Indirect lighting is one of the most powerful tools in the home decorators kit. It is soft, flattering and easy on the eye. The surprising thing it remains one of the most underutilised of tools. This is the kind of light that inspired many a Renaissance painter after all!
But with recent developments in lighting, it has become increasingly difficult to ignore the huge potential of great indirect lighting. The demand for more energy efficient lighting has led us to a bright new future. New electronic developments have spawned a huge variety of fixtures and this has given us the ability to light up our homes in more creative ways than ever before. It has also given us the ability to customise our lighting designs to suit our specific needs. In the future, home lighting is expected to become even more unobtrusive and integrated with our changing needs.
So come with us on a tour of a few homes and great ideas of indirect lighting to get you inspired.
Look for lighting fixtures that cover or obstruct the light source and allow for carefully controlled light spillage. Consider these step lights. The light covers bounce the light onto the wall where it disperses to become a soft, ambient light.
If you are concerned about the strength of the illumination, use dimmable lights and work with layering your light by installing additional alternative sources. Here we have another high light source, possibly on the wall. Multiple, soft, light sources like this will add a lovely, textured look to the lighting scheme.
Soft lighting is all very well when it comes to relaxing, but often we need something stronger for a specific task like reading or working. It's particularly important in the kitchen, so we thought this would be a great example of how it can be done well. This kitchen is adequately lit, but it's also indirect, mysterious and beautiful.
There are four primary layers of lighting that here – each with their own colour. But it's the bright, blue even illumination of the splash-back that really captures our interest. It is strong and yet indirect because the light has been trapped behind plexiglass. You may have also noticed the yellow light breakfast bench. We'll explore that more in our next example.
Strip lighting is undoubtedly one of the most popular and creative options around for the home renovator. They are now commercially available with self contained wiring. This means that don't need to install any dedicated or expensive wiring – all you need is a power point close by.
If you love the completely soft, even diffuse light in these bookshelves, you need strip lights and if you want something a little more focused, consider a strip of spot lights. Both options are widely available with warm LED lights. These are extremely cheap and environmentally friendly. To avoid glare, it's best to install the lights so they are tucked out of sight behind a facade and make them face towards the back of the cabinet.
Developments in solar energy have led to a huge variety of waterproof, outdoor solar lamps. This means that there are plenty of options for the budget conscious among us. To create lovely, atmospheric lighting, consider buying solar lamps that can be buried in plant foliage. It will light up the leaves and add a whole lot more texture to the garden.
If you are in the design stages of your building, consider sliver windows. Here, we have a beautiful example of a minimalist bathroom with a very narrow window opening just above eye level. The light is powerful, diffuse and works as a decorative element in its own right. Of course the light, white walls are all important in the process of bouncing around all that light.
A bedroom always needs good, indirect light and this beautiful bedhead by Hong Kong designers Ample Design is a great example of how well it can be done. The golden light has been trapped behind this bedhead and used to highlight the beautiful details in this antique wooden screen. We love it!
If you are interested in redecorating, you would love this Ideabook How to beautify your home with decorative items.