How to set up a room for optimum lighting
No matter how smart your furniture or how beautiful your décor, if you haven’t installed the right lighting then all your artistic flair might be wasted. A well-planned lighting system in the home can transform the mundane into the miraculous.
One of the first considerations is the purpose of the room you are going to fit with new lighting. A kitchen needs to be functional and therefore work surfaces and cooking hobs should be well lit, but increasingly people are using kitchens as an extension of a family room, so certain parts of this room could be illuminated with a mellow light. Halogen or LED lights, especially those with movable direction, are ideal for the working areas and the eating and relaxation area might benefit from a softer glow, possibly an overhead pendant light that draws the focus of the room to the dining table. The use of a dimmer switch can always change the mood of a room very quickly.
Bathrooms need bright lights. An illuminated mirror is useful for shaving and applying make-up. Overhead spotlights or even bright LED recessed lights can focus on the bathing areas and at the same time harmonise with the tiled surfaces in this room.
Traditionally, wall lights with an overhead pendant have been the most common way of lighting a bedroom but other options currently in fashion include overhead-concealed lights, or possibly LEDs or spotlights that can be fixed over areas that demand good lighting – these include mirrors and cupboards. A light control in the centre of the bed head is always a good idea for controlling bedside lights or you can invest in a remote controller for the whole room’s illumination. Why not light the room with wall lights and bedside lamps and eliminate the overhead light. Different coloured light bulbs can also dramatically change the look and ambience of a room.
The sitting room is probably the most important room in the house and if you want to highlight your leather sofas and other furniture the best lighting system will comprise a mixture of table and wall lights. These will cast a mellow glow over the room and also reflect light from polished surfaces. A pendant light can be used but make sure that you have installed a dimmer switch. Light fittings, especially lights over works of art, can dramatically affect the focus of the room.
The dining room is often used for entertaining and a pendant light with a dimmer switch control is ideal over the dining area. A chandelier will create an exotic effect: if you choose to use candles on the table the reflection of the flames in the overhead crystals will look stunning.
More of us work from home these days, so make sure that you plan your lighting system around the functional areas of your home office and also consider that windows may need blinds in order to reduce bright sunlight. Organise your lights so that electric light doesn’t bounce off your computer screen. One method to overcome this problem is to use track lighting or even an intense halogen or LED desk light.