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LIGHTING YOUR HOME

General Tips:

  • If you are lighting a newly-built property check for the Low Energy compliance requirements.
  • A good general light source is needed in most rooms. This can be supplemented by task lights such as spot lights or desk lamps. In addition, wall lights and uplighters can accent highlights such as picture and plants.
  • Consider a crystal chandelier or other statement piece. Low ceiling rooms may need a flush or semi-flush light.
  • Halls and staircases often need a low hanging light with longer cable or chain.
  • Wall lights are an excellent way of providing soft, low level light, creating atmosphere and warmth.
  • Floor lamps can be useful in providing pools of light and are an attractive way of brightening up darker areas.
  • Bathroom lighting should be both practical and stylish and comply with safety regulations related to the installation.

Lighting in the home has 3 different aspects:-

Task lighting…. adequate to carry out a task, for example, preparing food in the kitchen, reading in the lounge, putting on make-up, and so on, this varies from room to room.

Ambient lighting…. to give a comfortable overall illumination, this will vary from person to person.

Accent lighting…. this gives interest or drama to the living space.

It is good to keep this in mind when selecting your lighting, as it should make our homes comfortable and inviting, enabling you to make the best use of the space you have. In each room consider the options available for your lighting - floor, table, wall or ceiling, making provision for flexibility of light levels as required.

ROOM BY ROOM GUIDE

Entrances

  • Entrances should be warm and welcoming – the lights used here can often be left burning for long periods, so consider using energy saving bulbs.

Halls

  • A hanging pendant can be used in a larger space or consider wall lights or recessed downlights if the ceiling is low or the hall is narrow. A table lamp on a side table with mirror above can add extra interest.

Staircases

  • Staircases should be well lit and the light directed to define the edges of the steps. This is another area where you might want to consider using an energy saving bulb. A bright pendant lamp hanging at the top of the stairs will create a shadow that adds definition to the stair risers, recessing LED or halogen lighting into the wall will add interest. If wall lights are used ensure that they look suitable from both top and bottom of the stairs.

Landings

  • Often small areas with heavy traffic, flush fittings or recessed downlights can maximise space, when using wall lights consider designs that do not project out too far from the wall. Dimmer switches can be used to turn down light to a low level at night.

Living Room

  • The living room will need a variety of lighting for the space to work best. A combination of general overhead or wall lighting, as well as portable light sources such as table, floor or task lamps. These should be chosen and positioned suitably if required as a reading light.
  • A ceiling fitting will probably be the main light source. For larger rooms with high ceilings multi-arm lights, available with five, eight or more, bulbs. For smaller rooms, up to 5x4m, a three-arm light should be sufficient. Semi-flush or flush fittings are perfect for low ceilings, and many fittings are height adjustable.
  • Wall lights are a good source of additional lighting, whether focused up, down or in both directions. Up-facing on a low ceiling will help to give a more spacious feel. To create a more intimate feel use wall lights that take a fabric shade or down-facing designs.
  • Accent lighting hidden behind cornices, bookshelves and glassware displays. Highlight pictures and paintings with a picture light and use spotlights to highlight plants and ornaments. Concealed uplighters are ideal for a dark corner. When watching television a soft ambient light is recommended as an aid to relaxed viewing.

General Tips:

  • If you are lighting a newly-built property check for the Low Energy compliance requirements.
  • A good general light source is needed in most rooms. This can be supplemented by task lights such as spot lights or desk lamps. In addition, wall lights and uplighters can accent highlights such as picture and plants.
  • Consider a crystal chandelier or other statement piece. Low ceiling rooms may need a flush or semi-flush light.
  • Halls and staircases often need a low hanging light with longer cable or chain.
  • Wall lights are an excellent way of providing soft, low level light, creating atmosphere and warmth.
  • Floor lamps can be useful in providing pools of light and are an attractive way of brightening up darker areas.
  • Bathroom lighting should be both practical and stylish and comply with safety regulations related to the installation.

Lighting in the home has 3 different aspects:-

Task lighting…. adequate to carry out a task, for example, preparing food in the kitchen, reading in the lounge, putting on make-up, and so on, this varies from room to room.

Ambient lighting…. to give a comfortable overall illumination, this will vary from person to person.

Accent lighting…. this gives interest or drama to the living space.

It is good to keep this in mind when selecting your lighting, as it should make our homes comfortable and inviting, enabling you to make the best use of the space you have. In each room consider the options available for your lighting - floor, table, wall or ceiling, making provision for flexibility of light levels as required.

Room by Room Guide

Entrances

  • Entrances should be warm and welcoming – the lights used here can often be left burning for long periods, so consider using energy saving bulbs.

Halls

  • A hanging pendant can be used in a larger space or consider wall lights or recessed downlights if the ceiling is low or the hall is narrow. A table lamp on a side table with mirror above can add extra interest.

Staircases

  • Staircases should be well lit and the light directed to define the edges of the steps. This is another area where you might want to consider using an energy saving bulb. A bright pendant lamp hanging at the top of the stairs will create a shadow that adds definition to the stair risers, recessing LED or halogen lighting into the wall will add interest. If wall lights are used ensure that they look suitable from both top and bottom of the stairs.

Landings

  • Often small areas with heavy traffic, flush fittings or recessed downlights can maximise space, when using wall lights consider designs that do not project out too far from the wall. Dimmer switches can be used to turn down light to a low level at night.

Living Room

  • The living room will need a variety of lighting for the space to work best. A combination of general overhead or wall lighting, as well as portable light sources such as table, floor or task lamps. These should be chosen and positioned suitably if required as a reading light.
  • A ceiling fitting will probably be the main light source. For larger rooms with high ceilings multi-arm lights, available with five, eight or more, bulbs. For smaller rooms, up to 5x4m, a three-arm light should be sufficient. Semi-flush or flush fittings are perfect for low ceilings, and many fittings are height adjustable.
  • Wall lights are a good source of additional lighting, whether focused up, down or in both directions. Up-facing on a low ceiling will help to give a more spacious feel. To create a more intimate feel use wall lights that take a fabric shade or down-facing designs.
  • Accent lighting hidden behind cornices, bookshelves and glassware displays. Highlight pictures and paintings with a picture light and use spotlights to highlight plants and ornaments. Concealed uplighters are ideal for a dark corner. When watching television a soft ambient light is recommended as an aid to relaxed viewing.

Dining Room

  • Dining room lighting needs to be flexible. The main source will be above the table – you may also need additional wall lighting or portable table lamps. A rise and fall lamp provides a practical way to light the table while a pendant light , multi-armed light or chandelier can be used to provide a central focus, even when switched off. A floor standing arc light looks great over a dining table and creates an effective solution that doesn’t require any wiring.
  • Use dimmable styles to alter the mood of the room and consider hanging a multi-arm pendant or several single pendants over a table. Cable lengths can usually be adjusted at installation.

Kitchen

  • The kitchen is the functional centre of a home and to ensure safety where liquids, hot objects and electrical appliances are used, a higher level of light is required.
  • Good light is required for sink & drainer, preparation surfaces and eating area. A fridge and cooker have light built in and a hob frequently has an extractor above with integral lighting.
  • A central light will give a general distribution of light and will give lighting to see inside wall units, as will long-armed spotlights mounted on top of the units. The sink and drainer can be lit well using recessed downlights position directly above and slightly forward of where you will stand, to avoid annoying shadows. If you need to light it from the central light point consider a long fluorescent fitting, these can be modern, or a multi-spot bar, ensuring it is long enough to enable you to direct the spot to the area without creating a shadow. A pendant can be used over a table or recessed downlighters over a kitchen breakfast bar. Portable lighting with trailing flexes can be hazardous and should therefore not be used.
  • Under cupboard fluorescent or LED  lights can be used to illuminate work surfaces.
  • LED micro-spots or concealed strip-lighting can be mounted under work tops, on top of wall cupboards or above the kick-board to give a “halo” effect on the floor.

Home Office

  • General lighting can be supplemented by wall lights and uplighters.
  • A good task lamp is essential with an adjustable arm, a bright, focused light and an accessible on/off switch. If space is at a premium, consider a Mother & Child style lamp – combining an uplighter with a task lamp.

Bedroom

  • The main source of light could be a dimmable ceiling fitting. Touch base table lamps beside the bed allow varying levels of brightness.
  • Wall mounted lamps with an adjustable reading arm are useful as are two slim table lamps on a dressing table.
  • Consider a statement piece such as a chandelier.

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 add general lighting.

Bathroom

  • Bathroom lighting needs to be functional and safe. The bathroom is divided into three zones, 0, 1 and 2, to determine likely exposure 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 or 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.
  • 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 Lighting

  • Outdoor 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.
  • For additional information regarding lighting you garden, see the Garden Zone information page.
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