Misra (opens in new tab) .  

‘Fitting DIRECTED strips to the underside associated with shelving or into any joinery will bring more lighting into the particular space whilst highlighting any kind of items on display. Similarly, fitting BROUGHT lights towards the top of the cupboard will offer a warming glow plus help make the room feel taller and larger. The same goes intended for any open shelving, with LEDs highlighting any decorative items while bringing a warming glow to the space.  

‘You should even consider fitting Led strip lights light to curtain recesses or even tuck them behind cornices to create a soft diffusion associated with light. ’

2 . Illuminate a low ceiling

(Image credit: Gunter & Co)

A room that is dark might also have a low roof – and this can often be the case for basements. To tackle the issue, take inspiration from the guest bedroom of this Belgravia mews maisonette, which will be naturally darkish as well as not being a tall space.  

‘We didn’t want to lower the ceiling even more along with a pendant, so my solution was to recess lighting into a void within the ceiling, resulting in a soft wash of light, ’ explains Irene Gunter, founder associated with Gunter & Co (opens in brand new tab) .

‘We combined the particular recessed lighting with Linden lamps simply by Kelly Wearstler . The lamps don’t just look beautiful (particularly considering we customized the shades), but they also emit a warm, ambient gentle that is usually great to get winding down in the particular evening. For reading, also consider installing directional wall lights, which are a great light source whenever reading fine print, but less effective at creating atmosphere. ’

3. Pay attention to the room’s role

(Image credit score: Ashley Whittaker Design/Thomas Loof)

How you approach lighting the dark area should be informed by what the space is used pertaining to. ‘The same rule may apply to every area in the home, yet for a more considered result, the rule should become broken plus re-applied in a contextual way, ’ says Joanne Quinn, senior interior designer at  LuxDeco (opens in new tab) .

‘Begin by considering a dark bathroom ideas . In here, candles within hurricane lanterns, paired with a thoughtfully positioned wall lighting or two, one close by to a mirror where illumination is definitely needed would be more suited to the environment than a ceiling full of spotlights.

‘In the bedroom, when night falls and there’s little light to be found, bedside lamps supply a lower level of light close to the particular height associated with the bed – the key piece of furniture in order to highlight. Another lamp by a dressing area, be it another table lamp or a standing floor lamp, promises another source that will combines task-style lighting and ambient illumination.  

As for the kitchen? ‘Brighter beams associated with light are called for, ’ says Joanne. ‘Try not to disregard the constant need for atmospheric light too, however. ’

4. Employ the magic of mirrors

(Image credit: Kelling Designs)

Decorating with mirrors will certainly enhance the daylight that does reach a dark room. ‘Mirrors create any space lighter, brighter and more dramatic, so add fixed decorative mirrors on long walls, which will double the illusion of room, ’ says Juliette Thomas, founder plus director, Juliettes Interiors (opens in brand new tab) . ‘Floor-standing mirrors can be moved around to create different moods within the area – and bigger can be always better. A small mirror in a large space will look skimpy, upsetting the balance from the whole room. However, wall mirrors should never end up being wider compared to the piece of furniture below. ’

But you should also make use of mirrors to boost artificial illumination whenever lighting the dark room. ‘A key trick is certainly utilizing decorative mirrors by lights, whether a person position all of them behind lamps or on the wall in order to fall within line along with your roof pendant, ’ says Emma Deterding, founder and creative director, Kelling Designs (opens in new tab) . ‘Placing mirrors behind lamps will help to increase the particular depth of a room, whilst doubling the amount of gentle available simply by reflecting lighting from the lamp back into the space. ’

5. Be smart with downlights

(Image credit score: James Merrell / Future)

If the corners of a room are gloomy during daylight hours, try this strategy from inside designer Penny Morrison (opens in brand new tab) in order to provide background lighting for the entire space.

‘In a dark space I put small downlights in the corners of the area on dimmer switches which usually can be used to gently boost the false impression of daytime on a really dark day, ’ she says.

6. Think verticals and horizontals

(Image credit: Davide Lovati)

It’s important to think about illumination in the three-dimensional way when lights a darkish room.

‘In dark rooms, you should try to create as many sources associated with warm light as possible, ’ says Peter Legg, lead designer, där  lighting (opens in new tab) . ‘Place lights at different levels to ensure the room is illuminated vertically plus horizontally. Table and floor lamps are ideal for any shady corners, and wall lamps can help frame the particular main region or highlight the edges of the space when placed in either end.  

‘When picking the particular central gentle source, choose an armed pendant or even one made from glass to help light bounce across the space. ’

7. Opt for consistent color

(Image credit: Life Kitchens)

If using LED light in a dark room, make sure this all has the same color tone – this is important in all rooms, but particularly if you are looking for kitchen lighting suggestions because there are so many reflective surfaces.

‘Warm white works well because it offers a cozy, relaxing environment, while still brightening the dark space, ’ states David Conlon, founder, En Masse Bespoke Interiors (opens in brand new tab) .

8. Consider the glass in light fixtures

(Image credit score: Polly Eltes)

Whether family room chandelier ideas or pendants are usually preferred, it is worth thinking about the particular glass in light fittings when lighting a dark room.  

‘Chandeliers include immediate drama and romance to darkish entrance halls or cozy dining spaces, or if your style is more casual then  groups of pendants work really well, especially when they’re hung from different amounts to add more interest, ’ says Tim Oulton, founder, Timothy Oulton (opens in new tab) . ‘We often use optical-grade K9 glass within our illumination; it’s  clearer and lighter than crystal so this softly diffuses the light plus creates a very gentle, romantic glow. ’

9. Select the right lampshades

(Image credit: Sims-Hilditch)

The particular choice associated with lampshades as well as the number of lamps can assist in making a darkish room lighter in weight. ‘An ambient glow is what you may expect through the fabric of your lampshade, ’ says internal designer Benji Lewis, creator of Zoom that Room (opens in new tab) . ‘Therefore, if the room will be dark, more are needed.

‘Silk taffeta is a sumptuous finish meant for a lampshade, especially good if it’s a more formal effect you’re after. It also reflects light so is perfect for a dark room. Gathered muslin is a slightly different but lovely fabric which lets the sunshine come through well.  

Consider the linings associated with lampshades since well. ‘Metallic shade linings are excellent for spectacle, ‘ states Benji. ‘I’d likely lean towards gold rather then silver, however , because the background light will appear warmer; similarly cream card lining is going to allow designed for softer lighting than a bright white lining. ’

10. Use a lacquered finish

(Image credit: Maestri Studio Photograph: Nathan Schroder)

A lacquered finish can be an excellent solution for a naturally dark area. ‘We used white walls and a lacquered white ceiling to brighten up this space, ’ says Eddie Maestri AIA, principal architect, creative director, and owner of  Maestri Studio room (opens within new tab) .   ‘The lacquer displays light and the mirror quality gives the particular perception of more area. ’

Exactly how can I get better lights in a dark room?

To get much better lighting in a darkish room begin by making the most associated with the daylight there is after that address its artificial light.

‘To include light in order to a dark room, I would always recommend trying to maximize natural light by opening up walls, setting up large bi-fold windows and paring back again window treatments (utilizing a frosted window film instead of blinds, for example), ’ says TR Facilities (opens within new tab) originator, Tom Rutt.

‘Artificial light is also a good important tool. Incorporate multiple light sources in various parts of a  room, such as walls, table plus floor lighting. This will throw light upwards at the roof to “lift” the area and illuminate the particular room much more effectively than a single overhead light source and it will furthermore create a cozy, more inviting ambience.

‘Consider focusing gentle on surfaces and functions like alcoves, nooks, shelving and artwork. Spotlights plus wall lights are great whenever they’re utilized in this kind of considered method as the light may bounce off these surfaces  softly illuminating the surrounding room.

‘Dark walls/surfaces and north-facing  rooms aren’t likely to reflect light, therefore think about making use of lighting with diffusion in order to disperse the particular light. ’

How may I get good light in the room without a window?

In a room without having a windows, the lighting design needs to supply all the illumination. ‘The exact level of light you need in the room can depend upon a number of things, including the size and shape from the space, what it is being used for, and the kind of ambience you’re looking to create, ’ says Rohan Blacker, owner of Pooky (opens in new tab) .  

‘Introducing a number of different lighting sources into a windowless room can help to lift the space and prevent it through feeling dark or enclosed. You should aim for stability within the space. Try to avoid making certain areas particularly bright in the expense of others, as this will emphasize any dark edges, making the area feel smaller and a lot more enclosed. ’

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