Top 5 lighting dos and don’ts

Getting lighting right in a room changes the atmosphere and can set, or ruin, the mood. Here’s a few pointers to help you get it right.

1 Don’t rely on just one main light

Background lighting has a functional role to play in a room’s design. Simply, you need to be able to see what you are doing. It is common to have one central ceiling light in a room. Traditionally this is one lightbulb. Realise that the lighting cast often unflattering, and throws out large shadows.

If a room needs to be well lit (such as a kitchen), multiple sources of background light, such as spotlights help to even the lighting int the room. In a lounge, softer, accent lighting create a more comfortable mood.

Example of kitchen lighting

Both task and background lighting work together in this kitchen

2 Do add some accent/area lighting

Table lamps are the simplest, most effective type of accent lighting. Simple to install, and in a wide range of shapes and styles, there is something for everyone.

Table lamps

Lamps can create moods in a room

Accent lights create more than one source of light in a room, combatting shadows, and softening the feel. A lamp with a good lampshade will cast a softer glow than an exposed bulb, and reduce glare.

3 Don’t overlook task lighting

Low level lighting is restful. But low level lighting is useless if you need to focus on a task in hand, such as reading or sewing. This is where task lighting is needed to supplement other light sources.

In a kitchen, under-counter lighting work well in combatting the shadow your own body may cast onto your working area. This is why lights in cooker hoods are an essential in any good kitchen design.

In a bedroom, a bedside light will make reading a book more comfortable (as well as casting soft, flattering, light)

4 Do consider feature lighting to add drama

This is where the light is often nothing more than an object in it’s own right. The 1960s Pistillino light casts wonderful shadows and provides drama to a room.

A pistillino lamp

A pistillino lamp is a fetaure in its own right

Lighting technology has come on so far that small LED bulbs can be built into, or hidden behind art, panels, moldings, even TVs. Try using coloured feature lighting, perhaps to colourwash a wall for dramatic effect.

Dramatic kitchen lighting
Dramatic kitchen lighting

5 Don’t try any electrical work beyond your skills

If your DIY skills are limited, get a professional in or just stick to lamps and lampshades.

Keep safe!


Posted on December 20, 2011, in Interior and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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