As we are moving in to the darkest months of the year, it is time to talk lighting!
How you choose and position the most suitable lighting for the space is crucial for both the functionality as well as the atmosphere.
Here are 5 important things to think about when choosing the best lighting to enhance your interiors.
1. Use 3-6 different light fixtures in a room
Exactly how many you need of course depends on the size of the room, if it is a multi-purpose room such as a kitchen or a sitting room, however most rooms will need at least 3 light fixtures.
The various light fixtures should have different functions to make the most of the space such as:
· Ambient or general lighting (ceiling light)
· Accent lighting (mood light)
· Task lighting (reading light)
An entrance will of course not need a task light, but most rooms in your home will need each type of light source.
2. Space out your lights in the room
Choose your various light fixtures and place them at different heights using different strength of the bulbs and in different areas, so that you will have an even spread of light throughout the space creating a varied atmosphere.
Think high, some low and some in between, with the high lights of course being the ceiling lights, the middle light sources floor lights, wall lights and table lamps placed on cabinets etc. Low ambience lights are best placed on low coffee tables, TV units etc to avoid the light bulb glaring in your eyes.
3. Pump up the volume
A mistake we all often make is choosing too small lamps for the space.
Make sure the base is suitable for the intended surface. A too small lamp base in a windowsill or on a side table will look unstable and out of place.
The lamp shade needs to be in proportion to the base. All too often we see shades that are too small and look like tiny little hats.
-The height of the shade of a table lamp should be is ¾ of the base height.
-The shade width should be close the height of the lamp base.
-The shade should cover the whole bulb attachment
Here it is not the floor space that determines the size of the lamp but the surroundings.
A floor light is mainly used as a task light ie for reading or writing.
Perhaps it is placed next to a reading chair or over a sofa.
A heavy chair needs a chunkier lamp.
It might have thin legs as the light in below picture, but the overall shape of the light is visually larger.
A rule of thumb is that the base of the shade of a floor light should have a diameter of at least 45cm or 18 inches.
Ceiling lights need to be in proportion to the size of the ceiling. Don’t hang a large light in a small hallway for example. A large sitting room can either take a large light or several smaller lamps creating different zones in the room.
Spotlights are most often used as general lighting or to highlight an object such as a piece of art or in a book shelf.
A tip is to install a dimmer wherever you have spotlights in a ceiling to be able to use the spotlights both as functional lighting as well as creating mood light.
Should the spotlight be used to high light an object, don’t place the light source too far away from the object.
4. Energy efficient
There is a whole science behind lightbulbs, which are not the most exciting to choose, however very important when choosing your light source
Here are some tips of what to think about when choosing the correct type of bulb.
These bulbs last two to three times longer than a regular light bulb. Something to think about is that these bulbs get very warm and are not suitable in children’s rooms where there is a risk a child can get burned.
The bulbs come in several shapes, colours and strengths. The LED-bulb is five times as efficient and lasts up to 50 times as long as the traditional bulb.
Low energy bulbs
These bulbs are more of a compact fluorescent tube and come in different colours and shapes. They are about five times more efficient than the traditional bulb and lasts about 10 times longer.
5. Different strength, different atmosphere
Now to the nitty gritty- which strength to choose for what area and what function?
Light is measured in:
Colour temperature – Kelvin
Choose a LED light with a strength of about 430-1000 Lumen and a temperature of 2700-4000 Kelvin
Choose a LED light for the general lighting with a strength of 430-800 Lumen and a temperature of 2500-3000 Kelvin. For make-up lighting a colour temperature up to 4000 Kelvin is recommended to heighten the contrast of your face
Dinner table lighting
LED bulbs are recommended with strength of 430-800 Lumen and a temperature between 2500-3000 Kelvin. Again we recommend to put a dimmer switch here and you can go up to 1000 Lumen in strength when you want that extra bright light.
Choose a bulb with a warm white light 125-470 Lumen and a temperature of 2400-3000 Kelvin
Here it is important to see the colours of the food you are preparing, so choose a LED bulb 750-1000 Lumen with a temperature of 2700-4000 Kelvin.
How to use Dimmers?
My personal rule of thumb is to add dimmer switches wherever you can.
It gives a high flexibility on how to use a room. You might have lots of candles at the dinner table and only require ambience lighting, however you want to play after dinner games and crank up the lighting.
All halogen bulbs are dimmable and most of the LED bulbs. When you dim a halogen bulb, the colour becomes warmer but stays the same when you dim a LED bulb- something to think about when choosing bulbs.
The light source you choose for a specific space has a huge impact on the functionality and atmosphere.
We hope you find this guide useful when choosing the best lighting for your different rooms.
Should you need any help in further guidance of how to choose the best light sources, contact us