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Why Indirect Lighting Should Be a Priority in Your Home Design

Light fixtures, distinguished by three basic categories—point sources for direction, linear sources for accenting, and area sources for omnidirectional diffusion—play a pivotal role in illuminating spaces.

Your lighting design journey starts with the thoughtful selection of the right type to achieve your desired effect. Indirect lighting relies on reflection or diffusion on surfaces. This type of light is directed towards ceilings or walls to bounce the light off of, and into your space. The result is a natural and soft light, characterized by evenness and gentleness, making it an ideal choice for creating a cozy and inviting atmosphere at home. This type of lighting is also more flattering on the occupants, because it is bouncing off of diffuse surfaces, so it is not coming down at harsh downward angle.


Indirect light can be harnessed through various methods, such as reflected light off surfaces, diffused light permeating through mediums like lampshades or frosted glass fixtures, and even natural light entering from windows, contributing to a soft, ambient glow. This style of lighting offers more than just aesthetics. It actively reduces glare, shadows, and harsh contrasts, ensuring a comfortable visual experience for extended periods.



Its unique ability to create a low-contrast, soft illumination psychologically enlarges a space, making it a key player in task/ambient lighting for living spaces. Some may find indirect light lacking in vibrancy, but pairing it with task lighting and decorative elements injects visual interest and overcomes this perception. One common concern in lighting design involves the adequacy of indirect light. Current LED technology has paved the way for fixtures that confidently meet lumen requirements. Interestingly, many instances exist where indirect light is intentionally dimmed to as little as 10%, providing a subtle and inviting glow to the room. Selecting light fixtures is a critical aspect of ensuring confidence in your lighting design. The market inundates us with a variety of indirect wall lights, but caution is advised against basing choices solely on price. Performance is paramount, especially considering that a well-chosen light fitting may replace the need for multiple downlights, making the cost commensurate.



To embark on your journey toward spectacular living light, seek independent professional advice, from a lighting designer. Their guidance ensures that the implementation of indirect lighting in your home is not just functional but also aesthetically rewarding.


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-Written by Maxime O'Rourke, For Prism Lighting Design


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