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Tabula Rasa's Practical Guide to Lighting

Jun 17,2015

Lighting is such an important part of your home's interior and can often be an area that is overlooked, and not really considered thoughtfully. Apart from providing illumination, it can create a wonderful ambience and warmth. To ensure that your home looks great and works on a practical level, we always recommend the use of three types of lighting - ambient, task and decorative.  We've put together this article to guide you through these different lighting methods. We hope it helps you make an informed decision about what is right for your home as we understand that there are simply hundreds of lighting options to choose from which can be a bit overwhelming. Do feel free to get in touch with us if you have any questions. We're very happy to help. We take a slightly different approach to many retailers in that we only feature products on our website which we personally like from a design perspective.  We offer an incredibly wide selection of different lighting designs, so if you do not find on our website what you are looking for, come and visit us at our showroom to go through our lighting catalogue.


Ambient Lighting:

Ambient lighting provides an area with overall illumination. It is also known as general lighting and radiates a comfortable level of brightness without glare and allows you to see and walk about safely. Ambient lighting acts as a replacement for natural lighting and often comes as pendent lights hung in the centre of the room for evenly distributed lighting. There is a wide selection of lights to choose from and it really depends on the style of your room and the look you are trying to achieve.  This beautiful pendant lamp emits a soft, warm glow and looks fantastic in hallways, stairwells and is particularly striking hung in clusters of two over a dining table.  Always be cognizant of the quality of light. Dining rooms are best suited for soft, indirect, ambient lighting. It's flattering and creates a more pleasing atmosphere for dining.

For bedrooms, we recommend pendant lights that provide a delicate glow for a relaxed atmosphere and copper shades can be a good choice. This copper shade emits a wonderful soft, warm glow and is fantastic for creating a relaxed bedroom environment.

Ambient lighting can also be achieved using floor lamps and we particularly like the Arco Style floor lamp and the Multi leg Nordic style floor lamp.


We have a wide selection of beautiful pendant and floor lamps so feel free to check out our lighting page.


Task lighting:

Task lighting is required when you need additional light to perform specific tasks, such as reading, and working at the computer. It can be provided by recessed and track lighting, pendant lighting and undercabinet lighting, as well as by portable floor and desk lamps.  Task lighting should be free of distracting glare and shadows and should be bright enough to prevent eye strain. We particularly like this lamp which provides ideal task light for bedside reading or at a study desk.


Statement lighting:

Statement lighting adds drama to a room by creating visual interest. It brings the 'wow' factor to your interior and it can be a lot of fun shopping for this type of lighting as there are some really amazing decorative lighting pieces available. Decorative lighting is very much dictated by your personal style.   If you love Danish design, we highly recommend the Artichoke lamp which was first released in 1958. The layers of overlapping sections that resembled the leaves of the artichoke lamp made it possible to create the effect of a chandelier, but with a contemporary twist. The design quickly became a favourite in many design circles, and has remained popular to this day. Take a peek at this sophisticated and contemporary chandelier which has a late 1920s American Manhattan apartment block vibe.

A quick word on light bulbs....

Incandescent Bulbs - Most people are familiar with incandescent light bulbs. They create light by means of a filament wire.

Compact Florescent lamps (CFLs) - These are often referred to as Energy Saving lightbulbs. They emit a similar warm light as incandescent lightbulbs but use up to 70% less energy. They are very safe to use and do not create as much heat.

Light Emitting Diodes (LEDs) -  LEDs use up to 90% less energy compared to incandescent bulbs and are the most energy efficient lighting in the market today. They give a warm light and last an incredibly long time - up to twenty-five years!

Halogen bulbs - Halogen use about 20% less energy compared to incandescent lighting. Made of high grade glass, they can withstand high temperatures and are incredibly hot to touch. The typically produce a cooler white light.


Tabula Rasa is based in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.  We are specialists in designer furniture and offer a wide selection of contemporary reproduction furniture, lighting and outdoor furniture


Contact us today to discuss your lighting requirements.