Lighting may arguably be the most essential feature of a well-designed room. From an interior design standpoint, lighting determines the overall mood of a room and can contribute to the perceived size of any space.

There are many factors to consider when designing an interior: access to natural light, square footage, purpose of the room, color scheme, furniture present, etc. All of these elements work together to create a specific impression, but not until the right lighting is achieved in a room at its peak of purpose and style.

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Color

The combination of color and lighting can make a room seem small or large, depending on shade and mode of illumination. Light colored walls with overhead lighting or wall lighting makes for a room that feels large and spacious, even if it physically is not. Conversely, a dark colored room with track light or recessed can lighting makes a room feel small, potentially cozy (or cramped), depending on the other factors playing into the room design.

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Function

A light without purpose is a waste of energy. Therefore, choosing lighting based on the purpose and need of a space is essential and practical. For rooms like entry ways and spaces like dining rooms and kitchens where a wide range of the room is used, overhead lights provides the most amount of illumination. Wall lights are great for hallways and living rooms, providing enough light to be able to move around safely but not too much to not sit comfortably in for a long period of time.

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Space

The actual space of a room is paramount in determining what lighting choices to make. Natural light is preferred in all scenarios. If a large room has little access to natural light, it can definitely seem smaller than it actually is. If a small room has limited access to natural light, it can seem cramped and almost oppressive. Being spatially aware when furnishing the room as well as placing lights strategically can improve the overall spacial feel of a space. Corner and wall lights make a small room seem bigger. Overhead lights and chandeliers make a big room with little natural light maintain its spacious appeal.