For many people, a room without windows is the same as a horror movie! They believe that it’s impossible to illuminate the space and make this a room like any other. Although the ideal will always be to have a naturally lit space, when this opportunity isn’t possible, there are still many available options.
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Layering light in a room with no windows
There are three main types of lighting: ambient lighting (the overall level of light in a room, including the main light plus any lamps etc); task lighting (stronger, more targeted lighting for cooking, reading, etc); and accent lighting (for highlighting architectural features, ornaments or artwork). By combining these different types of lighting – known as ‘layering’ light – you can provide plenty of practical light while also creating mood and ambience.
When lighting a room with no windows, you should aim for balance within the space. Try to avoid making certain areas particularly bright at the expense of others, as this will emphasise any dark corners, making the room feel smaller and more enclosed.
Choosing light fittings in a room with no windows
The style and material of your light fittings can also affect the sense of light and atmosphere in a windowless room. To maximise the available light, opt for reflective metallic fittings in silver, chrom or or brass combined with blown glass, prismatic or sheer shades – or make a bold statement with a stylish standalone designer LED filament lightbulb.
It’s also important to consider the ‘colour temperature’ of the lightbulbs you’re using. This is measured on the Kelvin scale, with cooler, bluish white light at the higher end of the scale – this is closer to natural daylight; while lower down the scale is warmer, yellower light which has a more cosy, relaxing feel. Try combining a daylight style bulb in your main overhead light, with a warmer hue for your table lamps and floor lamps.
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Using mirrors in a room with no windows
Mirrors are an excellent way of maximising the available light and adding depth to a space. In a room without windows, a mirror can be used to simulate both the look and effect of a window. Adding a large mirror or a series of mirrors to a wall will give the room an attractive focal point. Meanwhile, hanging a mirror opposite a doorway can reflect additional light into the space from other rooms.
In a sitting room or dining room, try placing a large mirror above the fireplace or on a feature wall. Position the mirror so it can reflect back light from the overhead light fitting, or try adding a wall light on either side for a balanced look. You can also place mirrors behind table lamps and wall lights, to reflect the light and add extra ambience.
Other ways of creating light without windows
As well as the lighting scheme, there are a number of other ways you can maximise the sense of light and space in a windowless room:
- Use doors that maximise the light from neighbouring rooms – using glass doors, doorless arches or double-doors can help bring in the light from hallways or neighbouring rooms that have more natural light
- Opt for a light colour scheme – using lighter colours on the walls and ceiling, such as whites, creams, beiges and pastels, will help to reflect the light and make the space feel more open
- Choose clean, simple lines – keeping to light coloured fabrics and slim furniture with clean, simple lines will help to make the room feel less fussy and more spacious
- Incorporate light-emitting decoration – neon artworks and LED features will help boost the overall light. A large painting or print lit by a picture light will create a bright focal point
- Use reflective surfaces – using metallics and other reflective surfaces will reflect the light and make things feel brighter. Think glossy walls, mirrored cupboards, and metallic frames and home accessories
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