I have had always had an aversion to a single central pendant light as the only source of lighting in a room. This light creates a dull soulless room, illuminating a non flattering light not only to the room, but to it’s inhabitants. Lamps, whether table or standard, are my preference especially in a sitting room to add warmth and ambiance. The central light only being used when cleaning. My children have either inherited, or most likely have been drilled into the same aversion; To the point that my daughter actually removed the bulb from the central pendant light in a student house she once shared, forcing them to switch on the lamps instead, knowing that no-one would be bothered to replace the bulb. Drastic measures!
Lighting is one of the most important features when designing any room, and should be planned simultaneously and included in the drawings of the rooms intended use and layout. Lighting is intrinsic. It is no good wishing you had a plug socket for a table lamp once the room is completed. Lighting can make or break a completed room.
Lighting is basically divided into categories – Ambient, Task (function) Focal and Background, each serving a particular purpose. When these three elements are put together it is called ‘Layered’ lighting. Layered lighting supports multifunctional activities.
Ambient Lighting is created with lamps and wall lights. The illumination is soft, warm and relaxing.
Task lights which provide light for reading, or cooking – activities. Overhead ceiling or pendant lights, Spotlights
Background lighting is used in kitchens, under plinths, or perhaps to highlight a painting or wall texture.
Focal – A statement pendant light for example.
Depending of the uses of the space there is a lighting solution available to suit. This is all very well if you are planning a major re-fit including electrical works, but what about the room you just want to paint and update on a budget? Make the most of the light you’ve got already. Anything to increase natural light into your home is beneficial to save on your bills. If you have small windows try replacing heavy curtains with a roman blind instead. If privacy is an issue consider wooden shutters with adjustable slats or a sheer fabric.
Change your bulbs. How many times have you bought a replacement light bulb and when you get home discover it is the wrong bulb, despite standing looking at the vast array on display, and end up with a drawer full of assorted bulbs which won’t fit anything in your home. If you need one, I’ve probably got one. The Kelvin measurement indicates the colour of the bulb’s light. The higher the value, the whiter the light will be. The lower values produce a softer light and warmer glows. the same as lumens, the higher the number the brighter the light. So choose accordingly to the lighting function. It maybe as simple as changing the light bulb to improve your lighting. This is basic advice, because if I went into all the different types of bulbs here you would certainly switch off! Sorry!
Replace lamp shades. The size, shape, material colour and lining are all key to shade’s look and use. The shade must not only complement the decor but just as importantly directs light in a way you intend.
Add ‘plug – ins’. A plug -in is a basically a light you plug into your socket – a lamp if you like. If plugged in the right area of a room it can add instant drama by high lighting a plant or art work or or light up dead corners or a room.
Then there is outside lighting to be considered too.
There is too much to say about lighting in just one blog, so lighting will be included in future blogs on room by room designs.