At Nautical Lights, we believe nearly everything in our homes can have an effect on our physical and mental well-being. For example, the color palette of our room might help us think better or it can hinder us from progress. Sizes and shapes of the items we keep in our house affect our daily routine. Even the feel of that new carpet can be the difference between “it really brings the room together” and “I want to break something.”
The same goes for the lights we use. Vintage interior lighting--especially nautical lighting--just like most things in our home, requires a lot of forethought and planning, which is what this guide is here for. We’ve decided to provide you with some useful interior lighting tips and, more importantly, we focused on each individual room that your home might have.
Lighting Design Layers
Before moving on to the specifics, we need to cover some general know-how about lighting design. Most designers will look at your home and discuss the purpose of the light you want to have installed. Firstly, they’ll discuss general or ambient lighting. As its name suggests, this layer refers to the light you’ll be using on a daily basis. In short, this is the “normal,” everyday illumination, a combination of outdoor sunlight and indoor incandescence.
Next, there’s the task lighting. In simple terms, task lighting is a light source that we use for specific purposes. For example, if you sew or draw, you’ll need a separate light source for a better view.
Finally, you have the accent lighting. Usually, people don’t need it since its only purpose is to accentuate a space, to make it stand out. A good example of this type of lighting is a vintage nautical light like this, which draws attention to a place within the room.
Vintage Nautical Lighting Design Factors
When looking for a vintage nautical light fixture, you need to take several factors into account. Some of them include:
●Size and space
●How old the occupant is
●The occupant’s preferences
●Color coding of each room
●Points of interest
●Height and shape of a room
●Reflective and non-reflective surfaces
●Existing lighting installations
●Efficiency and economics
●Other details (controlling the lighting source, documentation, spatial perceptions, etc.)
Lighting Fixture Types
There are quite a few different lighting fixtures on the market nowadays. In order to help you pick the right ones, we’ve sorted them into several different categories:
●Surface-mounted fixtures (used in entryways, hallways, and bedrooms)
●Pendant lights (fixtures that hang from the ceiling by a chain or a cord)
●Recessed lights (hidden away so that you can’t see them directly)
●Track lighting (fixtures that contain multiple bulbs with several circuits and voltages)
●Portable lights (you can move them about and plug them in an outlet)
●Landscape lighting (a huge category including floor lights, bullet lights, deck lighting, motion sensors, etc.)
Vintage Interior Lighting Guide for Individual Rooms
Since your entryway is the first part of the house guests go through, you need good lighting there. A decent ceiling fixture will be great here. In addition, try using some track lighting to create a wall wash. Interestingly, a small vintage pendant light can make the entryway appear more welcoming and familiar.
Stairs and Hallways
Nobody should fall down the stairs at night or slip somewhere in a hallway. That’s why both ought to be well-lit. If you have a long hallway, use a fixture every 4–6 feet. Also, try to highlight any artwork that you might have in the hallway. In terms of stairs, a few fixed lights at the top and the bottom will suffice.
Bathrooms have a lot of reflective surfaces, so make sure to use mellow, shadow-free lighting. For users who have tubs and like a bit of atmosphere while bathing, we suggest dimmable lights. However, make sure that the switch is nearby and accessible from the tub itself. Also, an additional LED light can come in handy if there’s a power outage and you’re stuck in your bathroom.
Garages and Utility Rooms
Utility rooms, including workspaces and laundry rooms, need a lot of task lighting and as little shadow as possible. Recessed lighting might be the best option, since it isn’t intrusive and it provides enough illumination. Moreover, if you’re installing pendant lights in your garage, do not place them directly above the car.
Dining rooms are areas where you serve meals to friends and family, so the lighting here should match the mood. A nice, vintage fox light will do fine above the dining table. Both recessed and wall lighting can help set the mood and accentuate any artwork or potted plants. You can also place different fixture types to accentuate your china cabinet, wine rack, or anything that sets the dining room apart from others.
Kitchens are areas where you can’t really do much without task lighting. Make sure to install fixtures above the stove and under the cabinets. In addition, since you will probably be using the kitchen frequently, make sure to use energy-efficient LED light bulbs inside your vintage nautical light.
If the dining room is the center for dining, the living room is the center of the whole home. In other words, both rooms need similar types of lighting fixtures. For instance, we can have a chandelier above the table and lots of wall lights and track fixtures to accentuate the room. Since living rooms often have the most artwork, an occasional bookshelf, or even a trophy, recessed lights can bring them to the forefront. Dimmers are also a good idea since they can give your living room a bit of atmosphere.
Are you a freelancer who works from home? If so, we suggest adorning your home office with some energy-efficient, glare-free lighting. Task lighting is important here, especially if you work at night. However, feel free to add some accent lighting so that you can have a bit of psychological relief, so to speak. Cool lighting (under 5.000K) can help you with that.
As the popular urban saying goes, bedrooms are where the magic happens. So, whether it’s for the magic or just a good night’s sleep, you’ll need soft, shaded fixtures and cool lights with a dimming option. In addition, colored bulbs are great if you want to change the mood up a bit. Ambient lighting will work well in dark bedrooms, but don’t forget some mild accent lighting for any piece of art you may hang on the wall or across from your bed.
A Few Final General Tips
- Keep all vintage ship lights away from fabrics, since bulbs can overheat
- If you use colored light bulbs, make sure to do so sparingly and only when appropriate
- Always take natural light into account
- When and if you can, buy energy-efficient light bulbs
- Dimmers are a great way to both set the mood and save money on electric bills
- Always consult an expert to maximize your lighting output