Good residential lighting can transform even the plainest of rooms into something truly special. Using the contrast between light and shade and how it plays on surfaces is like painting with light. Although the results are far more rewarding than any you will get from a simple colour scheme.
Considering the lighting for an entire house is quite a daunting prospect, so you can search our website for room-by-room ideas. We also offer a lighting design service to aid you, no matter how large or small your project. You will also find dozens of inspirational ideas in our gallery. But here are a few basic dos and don’ts to take into account in your search.
1. Don’t fixate on the hardware. It is easy to get sidetracked by the design of the luminaire, but you also need to think about how it illuminates your space.
2. Light is invisible. What you see – what is important – is its impact on a surface. Concealing your luminaires makes your light source invisible too, resulting in a particularly stylish and exciting effect.
3. Try not to over-illuminate your space. Remember, it is the contrast between light and shade that makes a room look interesting.
4. Light can be thrown up, as well as down. Whether you are using up or downlights, position them to allow the light to play over the walls too. Lighting the vertical planes makes a space appear generally brighter.
5. Use layers of light. Onto your ambient scheme layer accent and/or task lighting. In fact, in some rooms, kitchens and bathrooms, for example, it is best to actually start with the latter since you may find that you don’t need extra background illumination at all.
6. Don’t put all the lights in a room on the same circuit. You will probably want to use the different layers of lighting at different times.
7. Consider the colour of your illumination. LED lighting now comes in a whole range of different ‘shades of white’, from warm, yellow-white to really cool blue-white. This is referred to as the temperature of the light, although LED lights are actually always cool to touch. It is measured in Kelvin and the higher the number the cooler the shade of light.
8. Remember your garden. Lighting your outdoor spaces will expand your home.