Lighting Design

Interior Designers Debate The “Big Light” On TikTok


Interior Designs Debate The “Big Light” On TikTok

A viral debate has erupted on TikTok between interior designers and whether there should be an end to the “big light,” a phrase for any overhead or ceiling light. With the rise of more indirect, portable, accent, and task lighting, softer ambient lighting options are available without the central ceiling light.

An article by Homes & Gardens asked interior designers on both sides of the debate whether it’s time to eliminate central ceiling fixtures from residential lighting design. Here is a quick summary:

Arguments against the big light:

  • The big light is harsh, cold, and simply far too bright for more relaxing spaces like your living room or bedroom.
  • The big light creates a sterile, clinical atmosphere.
  • To only have one option of lighting, like the big light in particular, can be overwhelming if you want to create an ambiance that is calming, soothing, and comfortable.
  • A good layered lighting scheme should include ambient light, but preferably from recessed spots or concealed strip lighting.

Arguments for the big light:

  • Many seasoned interior designers argue that overhead lighting remains an essential element in creating balanced and functional homes.
  • The answer is in layering light to get the right balance between ambient, direct, indirect, accent, and task lighting.
  • Don’t eliminate wiring to a central fixture. The next owner may want a light there, even if you don’t.
  • Instead of sitting smack in the center of the ceiling, the big light can be suspended, quite low, above a piece of furniture such as a side table or a console.
  • Tall ceilings can take a statement drop pendant, but to brighten a room with a low ceiling you might be best steered towards spotlights or a mix of wall and table lamps.
  • Flush ceiling lights can make a big impact in situations where ceilings don’t allow for a long drop fixture.
  • Ambient and accent lighting adds depth and character, while overhead lighting ensures that a space is well-lit and practical for everyday activities.
  • Big lights, like one central light, are best for events with large parties, or cleaning your home.
  • By adding floor lamps, table lamps, task lighting, and decorative lighting to the big light, you are creating multiple opportunities to draw attention to different parts of your space.
  • In general, big light is not terrible, but without the other layers, it becomes too cumbersome and harsh.
  • Add indirect lighting, which is about what you are lighting up and creating moods for your rooms, rather than just relying on overhead lighting everywhere.

Read the full article here.


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