Think about your objectives
Firstly, understand what your lighting aims are. Are you looking to illuminate a workspace? In which case, you’ll need task lighting. Are you looking to create ambience? If so, indirect lighting is required. Each room should have its own mood, so think carefully about the look and purpose of your lighting scheme.
Lighting outside the home
Remember the exterior of your house – you’ll need to provide lighting for both security and safety outside. Consider lighting on sidewalks and passages, the drive, the home and garden perimeter, the porch and front door and over any garages or sheds. If it’s too dim or not present at all, you may run a security risk. If it’s too bright or heavy-handed, you may irritate the neighbours and find your electricity bills run high! See what other homes in your neighbourhood have done and use this as a starting point.
Outdoor lighting can be attractive too – for example, you can use wall sconces for decoration and novelty light strings and solar lights to create a pretty effect.
Make your lighting work harder
Back in the home, look at home lighting that allows you to carry out multiple tasks. In the kitchen, look at under-counter lights for tasks and background illumination. Try a low hanging pendant over a dining table. In the living room, try a floor lamp next to a reading chair. In the bathroom, the mirror needs to be well lit so that it’s free from light glares or shadows – illuminated mirrors can also be used to light the whole home.
You can have fun with bold and designed lights in areas where decoration is key, such as passageways and hallways. Designer and art-inspired lighting can also be used to accessorise design schemes, whilst not necessarily needing to offer task based or functional lighting for the whole home.
With modern decor and high ceilings, recessed lighting can be used for subtle and directional light finishes. Dimmer switches are a useful addition to make the most of flexible lighting. Don’t forget children’s nurseries either; night lights are important for small children who might otherwise be scared and they also provide illumination for parents navigating through rooms after lights out. Try soft table lamps or special nursery lights.
Chandeliers can work in dining areas and formal living areas, but it’s wise to research them carefully so that they don’t date your space. There are plenty of modern coloured chandeliers available that add a contemporary touch and these work well in hallways and master bedrooms too. Alternatively, look at modern pendants, attractive side lamps and coloured lampshades to create a personal and unique look that matches the style of your home. Look for inspiration when picking home lighting and spend time researching ideas and looking for tips and you’ll find success with your design scheme.
Guest post written by David. For more ideas on lighting, visit All Lit Up.