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Modern vs. Contemporary Lighting

New or remodelled - it doesn’t matter what the status of your home or the rooms in your house is, there is one thing that makes all the difference in the appeal of the space and that is lighting. It might come as a surprise to you, how much lighting can make a difference, and you are not to be blamed because much focus is given on furniture, fabrics and paints, and very little is thought about lights. Good lighting truly can add life to your house and make it look more like your own. Feeling like something in your house is amiss despite the new paint job or change in the colour scheme? Time to take a hard look at your lighting. 



Of the many types and styles of lighting there exist, here are two of the most commonly confused ones that are routinely interchanged with one another -- Modern and Contemporary Lighting. Many people confuse the two terms because even the dictionary lists them as synonyms. But in the case of design, while many similarities are not easily noticeable, there are subtle differences between the two. Understanding what each of these styles means and how one differs from the other can help you design a better lighting plan for your interiors. 


What is Modern Lighting? 

Modern design, in the simplest way of explaining it, is in the past. Modern style of art, design, interiors arose from the Modernism movement in the late 19th century and is generally accepted to have ended by the 1970s. Believed to have had its roots in the German Bauhaus schools of design and the Scandinavian design emphasis on simplicity and function, this style is reflected with the thought to push against tradition and to break the neat boxes of classical designs. But now, ironically, many call modernism-inspired styles traditional. 


Product: Ankur 10 Light Hydron Chandelier.

Modern designs have set structures that have existed for a while. The parameters for modern lighting are simple: geometric shapes -- fixed straight lines, circles and squares, rigid definitions and textures -- earthy, solid colours, natural or neutral palettes and a minimalist feel. They tend to be made of wood or polished metal. 


This Modern Nordic Dome with Natural Wood Pendant Light is the perfect modern lighting choice on a budget. It is an elegant dome-shaped hanging light made of aluminium and wood. Such pendant lights work wonderfully as task lights to help you focus as you work in your office spaces or homes. This will act as the perfect accessory to your modern home, especially during this time as you work from home. 


Product: Ankur Modern Nordic Dome with Natural Wood Pendant Light.

If you’re looking for a geometrically-pleasing lighting option, then the Ankur Linear Concrete Hanging light is the option for you. Made of concrete, this rectangular slab is long-lasting and gives your home or office space a raw, rustic look that complements your ideal modern design plan. 


What is Contemporary Lighting? 


Contemporary, as the name suggests, is something present and ever-evolving. In definition, it is existing or occurring at the same time. Because of this, contemporary lighting designs do not belong to any specific era or period. Rather, they borrow elements from various eras and styles and modify them to fit into present-day popular styles. This includes taking inspiration from the modernism movement, minimalism, deconstructivism, futurism and global styles that go beyond set defined designs. They do not exist forever, are fluid, have curved lines and dynamic designs that are constantly changing to fit with what is seen as “designs of the present.” 


Contemporary lights are made of glass or metals like steel, nickel, copper and combine natural elements like fabric made of jute and hemp. They have unique designs and offer a very fresh look compared to modern designs. 


Take this trendy table lamp, for example. The Ankur Organ Metal Contemporary Table Lamp is a convenient and classy design that can immediately add a generous touch of opulence to your workspace or reading rooms. Made with durable metal and fabric and finished with gold, this table lamp is the perfect answer to your contemporary design needs. 


Product: Ankur Organ Metal Contemporary Table Lamp.

Want a more sophisticated light that exudes grandeur? Opt for the Ankur Contemporary Double Height Chandelier with 56 orbs of light hanging from a metal plate. Made almost entirely out of glass, this elegant rose gold chandelier will enhance the magical appeal wherever it is fixed, giving your living and working spaces a royal touch. 


Product: Ankur Contemporary Double Height Chandelier .

What should you choose and when? 

Do not get overwhelmed with the two styles of lighting and the vast array of options that exist. Keep in mind that the lines between modern and contemporary lighting may not be very rigid and clearly defined. Both modern and contemporary lighting designs are minimalistic and employ neutral palettes, clean lines and incorporate many materials. 


Think of contemporary styles like those that are more “present” in terms of textures, base elements and colours, that are creative and in tune with inspiration taken from around us. Contemporary styles of lighting may be inspired by modern styles, but vice-versa is not possible. 


“How do I know what is best for my house?” - This is a million-dollar question because each space can have a different look based on what you want and what suits it best. Opt for modern styles if you enjoy or like the aesthetics from the early 20th century and prefer geometrical designs and warm, solid colours. Opt for contemporary styles if you enjoy the fluidity and curved lines they offer and if you like to stay up-to-date with current trends. There is no right or wrong choice here.


You can first start with knowing what you want your space to look like, fixing a budget and researching options that match that idea. It will take some time but exploring your options and envisioning different styles and colours in that space will help you choose what can look best.

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