Lighting Design... Some tips on where to start
Start by thinking about work areas and essential lighting – kitchen work surfaces, bathroom mirrors etc. Once you have worked out the areas requiring task lighting, you can move onto the more decorative, feature lighting. If you clearly separate the 2, it will help you to develop a scheme that looks stunning and allows a comfortable light level to allow you to see!
In the kitchen use pendant lights hung low over an island and/or dining table to create an attractive feature and supplement them for task lighting with under cupboard lights. It makes great task lighting for preparing food and and a strip of concealed LEDs will make a marble worktop look stunning.
In the drawing room lighting needs to be low level to encourage a cosy atmosphere. Focus on wall lights and lamps, rather than ceiling pendants and think about the benefits of a 2 amp ring main; do you love the soft glow of table and standard lamps, but can never be bothered to switch them all on? Or do you often head upstairs at night, only to spot a glow emitting from the sitting room, courtesy of the table lamp in the corner that you’ve forgotten to switch off? A 2 amp ring main is the solution.
The ring is best installed into any room where multiple lamps are likely to be needed. Special round pin sockets are placed around the room (sometimes in the floor by a sofa or coffee table, as well as in the walls) into which you lamps are plugged. Do note, they won’t run your TV or vacuum cleaner! The ring main links back to a light switch by the door, in the same position as your regular light switch. All your lamps are plugged into the ring and left switched on. When you enter the room, switch the switch and, voila… on come all the table and standard lamps.
And, saving the best bit for last... the locations to really splash out on a feature light or chandelier are the hallway, stairwell or over a dining table. Over a dining table hang your chandelier so that the bottom is around 70cm from the table. This looks stunning and means you can get away with a larger fitting than normal as you don’t need to walk underneath. Hallways and stairwells often benefit from additional ceiling height and lighting can be used, in much the same way as a piece of artwork, to make a design or architectural statement. In these locations the right lighting will be a real feature.
If you are looking to make a statement with lighting, concentrate on your hallway, stairwell or dining table. These are the locations where the right piece will be a real feature.