Every room in your home has its very own part to play in day-to-day life and it’s important that you take this into account when choosing the best lighting options for your property
Striking a happy medium between character and function is important to ensure that every room has its own distinct personality; so you can look forward to spending time in your own home.
It’s been said that the very best interior lighting is light that’s barely noticeable. Lindsey Adelman, a New York industrial designer who specialises in light fixtures, said: “If a room is lit the right way, everyone looks their best and feels relaxed and comfortable, but they don’t know why.”
Lighting can make or break a living space. Too bright and it can feel like a police interrogation room; too dark and the space will feel cramped, lacking in fun and vibrancy and failing to adequately show off its soft furnishings and all-round style. As such, a successful lighting scheme for your property will make a world of difference. Let’s take a look at how each type of lighting can work together to enhance your living space:
There’s nothing better and more energy efficient than encouraging abundant levels of natural daylight in your property. Flat roof skylights and roof windows can accentuate interiors below if your roof space allows and make a genuine architectural statement for your property.
But to make the most of any natural light in your living space you need to know how to use it best:
• Introduce light-reflective surfaces and light carpets and furnishings to help diffuse the daylight throughout the room.
• Consider changing a wooden interior door for a clear glazed door panel to reflect natural light and allow it to infiltrate through into other rooms.
• As part of any home renovation you could consider widening a sash window and transforming it into stunning French doors; although you will need to fit a load bearing beam to compensate for this.
• Something as simple as positioning a large mirror directly opposite windows will instantly help to reflect the daylight into living areas.
On its own, ambient lighting can lead to dark, gloomy living areas. But as part of a wider home lighting system it can solve most lighting problems:
• Wall lights are ideal for living spaces where single overhead lighting is not enough. For instance, hallways and stairways where flat rooflights aren’t an option can really benefit from this additional light whilst simultaneously adding a decorative accent to your home.
• Downlighters are useful in many instances for living areas. Particularly for rooms with low ceilings, downlighting is a great choice and helps to disguise unsightly imperfections on the ceiling too; which could be an issue with older properties.
• Uplighters provide soft mood lighting and ambience to any room, particularly useful for evenings, and they can be energy efficient too with the use of LED bulbs.
• Even standard table lamps can still help to brighten up rooms and bring attention to those forgotten corners.
For rooms where you may only want light on items or areas that you want people to see, accent lighting is a very effective technique for any home. Using this type of method, you can direct attention on the features you want guests to notice in your home, ramping up the visual drama!
• If you’d like to highlight glazed features either from below or behind, you could consider placing a row of low-voltage halogen spotlights beneath the shelf or a fluorescent strip hidden from view in a casing. From behind, it’s probably best to use fluorescent lighting strips rather than halogen to give off the desired effect.
• For bookworms that enjoy a bedtime read, you could always fit a spotlight on the underside of nearby shelving or perhaps fit wall washers directly into the ceiling above.
• It can be very difficult to get the right levels of artificial light on a picture or feature painting. Glare can easily ruin the beauty and atmosphere of a piece of art, especially if it’s positioned behind glass. An effective way to minimise the effect of glare would be to opt for an eyeball light which can pivot or swivel, flooding the area with a broad beam of light.
• If your home is packed with colourful plants be sure to check which types of plant you have thrive in sunlight and which ones need to be kept out of it. Uplighters can work really well with particularly big plants or even trees as the light can bounce back off the ceiling and diffuse over the plant’s foliage.
Lighting for specific tasks
There’s times at home when you need just the right light to help you carry out a specific job. Whether it’s preparing a three-course meal, sewing or drawing in your study, it’s important that your chosen light is focused on the area you’re working in.
• High-necked, fully-adjustable angle poise lamps are ideal for desk work. High-necked models will point high above your workplace and reduce unwanted shadows.
• For a cheaper, budget alternative, you could also consider pull-down pendants or even clip-on spotlights that can be moved to wherever they are required.
• Task lighting should be able to take a 60-watt bulb at the very minimum. This lighting needs to be differentiated from the rest in the room, providing enough direct light to help you to do your very best handiwork.
The very best way to encourage natural daylight into your living and working areas is through the installation of stylish and contemporary flat roof skylights.
You can view Sunsquare’s entire product range at Grand Designs Live, which are the only BSI Kitemarked rooflights available in the UK.