Tuesday, 25 February 2014

Light It Up

I'm meeting with my electrician tomorrow to go through the lighting for our place and I'm going to practice what I preach!  But I admit that I've changed my mind about a million times and searched high and low for the 'right light fitting'.  So here is a round up of some cool light fittings I've found along the way.  Some of them I'm totally dreaming of course!
I can't help but rant on about lighting so here goes - I feel so strongly about it!  The key to creating a beautiful space that we want to spend time in is to create a textured lighting effect.  We need various different types of lighting; general, task, ambient and decorative lighting.  So here is a brief guide to how I go about it...

General lighting can be in the form of downlights but we shouldn't stop there! 
I can't stand downlights.  There, I said it.  Here's why; they cast a shadow over the face and aren't flattering at all, they light the floor (why?) whilst the ceiling is kept dark which creates a low ceiling effect.  Often I see houses where there are a flood of downlights on the ceiling in any old arrangement that the electrician felt like on the day.  I've been to some pretty amazing houses with nothing but downlights everywhere.  What is the point of creating great architecture and interiors when they are not lit and we can't see the spaces in all their glory?  It seems like the lighting is a mere afterthought, I think it's one of the most important elements.  So be sure to put them on dimmers. and then add other lighting.

We need task lighting to see what we are doing, such as lighting in the kitchen for food preparation or in the bathroom or even just floor/table lamps for reading.  Think about how to light the surfaces you will work on in the kitchen.   Concealed LED strip lights to the underside of overhead cupboards are practical and can also be ambient light when the other lights are dimmed.

Decorative lighting gives the room personality and can be in the form of wall lights or pendant lights.  They instantly indicate the style of the interior.  So selecting just the right one can be a challenge.  Plus there are just so many out there.

We need to think about what it is we want to light first and work back from there.  The layout of the lighting is as important as selecting the right fitting.  I always discuss the lighting with the lighting sales person as they are often qualified lighting designers and their advice is so valuable.

Ambient lighting is that all important final layer that lights up an area of the room creating interesting light and shadow and can be floor or table lamps and guess what, you don't need an electrician to do it!  You don't need to spend a fortune either, check out Ikea, Freedom, Exbibit, Mondo Luce and try online store onefortythree.  I haven't bought online as yet as the wiring would need changing but Urban Outfitters have some great lamps at really good prices.  So go out and load up your space with lighting!

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