Lighting Trends You Simply Must Try
A key part of any room design, lighting can impact how the space looks, feels and functions. Here are the six top lighting trends of the year — including the latest technology and styles.
Lighting is getting larger. While many homeowners in the past were drawn to lights that blended or disappeared in a room, bigger is now better. As an example, less than a decade ago the average diameter of a small, five-light chandelier was 24 inches. Today it is about 28 inches. This trend could be because of there being more homes with open floor plans and high ceilings today. Let’s face it, a tiny chandelier in a converted warehouse or above a large dining table simply doesn’t work.
When it comes to outdoor spaces, however, the opposite is true: scaled-down pieces are being used to create coziness and warmth on porches or in covered gathering spaces.
Smart Light Bulbs
Smart bulbs are offering new function to homeowners, who are switching out their standard bulbs more and more for this baby step into smart home technology. Smart lighting offers the ability to adjust color temperature, whereas regular bulbs only allow one color temp.
Since people are spending more time at home and rooms are often serving multiple uses, this increased functionality is important. For example, start out the workday with a bright, cool white temp to keep you awake and alert. Then, as evening falls, warm up the lighting in the same room for a calming effect. Smart bulbs have other benefits as well, including remote on/off and scheduling functions. For the most part, using them is as easy as screwing the bulbs in and setting them up with a phone app.
Brass and Black Finishes
A combination of black and modern brass finishes are dominating lighting fixtures right now. An exceptionally attractive and classy look, these fixtures benefit from the juxtaposition of rich darkness and sophisticated metallic shine. This duo is especially suited for industrial and farmhouse styles that have been popular for the last several years. Expect them to continue to get more refined and luxe in their detailing.
Light bulbs have gone from strictly utilitarian to being an actual extension of a fixture’s design — or even the focal point. For example, consider the Edison bulb’s popularity, with it’s alluring bare filament. An Edison bulb or a clear globe offer a stylish, retro feel. For a fresh edge, try mixing and matching modern round bulb shapes with traditional fixtures, or pairing a candelabra with a tubular bulb. Experiment with clear, milky, or seeded glass bulbs for diffused or bright light. With all the bulb choices available today, you can truly customize your lighting and make it your own.
Dimmers are an absolute must-have in today’s homes. Not only can a dimmer change the brightness of a bulb, it can also cut glare and help save energy. In essence, any light can be turned into a nightlight and give that desired warm ambience in the evening. And with the advancement of color-changing LEDs, the color temp can warm automatically as the light is reduced.
Tip: Be sure to pair your dimmable LED with a dimmer switch recommended by the lightbulb manufacturer. Lighting professionals will be able to help you find the right match.
Due to recent circumstances, lighting has seen a new focus surface: its ability to eradicate bacteria and viruses. Known as germicidal lighting, the key concepts associated with it are safety and effectiveness. The safety part focuses on keeping skin and eyes shielded from harmful ultraviolet-C (UVC) light. Effectiveness is directly related to a combination of time and intensity (brightness). The goal is to irradiate a surface or the air with UVC of the right intensity and for enough time to kill the virus so that it can no longer replicate.
In the right applications, germicidal lighting can be both safe and effective. Although new developments have made it much more effective now than in the past, germicidal lighting is not new technology. Several new products on the market today use UVC-emitting LEDs to clean indoor air in commercial and residential environments.