How the right lighting can affect your house’s ambience
THE way your home is lit can dictate the way it feels and functions.
The right lighting will make your home inviting and provide safety and security.
The wrong lighting can do the opposite and worse.
Bad lighting can cause health problems like headaches and impaired vision.
So why do we often leave lighting until last when we’re planning a room?
We asked some experts for their advice on getting lighting right in your home. It all starts with light
According to interior designer Jodie Kingman, lighting is a vital element in any room.
“It sets the mood and tone of a space,” says Jodie.
“Bad lighting can alienate the furniture and people in the space creating a tense or uncomfortable environment.”
Interior designer Bronwyn Poole says lighting is crucial to making the space come to life.
So how do you get the right lighting for your home? Firstly, you should know your lighting options.
Generally, lighting can be broken down into three main types:
Ambient or general lighting which provides overall illumination for the room.
It’s the cornerstone or lighting a room and usually consists of ceiling, wall or recessed lights. Task lighting which is used for specific jobs like cooking, reading, putting on make-up or doing homework.
Accent lighting which brings drama and depth to a room by illuminating key features like artwork, books or architectural features.
“A great room will have all three,” says Bronwyn. Create a lighting plan
Given how integral lighting is to our experience of a building, most experts agree that you should plan it, just like you plan any other part of a build or renovation.
Bronwyn advises, “Many lighting shops offer free advice but for larger projects consider engaging a lighting expert.”
A well-considered lighting plan can help create continuity, build inviting spaces and solve problem areas. Work out your needs, but don’t overcomplicate it. Each room has different lighting needs...
Bathroom: Combine strong task lighting with ambient lighting.
Light mirrors from each side or above. Avoid shadowy corner in showers or baths by adding some light. Bedroom: Think about mood lighting, dimmer switches, wardrobe lighting, dressing table and bedside table lamps.
Children and babies might need safe night lights.
Lounge: Feature lights can add a decorative splash. Make sure you can adjust the lighting or dim it for watching TV.
Accent lighting works well in a lounge– and don’t forget about the cosy warmth of fire light in winter.
Kitchen: Your kitchen cabinets can showcase your treasures and collectibles with feature lighting. Recessed downlights and task lighting are also great in kitchens.
Bronwyn suggests you consider practical applications such as a sensor to turn your light on when you open your pantry door.
Dining: Candlelight can be a great additional light source and dining tables lend themselves to feature pendants or chandeliers but bear in mind experts say the light should be narrower than the table.
Hallways: Hallways are rooms too and need to be safely lit. Light stairs from above if there’s one central light and make sure there are no dark shadows or corners.
Using accent lighting on paintings or treasures can turn a thoroughfare into a gallery.
Work with existing natural light
The best (and cheapest) light is natural light. But the quality of your natural light depends on the aspect of your room. East-facing rooms are sunny in the mornings while west-facing rooms suffer afternoon glare. If it faces north you might be trying to tone it down but if it faces south you’ll be trying to amp it up. — realestate.com.au