Transitional lighting – what is it?

Anyone who peruses websites looking for lighting fixtures to decorate their homes may be tempted to choose a style known as transitional lighting. The smooth curves and solid foundation of the transition lighting style fixtures make it a popular choice among designers today. But for anyone trying to really define transitional lighting for a friend, you might be surprised to find that there are few words to describe this elusive style.

Part of the problem with describing or defining transition lighting style is that it is a mix of several styles. Combining the smooth, flowing lines of contemporary style with ornamentation of classic style, transitional lighting is a boy without a clearly defined pedigree. As a style in and of itself, the interior design industry doesn’t really recognize transitional lighting as a separate style. Transitional lighting seems to be more of a “trade term” that helps them clarify the kind of lighting fixtures that are not entirely traditional but not contemporary either. Therefore, anyone searching the web for information on transitional lighting will come across one of two possibilities:

1) they will come across a host of sites trying to sell you transitional lighting fixtures without even really explaining the design features of the style itself, or

2) they will learn that transitional lighting refers to a slow but progressive increase or decrease in lighting from one place to another that reduces glare.

None of these search results bring you closer to understanding the nature of transitional lighting. A close inspection of websites dedicated to architecture and interior design reveals that these sites do not really recognize the transitional lighting style itself. Any style that combines different aspects of separate styles is generically called “Transitional”. Therefore, what one person might consider transitional lighting, not necessarily another would. This fact is demonstrated when one looks at the various manufacturers and retailers and sees the wide variety of transitional lighting fixtures to choose from. Clearly, the category itself has become something of a “catch-all” for describing and selling accessories that don’t fit conveniently into any formal design style.

What can be said for transitional lighting in a formal sense is that it is generally referred to as a “feminine” style due to the smooth lines that characterize most of the accessories in this variety. The square base of the style is borrowed from the Mission Lighting style and helps differentiate transitional lighting fixtures from contemporary ones. Those who want a “comfortable feel” in their homes often choose the transitional style, as it has a warmer feel than the contemporary style, but not as formal as the classic or traditional style.

Transitional lighting is really difficult to define, but its synthesis between the elegance of the old and the sterility of the contemporary makes it a functional and creative style to choose from when decorating your home.

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