What does a feel-good Hollywood movie have in common with your ideal living room? The correct answer has less to do with your current heartthrob and more to do with good lighting. But how easy is good lighting to achieve, exactly? Let’s get the ball rolling with our 15 illuminating lighting tips…
15 Lighting Tips to Lighten Up the Vibe in Your Home
1. Ambient Lighting
This is the general room lighting — usually the main ceiling lights, downlights and wall lights.
2. Accent Lighting
These lights add drama, usually highlighting artworks or architectural details.
3. Task Lighting
This is your lighting for reading, writing, cooking — desk, floor, table lamps and under-cabinet kitchen lighting.
Lighting tips by Room
You need to sketch a floor-plan of your home, room by room. Make notes about specific tasks and lighting needs for each space.
Our room-by-room scenario will help enlighten…
Pendant lights are a typical foyer choice, often chandeliers. Your choice of lighting here will set the tone for your home.
5. Lounge Room
Soft lighting is a preference for the room so named for lounging. The lighting should enhance relaxation and audio-visual entertainment.
6. Dining Room
Chandeliers and pendants come to the fore once more, this time for convivial feasting and family togetherness.
Downlights and track lighting are popular and practical. Under-cabinet lights give a soft effect when they’re switched on and the overhead kitchen lights are switched off.
Wall lights, such as either side of the mirror, work wonders. Wall lights need to be placed about 190cm above the floor. A free-standing bath lit by a pendant light above is a thing of beauty.
Here, a mix of different strength lighting is recommended. You would need bright room lighting for practical considerations, at other times, softer lighting. Bedside lamps will be the heroes.
10. Layered Lighting
One approach, especially for the larger spaces, is layered lighting. Layer 1 is ambient lighting, indirect even illumination, pendants and overhead fixtures. Layer 2 includes task lights, reading lamps and under-cabinet lighting that bring focus to specific spaces. Layer 3 is accent lighting using track lighting and adjustable recessed lights. Layer 4 is decorative lighting such as chandeliers and lamps.
11. Adding Drama
Wall-mounted sconces, spotlights behind furniture and rope lights defining the room’s perimeter (perhaps along picture rails) can give you the opportunity of creating a warm, upward glow.
Save energy and extend the life of your light bulbs using dimmers. The primary benefit of course is being able to adjust the lighting for nuance and subtle effect.
13. More is Less
Don’t go all out trying to light an area with strong lighting. You’ll end up with glare and equally harsh shadowing. A few well-placed lower wattage bulbs will do the job without the downsides.
14. Quality Fittings
Good light fixtures are manufactured well. Avoid obviously cheap, thin metals and porcelain, as well as plastic that quickly becomes too brittle.
Check that the shade on the fitting hides the bulb sufficiently rather than leaves it exposed to view.
Joints and connections should be solid and the parts you access to replace bulbs should not be too troublesome.
15. What’s next?
Now you have your lighting plan down, you might even want to explore new horizons with the advent of colour-control lighting…
Philips Hue Wireless Lighting is smart. It’s not exactly cheap but it can be controlled from your smartphone and offers you control over a spectrum of 16 million colours!
To make your lighting plan a reality, talk to a licensed electrician, get a quote and light up your home like a boss. Finding a licensed electrician is only a couple of clicks away using LocalSearch.
Find some more fantastic home lighting tips here: