During the dark days of winter having the right sort of lighting in each area of your home is
especially important. You may know that you need to change the lighting, but faced with the colossal range of options out there, be unsure which route to take. Read on for tips on how to create a successful lighting scheme and avoid expensive mistakes.
Previous generations used to get by with one harsh central light fitting in the middle of every room. It was bright enough to read by and do everything that was needed in the room but mood lighting it was not. Nowadays a living area needs at least three types of lighting.
General lighting usually comes in the form of centrally positioned light fittings or you could go for a ceiling studded with star- like spotlights. There are advantages to both. The uncluttered effect of the latter can be perfect for a minimalist interior, whilst the vast array of chandeliers and pendant lights available will enhance your décor at all times even when they are switched off.
Consider all the activities that need light and supply it with a mixture of table lamps, spotlights and floor lamps. In a dining area you could have low hanging lamps over the table or floor lamps close by. Table lamps and floor lamps dotted around a sitting area not only provide light for reading and media activities but also make the space look larger.
This is where your creativity can really run riot. All the task lighting adds to the accent
lighting but you could also add wall lights beside fireplaces or in alcoves to dramatic effect.
Uplighters gently illuminate the ceiling giving the illusion that there is more space in the
Using uplighters under plants or decorative items can cast interesting shadows on the ceiling and the coloured LED bulbs available now, can act as wallwashers, projecting different colour effects which completely change the “mood” of the room. Dual purpose uplighters which include a reading light are useful where space is limited. To illuminate artwork you can fit spotlights, either singly or on tracks and glass cabinets or shelves can look stunning with concealed spotlights. Mirrors or mirrored furniture can maximise all the effects created.
Lighting has been in something of a flux in recent years with the phasing out of the energy
guzzling incandescent bulb. The first low energy replacements were not greatly liked with
their long warming up periods and their incompatibility with dimmer switches. Although LED lights are still more expensive to buy, it is generally recognised that this is the way lighting is going. Mercury-free, dimmable and much less expensive to run than halogen, they really are the best option.
Lighting should always be an important part of any redecoration plan. Some of the
installations mentioned require a professional or will leave you with re-plastering to be done. If a whole new look is not on the cards for some time, do not let that put you off trying to implement some changes. Clip on wall-lights and spotlights can create amazing effects for a small outlay. Update a table lamp or a floor lamp or introduce an uplighter.
There are fantastic lamps out there: retro arc lamps, theatre style spotlights, art deco
uplighters and beautiful chandeliers. You will be spoiled for choice. But, if you really do have to wait a while to spend money on lighting don’t despair, remember the wonderful effects created at Christmas with a few candles and fairy lights.
Featured guest post By Liz Higginbottom