LIGHTING YOUR HOME
Lighting consists of 3 different types, and they can often be combined to create a specific look and feel for any room. The type of lighting a room has can have a tremendous impact on its ambience, enhancing the colour of existing décor, providing a temperature, and helping to distinguish different rooms and areas in the home.
3 Types of Lighting
Ambient Lighting: Also known as general lighting, this provides a comfortable level of light in the room and is its foundation. Apart from the basic light functionality, it also impacts the sense of warmth and depth in each space and usually comes from overhead lighting fixtures such as recessed lighting, flush lighting, and chandeliers.
Task Lighting: Task Lighting is used when something specific is needing to be lit such as reading a book or cooking. Other types of task lighting include under cabinets, kitchen pendants, office, stove, mirror, and makeup.
Accent Lighting: This is the perfect lighting for setting the mood and creating extra drama and character. Using accent lighting will draw attention towards aspects you want to stand out. Types of accent lighting includes track lighting, downlights, and wall-mounted fixtures.
Lighting by Room
Living Room: For living room lighting to work it’s important to use layered lighting (the three types above). A general combination of overhead or wall lighting, as well as portable options such as floor and table lamps are needed whilst ceiling lights will be the room’s main source of light. For rooms with lower ceilings, flush lighting and semi flush lighting is perfect. Wall lights are a great source of additional lighting whilst a dimmer switch can improve them further to help get the desired warmth of light.
Bedroom: The lighting in your bedroom can often be overlooked. After all, the main point of the room is for sleeping so the main goal is for darkness rather than light. However, it’s still important to manage the room’s light properly to allow you to both fall asleep and wake up more easily. It’s key for your bedroom to use and layer the three types of lighting spoken about above. By combining a selection of different lighting options such as wall lights, bedside table lamps and task lighting, all your needs will be taken care of, and it’ll give you the tools to create the atmosphere you’re looking to create pre and post sleep.
Kitchen: Just like a healthy, nutritious meal, your kitchen requires a good balance to allow the room to provide everything you need to complete tasks such as cooking. You’ll want a good main source of light which can often be pendants over a kitchen island, chandeliers, flush mount ceiling lighting or recessed lighting. Next, you’ll need something that’s going to help you with specific task like reading a recipe book or safely preparing a meal and for this we recommend a smaller, more focused light like a spotlight or strip light. The main areas you’re looking to light are your kitchen island, kitchen units and underneath cabinets.
Dining Room: The lighting in your dining room should be centred around your dining room table. This is the room where you really want to create a great atmosphere because it’s where the room, you’re most likely to entertain in. Typically, the best way to do this is with a chandelier, pendant light or series of pendant lights hanging low over the table at around 33-34 inches. If you’ve got a larger table have a look at using 3 lights for better illumination whilst incorporating a dimmer switch will help control the mood.
Hallways: These areas of the home are often overlooked when it comes to lighting. Your hallway is the centre, the room which connects all the others and creates the first impression of the inside of your home when people enter and with the right lighting it can be transformed into a welcoming haven. Hallways come in all shapes and sizes so there’s not going to be a one size fits all solution. However, we recommend a combination of the different fixtures such as pendants, chandeliers, flush mount, and wall lights. We recommend looking for examples online to give yourself an idea of what can be achieved and how you want to create a lighting plan for your hallway.
Entrances: Entrance lighting should be warm, inviting and energy efficient as they’re often switched on for long periods of time.
Staircases: Staircases should be well lit and the light direct to define the edge of the steps. A bright pendant light hanging at the top of the stairs will create a shadow that adds definition to the stair risers. This is another area where you might want to consider using an energy saving bulb.
Landings: Often small areas with heavy traffic, flush fittings or recessed down lights can maximise space. Dimmer switches can be used to turn down light to a low level at night.
Children’s Bedrooms: Lighting for children’s rooms should be safe, bright and colourful. Bright, general lighting will be needed plus a task lamp for use on a desk. Wall and ceiling lights are good sources of general lighting. A night light or a touch base lamp, which provide up to 3 different levels of light, are good for young children who prefer a small level of light when sleeping.
Bathroom: Bathroom lighting needs to be functional and safe.
The Bathroom is divided into three zones: 0, 1 and 2 to determine likely exposures to water. Each fitting is given an IP (Ingress Protection) rating which relates to its water resistance. Only light fittings suitable for the relevant zone should be used. Avoid lighting which is too bright as the polished surfaces may cause glare; diffused wall or ceiling lights are better. The main light should be switched on by a pull cord of a light switch situated outside the bathroom. Glass or ceramic lights are best.
It is wise to avoid those containing wood, leather or fabric as they can degrade in a humid atmosphere.
Zone 0: Lights rated in this category are suitable for inside the bath or shower.
Zone 1: Lights in this category are suitable for above the bath or shower to a height of 2.25m.
Zone 2: Lights rated as suitable for Zone 2 can be put in the area stretching to 0.6m outside the bath or shower if over 2.25m.
Bathroom lights with opal-effect glass provide a soft diffused light.
Glass shades are an ideal choice and won’t deteriorate in a humid atmosphere. Being able to see well when shaving or applying make-up is essential.
Consider a well-illuminated mirror with low energy bulbs or a light over a mirror to provide a strong pool of well-directed light.
Outdoor: Outside lighting is IP-rated: the higher the rating, the more resistant the fitting is to the elements. All external lights should be waterproof, durable, and compliant with safety regulations related to the installations. As outdoor lights are often left on for many hours, energy saving bulbs should be used where possible.