Light-bulb mo­ment can al­ter your home

This time of year may be bleak and dark, but it’s the per­fect time to switch on to the power of good light­ing. Prop­erty pre­sen­ter Ge­orge Clarke reck­ons light­ing can make or break a win­ter home

Kentish Gazette Canterbury & District - East Kent Property - - INDOORLIVING -

From daz­zling new ef­fects to sim­ple bulbs, il­lu­mi­nat­ing your home at this time of year can make a big dif­fer­ence.

“Light­ing re­ally mat­ters in a home and can lit­er­ally trans­form it,” prom­ises Ge­orge Clarke, ar­chi­tect and Chan­nel 4’s pop­u­lar prop­erty pre­sen­ter of Ge­orge Clarke’s Amazing Spa­ces and The Restora­tion Man.

“I’ve seen great build­ings ru­ined by bad light­ing schemes, and great light­ing im­prove bad build­ings. It can truly make that much dif­fer­ence.

“What’s fan­tas­tic these days, is that there are af­ford­able, ef­fec­tive ways of per­son­ally tai­lor­ing light­ing schemes, us­ing tech­nol­ogy like smart­phones and tablets, which a decade ago, would have costs thou­sands.”

Ge­orge, who’s cur­rently work­ing with Philips light­ing, be­lieves good light­ing doesn’t just have a vis­ual ef­fect, but can also help im­prove our well­be­ing.

“Ar­ti­fi­cial light can now mimic nat­u­ral light and light sys­tems can be pro­grammed to suit our body rhythms.

“Repli­cat­ing a sooth­ing sun­set glow in the evening can help peo­ple re­lax and en­cour­age sleep, while grad­u­ally in­creas­ing light lev­els in the morn­ing to mimic sun­rise can en­cour­age us to wake in a more gen­tle fash­ion.

“Lights con­jur­ing the ef­fect of nat­u­ral sun­light in­doors may off­set the neg­a­tive ef­fect of a grey day out­side.

“There’s al­most no limit to what can be achieved.

“A com­mon mis­take peo­ple make is only hav­ing light com­ing from one source – for in­stance, sim­ply hav­ing a ceil­ing light.

“In re­al­ity, good light­ing is achieved by creating dif­fer­ent lay­ers of light which con­jure vari­a­tion, tex­ture and at­mos­phere,” says Ge­orge.

“Clever ac­cent light­ing – wall sconces, flood­lights, re­cessed lights or track light­ing – can dra­mat­i­cally change a space and high­light key ar­eas or ar­chi­tec­tural fea­tures.

“Even just hang­ing an ad­justable pen­dant light over a din­ing ta­ble will de­fine the space and make it feel more in­ti­mate.

“Coloured light­ing is also a fan­tas­tic way to add a ‘wow’ fac­tor, es­pe­cially if the light source is hid­den.

“Use coloured light strips above kitchen units, but, to get the max­i­mum ef­fect, keep the back­ground a neu­tral white as a con­trast.”

“Light­ing should be flex­i­ble, so you can zone dif­fer­ent ar­eas and al­ter light lev­els to change mood, at­mos­phere or fo­cus it to bet­ter suit a spe­cific ac­tiv­ity,” says Ge­orge.

“A good scheme al­lows you to in­stantly rein­vent a space – or, in in­creas­ingly pop­u­lar open-plan liv­ing rooms, the ar­eas within the space – with­out hav­ing to change a room’s over­all lay­out.”

Left, Philips scene switch LED bulb, £9.99, www. ama­zon.co.uk Right, ex­per­i­ment with coloured light with a Philips Hue LED Iris mood lamp, £70, B&Q Right, cop­per-base Acrop­o­lis ta­ble lamp, cur­rently re­duced from £27 to £20.70, www.very.co.uk Ad­justable lights are su­per-use­ful and Marks & Spencer’s Loft ad­justable task floor lamp, £99, has a match­ing ta­ble lamp, £45

Deben­hams fair­ground-in­spired Mar­quee col­lec­tion: Flamingo light, £150; Burst star and Rain­bow floor lights, from £150 to £120 on­line; Light­ning bolt floor light, down from £95 to £76, and Cac­tus floor light, cur­rently re­duced from £125 to £100

Scarlett black chan­de­lier, with smoke and clear glass crys­tal strands, is re­duced from £395 to £316 at Deben­hams

Left, bag bar­gain ta­ble lamps like this Cae­sar ta­ble lamp, £29, www.very.co.uk

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