Sunlight is the most natural way to light a space, and every lighting designer knows that it’s an important component to consider before planning a project. Knowing where the afternoon rays come in, or which window dawn streams in first, can help a designer understand where to fill in the gaps. It’s still important to create “layers of light” throughout an entire space, but capitalizing on sunlight as much as possible is a core rule in lighting design.
With Paint …
If you paint in lighter colors (think white, soft yellow, and beige), the sun will reflect off the walls more easily and bounce light further into your home. Also, choose a glossy paint finish to enhance those light reflections. Eggshell is an excellent option. It has a low sheen that looks great on walls, and it will also hold up better than a flat finish.
With Mirrors …
Mirrors are especially helpful tools in apartments, where direct sunlight sometimes only reaches one side of the façade. Choose a few well-designed framed mirrors and place them strategically to capture the sun during different parts of the day. You can magnify the effects of a skylight by scattering afternoon sun throughout an entire room. Or, try bouncing morning light onto an opposite wall by aligning a mirror to face a window.
With Flooring …
Wood flooring and tiles reflect light the best, so avoid covering them up with carpets in a dim space.
Lighting designers, do you have any extra tips to add?
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