Interior Design



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Lighting According To Vastu

There are three basic types of lighting which are categorized according to the intensity of the light used.

  • General lighting - It supplies an overall illumination in the area.
  • Task lighting - It supplies the required illumination for specific tasks such as reading , painting etc. It directs strong local illumination without high general illumination as required for activities carried in a particular area.
  • Accent lighting - It offers a decorative element to the area by highlighting the particular objects or features in the area. They are auxiliary to the general lighting and provide an added , and at times , dramatic dimensions to the scheme.

Spaces can be provided with one , two or all types of these lightings , depending upon the requirement . With different types of lighting in each room and dimmers to adjust the intensity of light , an ordinary space can be infused with much dramatic look to convey different moods to suit different times of the day.

Light can define space , substance and style. Outdoors , with the shifting sun and atmospheric conditions , light and the shadows change the appearance of things natural and man made. But in the indoors, the play of natural and artificial lighting largely determine both function and decoration. Today lighting is considered to be a very important element of decorating scheme. The invention of the incandescent bulb in 1978 revolutionized lighting systems as it allowed light to be easily manipulated. Apart from exploiting natural light by using opaque or transparent glass walls , sky lights , large windows etc. for offices , architect work out the detailed light fittings which are conducive for a work environment . In homes , a careful selection of lights extends and enhances the aesthetics of interiors. Similarly for hotels , showrooms , museums , gardens , water bodies , individual lighting requirements are worked out. Artificial light falling from various angles and heights on different surfaces guide us to perceive various features and dimensions while creating a specific mood. With technological developments and the stress on precision lighting , a variety of lighting fixtures are readily available with options which offer manifold possibilities in terms of effect.

The choice of fitting according to the room , gets very difficult , one gets puzzled off as there are so many varieties in lights like the table lamps , spot lights , clamp lights , recessed / surface mounted lights , uplighters , halogens , incandescent bulb , pendants , fluorescent fixtures and lots of others. Once the basic idea of the space , mood , interior design , highlighting , function of work have been specified , one can then consider the basic types of lighting. Initially only the planned positions of lights need to be decided. Later , the selection of bulbs and the exact effect can be created. One should always keep in mind some of the basic rules while designing the light.

  • Every activity that takes place in the interior must have lights of the right kind , intensity and the right direction.
  • The eye prefers even lighting with the minimum of contrast between the brightness of the room surfaces and the lighting fixtures.
  • The eye works best when the work surface is more brightly lit then the surroundings.
  • The eye is stimulated by the contrast of tone and sparkle.
  • When room lighting change , color changes or disappear , thus objects become more or less important in the room.


Planning and designing is a tedious job. Today's bathroom wears a well dressed look , its design recognizing people's needs to begin and end their day in pleasant surroundings. It is after all an intimate personal place- perhaps the only room in the house where one can be totally private and get much needed peace.

  • For a relatively small room , the bath area can use a no. of different types of lighting.
  • General lighting is essential in a compact bath , a central ceiling may suffice.
  • Medium size and large size baths and especially those with sectioned areas for tub , shower and toilet will require several overhead fixtures.
  • The lights are general , recessed into the ceilings or those over a tub or a shower must be watertight and vapour proof . A minimum of 100W incandescent or 60W fluorescent lamp is sufficient.
  • The most critical lighting in a bath centers around the mirror area , this is the basic for good grooming. For shaving , make up applications hair care , light should be soft and diffused without glare or shadow.
  • Avoid lighting the mirror itself rather light of the person looking into the mirror . The most efficient to light up a person's face is to use three fixtures , one on either side of the mirror and one overhead. Side fixtures should be mounted 30" - 36" apart on the wall and install about 60" above the floor.
  • Incandescent fixtures should have a minimum of 75W bulb and fluorescent tubes on either side of 20W and one tube of 30W or two tubes of 15W overhead. Additional bath lighting for specific purposes may include plant lights to take the advantage of bath humidity for growing the flowers and ferns.


The study is the most important room for the intellectuals , for students as this is the room where one builds his carrer. In the reading room , one should plan the lights very carefully as the intensity affects a lot on the eyes thus on the health.

  • In a study , the priority is to provide adequate illumination for reading and writing. For maximum pleasure of reading and for easier concentration , reading lamps must have a proper quality and quantity of illumination and be placed so that the light falls comfortably on the open page.
  • The complete room may be lit with powerful uplighters , downlighters , or the general lighting may be reduced to be supplemented with task lights as required . For the study it is necessary that task lights be supported with general illumination even if it is of low intensity to avoid eye strain.
  • Care should be taken where computers are placed , the task light should not produce glare or reflections on the screen. Task lights for writing should be positioned so as to avoid both glare and shadow.
  • If floor lamps are used as reading lights , then it should be 40"-49" from the floor to the bottom edge of the shade. The shade should be moderately illuminous to softly diffuse the light and eliminate glare , thus open top shades are preferred.


The bedroom is a place where one can be totally oneself. It is the room where we spend the maximum amount of time - to sleep , relax and unwind , after a long tiring day and rejuvenate oneself for the tomorrow.

  • The lighting should be a soothing general illumination . If want to highlight some paintings or photographs , one can go for a task lighting in this area.
  • Uplighters look very beautiful , dimmers can be very useful to play with the intensity of the light as per mood.
  • Lights should be planned in such a way that it must create a light , romantic , relaxing environment. Table lamps or hanging lamp shades provides the room a very aesthetic look.


Water presents a challenging and rewarding medium for lighting . Swimming pools , fountains , waterfalls magically come to life with lighting effects at night.

  • For effective swimming pool lighting , the lights are generally set below the water level , into the sides of the pool.
  • This should be done while the construction of the pool so as to keep the wiring away from water.
  • The lights should be placed to shimmer down the deep end of the pool.
  • Fountains are effectively lit by submerged narrow beam sources set near the base of each jet or falling on the flowing water casting a color and sparkle on it. Waterfall comes to life when lit from behind.


Garden is a place where man interacts and is near to the mother nature even at the time when we are on the verge of destroying it.

  • Lighting should be planned according to desired landscape lighting effects as well as providing adequate light for walking , security etc.
  • All lights , wiring and metal work should be able to resist weather conditions for a prolonged period of time like dust , moisture and corrosion.
  • The lighting should illuminate select areas , should create striking effects and keeps what is to be concealed in shadows.
  • Thus , the way of lighting drastically changes the way of living and mood of the environment. So one must be very careful while planning the lights and choosing the fixtures as in the end , if worked carelessly , it can result into mis match of everything.


The term lighting refers to the useful energy output of a system consisting of light sources , fixtures to support them in appropriate locations , wiring channels to activate the light sources and the convenient electrical controls. Here are the tips on how to maintain the lighting system in different rooms according to the ambience .

LIVING ROOM lighting : The living room is the core of domestic life. People decorate them according to their interest , but the one element that is common to all is the intangible style , which is not dictated by prevailing trends or large amounts of money. Here are some basics how to illuminate it properly.

  • Establish an adequate general illumination level to reduce the accent light , brightness , contrast.
  • Illuminate an entire wall with overhead fixtures to provide background for room furnishings.
  • Feature window areas with the cosmic lighting.
  • Indirect light like that under a pelment or above a cabinet will supply soft uniform illumination.
  • Use dimmers to program lighting moods.
  • Play up with the architectural features like aala , niches , mantles etc.
  • Highlight artwork and plants with individual lighting arrangements.
  • Be sure that the floor , table and hanging fixtures have adequate shades to prevent glare.
  • Plan adequate lighting to handle a variety of family activities like rack for display.
  • Bar area could use incandescent light to play up sparkling glassware. Lighted shelves or fluorescent fixtures under the front edge of bar are effective.


The decor of dining room depends upon the culture of the family. A dining room can change the style of eating. So one should be careful while playing with the lights to make the environment relax and easy.

  • One must keep the visual emphasis off the ceiling and walls and on the décor of food and guests.
  • Ceiling down lights should fall and focus primarily on dining room table surface.
  • Candles and fuel lamps in decorative holders can add special touch to any meal.
  • Buffey or service areas and chinaware/silverware/crockery displays deserve special lighting emphasis.


Kitchen is a place where a lady spends her maximum time so it should have comfortable and fresh feeling. Today's kitchens are far removed from the dark dingy spaces one saw earlier.

  • General lighting for a kitchen should be well distributed , uniform and as shadow less as possible.
  • Fluorescent fixtures reduce the energy demands without sacrificing illumination.
  • Even if there is window in the kitchen , install down lighting over a sink for cloudy days or nights.
  • Special lighting for key work areas can be installed in the ceiling or in the upper cabinets.
  • Provide light for storage areas in pantry or wall cabinets overhead or shelf mounted brackets will do the job.


Color has a profound effect on our mood. In clothing , interiors , landscape and even natural light , a color can change mood from sad to happy , from confusion to intelligence , from fear to confidence. Particular colors have different effects on each individual . Response to a color may be influenced by a number of factors such as the body's need for a specific color , a sad or happy memory associated with a color. In previous decades , certain colors or group of colors dominated every palette . Now in millenium , the stopper is out and uniqueness and personal preferences are really in. There are no absolutes in the world of color. Some colors make you want to get out of your chair , others make you want to nestle down and read. Some colors are articulate and must be listened to. Others are very quiet . Some colors indicate that you have travelled or are well read. Yet others create a desire for closeness , intimacy and love. Following are some of the most typical responses to various color groups.

NURTURING NEUTRALS : These colors create a sense of peace and well being. They foster quiet conversation with family and friends and can dispel loneliness. Throughout time , mankind has found a sense of peace and tranquility when in touch with " Mother Earth " . It follows that colors which impart a sense of warmth and serenity come directly from the earth. In addition to the earth colors in the neutral group are colors associated with sea such as sand , shell , coral , pearl , stone , seaweed. GREEN is a color which helps us to adjust to new environments and situations. It will always be found among the 'nurturing neutrals'. The BLUES represented here will range from winter sky to stream to midnight. The neutrals are somewhat like the furniture while other palettes are more like accents or accessories.

INTELLECTUAL COLORS : These are the sharp , witty and unique colors which convey a message that the owner has travelled , is well read and has something to say. These colors will command respect without being overbearing. This palette also starts with a earthy , warm base. Grey is a color which promotes creativity and will often be found in foundation of an intellectual palette. These greys will be warm and gentle. Some tones of blue suggest communication and trust , so it will naturally be found in the intellectual palette. Navy blues will often find their way in this palette , but its effect is warm and never cold and fragile. Red also appears in this intellectual palette , but the shades will be earthy and complicated burgundy , cranburry.

PLAYFUL COLORS : These colors are exiting and used for a fun providing environment These playful , whimsical palettes create their own kind of music , like the sounds of children playing. There are highs and lows , lights and darks and always movement and activity. Used in active spaces within the home , a 'playful' palette can add energy and vitality. But if overdone , this type of palette becomes irritating and stressful. The foundation of this palette is WHITE . This could be anywhere from vanilla ice cream to snow drift to winter moon. Then comes the bubble gum pink , buttercup , wintergreen , all the berry colors and crayon colors. Many of these colors will be cool , and even in lighter tones there will be brightness and clarity. The bottom line in creating this type of palette is that the colors should suggest a sense of freedom , play and downright fun.

HEALING COLORS : This palette includes the colors which are very refreshing and rejuvenating. Like nurturing colors , 'healing colors' also begin by getting in touch with nature. The first group of colors considered in this palette is GREEN. Because they have the power to help us adjust to new environments , skillful designers use lots of plants and other forms of green . Healing greens may be warm or cool , but not muddy or mysterious like those in the intellectual palette. Healing palettes also take inspirations from warn earth tones. These palettes usually contains contrast as well as a clarity of color that is inspiring. They will include a range of lights and darks but will never be muddy.

ROMANTIC COLORS : Many species including the human beings attempt to attract the opposite sex with colors. RED is the color of sex and lust and is often called the most romantic of colors. It is no accident that red is the chosen symbolic color for the Valentine's Day. In interior design , however , a less intense , softer tone of red is far more conducive to romance than the pure hue. Often referred as PINKS , these colors vary from cool to warm and from light to dark. Pinks have an interesting quality that seems to halt the body's ability to stay angry. PURPLE is another color which is definitively romantic because of its passionate , unpredictable and quixotic characteristics. Paler , less intense tones of ORANGE such as apricot and peach are often included in the romantic palette , suggesting purity and innocence. BLUES in the romantic palette will be cool and inspired by water.

PERSONAL STYLE : There are no trends in color as important as personal style. Today , most designers draw from many historical periods as well as contemporary influences and mix them together to create unique personal spaces. The most effective color palettes reflect and enhance the interests , collections and activities of the people who live there as well as architectural features.

The effects of color on mood will vary from individual to individual. Color schemes have emotional messages too. An awareness of the emotions generated by different colors is helpful in planning personal palettes that will be pleasant to live with , but it must be understood that this information is not absolute. Subtle changes in tone can increase or decrease the emotions evoked by a particular color , allowing it to be included in many diverse palettes.



Rameshwar Prasad invites you to the Wonderful World of Vastu Shastra


Engineer R. Prasad (B.Tech., M.Tech., P.G.D.C.A., P.G.D.M.) VAASTU INTERNATIONAL
49 C (Second Floor), Pocket- B,     SFS Flats,
Mayur Vihar,
New Delhi - 110096,
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