Lighting Dos and Dont’s

Lighting Dos and Dont’s

Design by Maven.

Light allows us to put a shape on the world around us. It’s not just the quantity and source of light that matters but also the contrasts it offers, the interplay of light and shadow in a room and how this shading moves over time. These changes affect our perception of colour, texture and space to the extent that the same room can have a different atmosphere depending on the time of day or year.

There are three basic types of lighting that you should consider:

1. Ambient lighting – provides even, overhead light to a room, usually in the form of a ceiling pendant or recessed lights. Wall-mounted sconces can also achieve this. It’s preferable to have ambient light on a dimmer so you can control it, depending on your mood or the time of day.

Design by Maven.

2. Task lighting – helps you perform specific tasks, such as reading, cooking or eating. Table and floor lamps provide task lighting in the living room and the bedroom, while under-cabinet lighting and pendant lighting work well in the kitchen. Bars and sconces are most commonly used in bathrooms, providing light around mirrors.

3. Accent lighting – brings drama and visual interest to a space by highlighting features such as art, plants and bookcases. Table lamps, wall-mounted picture lights and strip lighting along shelves all create focal points in a room.

Do consider furniture layouts before deciding on lighting.

Do provide task lighting for work surfaces, such as kitchen counters and dining tables.

Do provide reading lights at seating areas and bedsides.

Do aim for pools of light and shade as this will make a cosier atmosphere.

Do use both dimmer and regular switches.

Do use a mix of hidden/recessed and feature lighting.

Do ensure all bulbs give a warm glow rather than a cold white light.

Design by DMVF Architects.

Do provide good lighting at mirrors in bathrooms.

Do consider garden lighting.

Don’t rely solely on ambient lighting.

Don’t have too many lighting circuits.

Don’t pepper the ceiling with recessed downlights.

Don’t forget to include a switch for bedroom lights at the bed-head.

Don’t forget to have a light in the attic and in other storage locations such as the hot-press and cloakroom.

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