Even in sunny Mexico, choosing the right lighting is crucial

Learn about the types of lighting to accomplish the appropriate task. Photo: Courtesy
Learn about the types of lighting to accomplish the appropriate task. Photo: Courtesy

Lighting is one of the most critical parts of any room.

With the right light, your home in Mexico can be relaxing, comforting and stress-reducing. It is also vital to have the proper lighting in areas where you need to prepare food, return emails and finish another chapter in your book. In an ensuite, who doesn’t want lighting that makes them look 10 years younger and 10 pounds lighter?   

In addition to natural lighting, there are three other types of light: ambient, accent and task.

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Ambient lighting comes the closest to replicating daylight. It is a diffused light that provides an even glow. It is not meant to create shadows.

An excellent example of ambient lighting is a chandelier or a flush mount ceiling light. The downside is that it quickly causes eye fatigue since everything in your home is cast with the same light.

Accent lighting helps to put a focus on specific objects such as artwork, sculptures or feature walls. For these items to pop, accent lighting should be about three times as bright as ambient lighting. Limit how many things you showcase to really make this effect work.

Task lighting is a concentrated light source to perform a specific job. Great examples of task lighting are reading and desk lamps. It is also often used in kitchens and bathrooms.

There are many types of light fixtures on the market to create ambient, accent and task lighting. Most new condos and casas in Mexico come with recessed lighting. These types of ceiling lights are mounted flush with the ceiling, making them almost invisible. These provide mostly task lighting and are primarily functional in nature.

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Pendant lights hang from the ceiling using either a cord, chain or rod. A pendant can be a single light, or it can be a chandelier made from several lights. Pendant lighting provides mostly ambient lighting. Pendants can create accent light, for example, when placed over a kitchen counter.

Sconces are attached to the wall rather than the ceiling, usually at eye level. Depending on the style of the fixture, sconces can provide ambient, accent or task lighting.

Lamps cover all types of moveable light fixtures including floor, table and desk lamps. These are a great source of accent and task lighting depending on the shade of the lamp. For a warm glow for accent lighting, go with a translucent linen shade. For light that will cast up or down, a dark shade is a better solution.    

Track lighting is a great multi-purpose solution since they can be adjusted to focus on one item or to create ambient lighting.

Next week, we will cover how to layer your lighting.


Sheryl Novak is an expat from Canada who sells furniture throughout Mexico. Request a free catalog at furniture@solutionsmexico.com.

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