Top Tips For Lighting Interiors
Lighting is a subject I love; a carefully designed and well-executed lighting scheme has the power to elevate great interiors to the really exceptional-it literally shows your home in it’s best light! Great lighting can highlight design features, create drama and mystery, heighten the effect of your colour scheme and disguise any unavoidable defects.
However lighting is an area where you can easily go wrong or simply miss great opportunities in the design of your home so it’s worth seeking professional help on a large-scale project and it’s always vital to plan lighting as early as possible in a project as the electrics are one of the first tasks. Remember that it is very difficult and expensive to change the lighting later on!
Carefully planned lighting is a hallmark of my interior design work and a specialist area that many homeowners just don’t feel confident tackling themselves but here are my top tips to guide you.
Avoid placing lighting only in the middle of a room. The eye is naturally drawn to light so this will make your room appear much smaller. A central pendant or chandelier can be a beautiful decorative feature but don’t rely on this alone.
Try lighting the edges of the space with wall washing downlights, wall lights or lamps. This will make your space feel much larger.
Aim to use as few downlights as you can and always choose the adjustable sort so that you can decide on the angle of the light and where it falls. The best ones are deep enough that the bulb can be recessed in the fitting itself so you don’t see it and there’s less glare.
Don’t overlight a space. Rows and rows of downlights are boring, much better to place light only where you need it. Pools of light are much more dramatic and draw you into the space, while more shadowy areas create intrigue and a pleasing contrast to more brightly lit spaces.
Plan for as many circuits as possible, each with their own separate switch and dimmer so that you can vary the lighting combinations to create ambience and mood lighting for different times of day.
Plan lighting at different heights to create a subtle layered effect. Aim to have some ceiling lighting, some mid level lighting from wall lights or under cupboard lighting and some low level lighting from table lamps for example. Floor level lighting under furniture or stair edges takes your lighting scheme to the next level!
Try to hide the light source wherever possible, visible bulbs are really unattractive and create glare. Unless the light fitting is a decorative one, try to only see the effect of the light not the light source itself. LED strip lighting is very discreet and can be built invisibly into recesses in ceilings, slots in walls, into stair treads and edges and into built-in furniture.
Buy the best quality light bulbs you can. LEDs last several years and use much less electricity so will save you money. LED light tends to be rather cold and blue-toned so look for a bulb that has a colour temperature of 2700K-2900K (degrees Kelvin). If the colour temperature isn’t shown then always go for the warmest white available.
If you would like help designing a lighting scheme for your home I would love to hear from you. Contact me here