Illuminate Your Home and Life

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The latest trends in lighting styles are breaking with tradition. Lighting is coming into its own as a major decorative force.

Gone are the days of plain utilitarian fixtures and lamps. New trends for modern consumers are popping up across the spectrum of lighting fixtures and lamps. In certain areas, technological advances are making news.

Warm Metals
One really popular trend is warm metals such as soft gold and even rose gold. Brass and copper are being used, but they are not quite as warm as the gold fixtures. These metallic fixtures are far more sophisticated than the fixtures of the ’80s. Gold fixtures add color and artistic statement to the room, as light reflects off the surfaces, giving the space a soft glow. Soft gold blends in beautifully with other soft colors such as grey or griege, a wonderful new shade in fabrics and flooring, adding a warm feel to any room.

Industrial Design
French industrial designs are another new trend with ideas that are a stark contrast to the rustic, warehouse fixtures from the past. Today’s designs and finishes have a more artistic feel while keeping the warehouse look at bay.

Chandeliers are big this year. The difference is that the chandeliers use minimalistic metals and are nothing at all like the heavily ornate crystal chandeliers in foyers or dining rooms of the past. Look for chandeliers in unexpected places, such as kitchens, bathrooms and walk-in closets.

Many chandeliers are smaller and fit perfectly into small apartments or mother-in-law suites. Still, for those who can afford them, crystal chandeliers are popular when the right eye-catching look is the only thing that will do.

Flower and plant walls have been popular for the last few years, but their requirements will make them a novelty rather than a mainstream trend. Flower chandeliers are popular for weddings and special occasions. These can be simply forms with flowers used as decorations or actual plants planted to enhance a space.

Statement Pieces
Designers have always favored statement pieces to accentuate a room. Now, lighting has become one of those elements. Large floor lamps that arc over the sofa and pendants that drape over the kitchen island and counters are the go-to statement piece. Look for a piece that fits your décor and make a statement that will have your guests saying “Wow!”

Clean Lines
Modern décor has cleaner, less-cluttered lines than previously. Lighting fixtures are picking up on this trend. Instead of the ornate fixtures of the past, fixtures have simple geometric designs in neutral colors that go well with modern furniture and open spaces. The trend should last for a long time because of the architectural features of modern homes.

Retro Edison Fixtures and Bulbs
Not everyone loves sleek modern décor. For those who are nostalgic, the retro Edison bulb is a trend for 2019. The fixtures go well with the farmhouse look, industrial lofts, contemporary apartments and other interior styles. They work well in the kitchen, where a grouping can add more light to work areas. The retro look will also soften the stark industrial loft and make it feel homier. These retro bulbs come in both incandescent and LEDs.

Lighting Unexpected Spaces
The trend here is surprise. There are light fixtures inside cabinets, drawers and closets to banish darkness in spaces where you may have used a flashlight to see into dark corners. Another unexpected space is showers, where recessed lights are mood enhancers. Some shower heads come with colored lights. The kids are in for a real treat with colored water spraying them during bathtime!

Lighting fixtures and lamps are not the only place where new trends are developing. LED bulbs, fixtures and lamps are becoming less expensive. The initial costs of LEDs are higher, but over the long run, you’ll save money. Traditional incandescent bulbs waste most of their energy in heat. According to the U.S. Department of Energy, LED lighting is “six to seven times more efficient than conventional lighting and can last up to 25 times longer.” LEDs are a win-win for both the individual homeowner and the environment.

Dimmers are another improvement in LED lighting. More LED fixtures and lamps are available with dimmers that allow the homeowner to set the mood by adjusting the light in a space. Stand-alone dimmers are generally available in big box stores and they’re easy to install.

Research into circadian rhythms is producing interesting data about human sleep patterns. UV and LED lighting that promote restful sleep is growing in popularity. While this classic concern of environment versus health is not huge at present, it is a trend to watch. As energy costs continue to skyrocket how will consumers react when their health is affected? ■

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