4 Fixtures and Lamps for Mood Lighting

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4 Fixtures and Lamps for Mood Lighting

Staff Writer · Jan 21, 2010

Mood lighting injects a warmer but more sparse flow of light into a room. It gives apartments a more modern but slightly romantic feel than natural light or bigger, more fluorescent light fixtures do. Many opt for mood lighting at evening parties to give a sophisticated vibe. Look for like fixtures in dark woods or metals and earth-toned shades. Lamps that allow a smaller, dimmer stream of light into the room are key to achieving this look. If mood lighting is your aim, stay away from bright lampshades and ceiling light fixtures with fluorescent bulbs.

1. Sconces

The opposite of a ceiling fan light or chandelier, which casts a wide stream of light throughout the room from above, wall sconces keep light close to the wall and let light flow upward, rather than down into the room. This movement of light is more subtle and concentrated and prevents an entire room from being brightened and covered in light. Many sconces come with warm and rustic metal details and in translucent rather than completely transparent glass, which further adds to the earthier, subtle vibe you should aim for with mood lighting.

2. Three-Way Lighting

Lamps that have three-different settings for brightness are an ideal way to bring mood lighting into a room effectively. They’re advertised specifically as three-way lamps, and must be set with compatible three-way bulbs. The bulbs come in different levels of watts, such as 45, 60 and 100 and can suit your mood easily with the click of a switch. Three-way lamps are also a  cost-efficient way to achieve your mood lighting work, as you most likely won’t always want the room to be dimmed and romantic. Click the lamp on to the highest wattage when you’re looking to read or get some work done and don’t want to strain your eyes in the near-darkness. Keep the wattage low when you’re looking for the romantic or modern vibe.

3. Earth-Toned Shades

Think rich browns and heavier fabric shades for lampshades when you’re creating your mood lighting scheme. These schemes allow you to opt for more traditional, cone-shaped lampshades, but still keep the low, romantic and warm tone of light. Look for lamp shades in chocolate, taupe and caramel, in fabrics such as rich wool or even velvet. For summer, you can use linen fabric shades, but keep the colors darker and warmer to maintain the mood.

4. Tub-Style Tabletop Lamps

Look for narrow but tall tabletop lamps to taper the light that flows into your room. These lampshades can be tall cylinders or high and rectangular, but their narrow shape will keep the light concentrated and minimal and flowing upward. This allows you to achieve the same effect as sconces, but without having to nail something to the wall. Keep them in the corners of rooms, near tables and couches, to keep light where you need it. The remainder of the light that flows into the center of the room will be residual, giving the softer, more subtle effect that is essential to mood lighting.

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