How 2: Illuminate your Home; Lighting your home to success

How 2: Illuminate your HomeMoving home? Simply redecorating or fancy a change? Look no further, read on for a complete guide full of ideas and tips for lighting your entire home! All your questions answered as we personally walk with you through the home.

A question which is asked time and time again is how do you properly light your home? It’s asked a lot because let’s face it, we spend a lot of time there and we want it done right! We want to know, how much light will I need in each room? What kind of light? What style light is best suited? So on and so forth.

The first thing to take into consideration, and I’m sure it’s something you’re already aware of is that every room has a different requirement in terms of lighting. Lighting has a huge influence on mood setting too so thinking about how you want to feel in each room is also a contributing factor. So, shall we make a start? Open that front door!

Hallway & Stairwell Lantern

Hallway & Stairwell Lantern

Hallway/Staircase: Now then how do you want to be greeted? When we visit a hotel or B&B we have our own expectations and desires. We don’t want to walk into a dimly lit shrine but on the same token we don’t want to feel as if we’ve stumbled into a dental reception! We all want to feel pleased with our home and proud enough to have guests round so bring some of that hotel B&B expectation in. First and foremost you’re going to need a general area light, typically a ceiling light. If you’re fortunate enough to have a large staircase then a long drop stairwell light would be ideal. However, not to worry if not, a semi flush or even short pendant would suffice.

Don’t be afraid to get something decorative, make a first impression. The size of your hall or stairwell area is going to determine how much light you need from each piece, for those who are unsure a dimmable light may be a good option. Remember you can always boost the light level with a table lamp or wall light, speaking of table lampsTable lamps are a great way of adding warmth and relaxing ambient light, this is a great mood to add to your first port of call in the home. If you have a surface or table stand here then it is well worth popping something decor matching to glow in the corner.

To keep the sense of warmth going here it would be best to stick to warm coloured bulbs, avoid cool blues and aim for something with a Kelvin rating of around 2700k-3000k. This is the typical look of a standard incandescent bulb. It’s worth noting however you should always consider using low energy bulbs, most of which now come in different colour temperatures. Remember to keep this area feeling fresh, during the day get those curtains open and let some natural light in – your light fittings will still stand proud!

Spotlight Cluster

Spotlight Cluster

Kitchen: Let’s head on through to the kitchen, you’re going to be slaving away in here at some point right? Lots of prepping and cooking for yourself or maybe even the kids, your other half or your guests! Whether it’s cooking for one or laying out a banquet, adequate lighting is essential here. You’re going to need to favour functionality over decoration that little bit more; the main source of light is going to need to provide a good amount and a good spread of it. The most popular forms of lighting in here are spotlight bars and fluorescent strip lights. Spotlight bars come in varying sizes, typically between 4 and 6 with each individual bulb providing around 50 watts and allowing for manual control over the direction of each spot.

You could (and we would recommend it) fit LED bulbs into your spotlights, these save an awful lot on running costs using around 4 watts each but still giving you the equivalent of 50! They also have extremely long lifetimes of up to around 15 years! We all love a reduction in maintenance. Fluorescent tube lights however are not quite so robust and will require replacing, they come in different lengths depending on the wattage, typically between 4 and 6 foot. That can be quite the challenge for some cars or those of you whom often use public transport. Should you intend to use a dimmer switch in your kitchen to control the light it’s also worth noting that fluorescent bulbs are not dimmable, however the LED alternatives for spotlights do have a dimmable options available. It is common perception that the fluorescent strip lights are now a dated look so making the change to something a little more on trend should be considered.

Both styles however are suitable options and in the end should come down to personal preference. For this room using daylight or cool white bulbs is advised as these tend to give a crisper light which is best for worktops, something around 5000 – 7000k. Now that you have a general light those worktops need that extra attention, generally you’ll have cupboards above them so getting some under cupboard pelmet lighting is perfect for this. There are different options here too in which you could opt for surface mounted spots, LED strips or fluorescent link lights. If you have a kitchen island then a pendant light may be suitable. All do a good job and will give you that recipe for success!

Dining Room Chandelier

Dining Room Chandelier

Dining Room: Yippee! Dinner’s ready! The tables set and the food is out, now you need that perfect balance of adequate light and ambience. You can’t go wrong with a decorative pendant light above your dining room table; they provide a good concentration of light and can be a great feature for the room. Quite what style you go for will depend entirely on your preference along with the size and style of your dining room. If you’re fortunate to have a large and rather grand dining room then a medium sized chandelier could be an option, there are many to choose from to suit both modern and traditional settings. For those with average or smaller dining rooms there are similar lights on a smaller scale so don’t feel left out or restricted! Add that luxury! Of course if you aren’t feeling for a chandelier then there are plenty of other designs from lanterns to drum shades.

Utilise that wall space. Most dining rooms tend to display some form of art work or even a mirror, if yours has something of this ilk on show then give it the attention it deserves and add a picture light. This adds a bit of depth to the room along with the option of boosting the light levels if needed. Whether you do or don’t have something on display you can always add separate wall lights to the mix. Some people will find there are matching wall lights to go with their pendant light – ideal! If not however there are usually similar ones to compliment it. Consider having these ones operated by a dimmer switch, you may find you want to switch off your main light and have the wall lights toned down getting somewhat close to “candle lit” while you finish that last glass of wine! In regards to the colour temperature of the bulbs in here it’s likely dependant on whether your dining room is an extension of your kitchen, living room or entirely separate. It may be best to match the adjoining room if it’s an open plan extension, if not then the warmer temperatures tend to be more popular.

Lounge Lamp

Lounge Lamp

Lounge: Well that was lovely, it’s about time you put your feet up! Yes okay you can bring a glass with you. This is a room where you’re going to want to feel relaxed, warm and comfortable. Ambient light and lower levels are usually the preference here. For your main piece you’ll want to take the ceiling height into consideration, a flush fit or semi flush fitting is normally the go to choice. Whether you go for something with multiple arms or a flush up lighter is entirely down to you. Again similarly to the dining room if you have a picture or mirror on show then adding a picture light would be ideal, don’t let your features sit in the dark! A couple of wall lights, matching or similar, to compliment your ceiling light wouldn’t go amiss and give you additional options of alternating between switching just your ceiling light or wall lights on.

Don’t forget a table lamp! That warm glow of ambient light really helps the atmosphere of this room. Get one put on that side table beside your comfy settee. There are also additional sources you can implement, small up lighters which can sit on the floor either side of the television or fireplace, or even if you have recessed ceiling coving then LED strip light pelmet lighting could be an option. Having the option to turn everything off bar one or two ambient lights is highly recommended here, and you’ll likely be better off with warmer colour temperature bulbs of around 3000k. Now then, let’s lower the light levels and watch some TV in peace.

Bathroom Downlights

Bathroom Downlights

Bathroom: *Ahem* excuse me. Whether it’s a quick trip or a long soak you need good lighting in your bathroom. Good lighting and safe lighting. To put it out there first, bathroom lights must be of an adequate “IP rating”. There are rules and regulations which lights must adhere to when it comes to bathrooms. The bathroom is marked out in different “zones”. These are zones 0, 1, 2 and 3. Your electrician will be aware of this and will not fit anything that does not comply. Fortunately we have plenty of suitable lights which are IP44 and higher allowing you freedom in all zones! For now we’ll stick to 1, 2 and 3 which requires IP44 ratings and includes everywhere bar submersion.

The most popular form of general lighting in here is recessed down lights. The size of your bathroom will determine how many you’ll require, most down lights will provide around 50 watts each. Using the rule of length (of room) x width (of room) x 25 will give you a rough idea of the amount of watts you need. We will always recommend you opt for LED as it saves a lot in running costs and lasts up to 20 years! You can then go for a natural or cool white temperature which would be advised for a bathroom.

Maybe you’re looking for something different though huh? If so then you’ll be pleased to know there are now more decorative lights which are safe for bathrooms and you don’t have to go with a plain flush round ceiling light. There are even bathroom chandeliers! Add luxury to quite literally every room! Oh look! Another mirror! Wait, wait, wait. You can’t put any old picture light over it here, this is bathroom remember? Fortunately there are plenty of similarly designed over mirror or even side mirror lights which are perfect for bathrooms. It’s a good idea to make the most of this; maybe you’ll put your make up on here or shave. So situate it well and avoid producing too many shadows, something nicely diffused would be recommended.

Do you have cabinets? Glass or not you would benefit from some cabinet lights. You may have put together a lovely coastal themed display, in which case accent it! Either that or you’re just struggling to find that darn toothbrush.

Bedroom Lighting

Bedroom Lighting

Bedroom: It’s been a long day hasn’t it? I think it’s about time for bed. You don’t need particularly high levels of light in here for the most part, but that doesn’t mean you can’t decorate it with fittings. You may also find yourself in a situation where you need to raise the light level so never be tempted to neglect it! A flush, semi flush or pendant will be suitable in here for general lighting, find something to match the decor or something to add elegance. Depending on the style of the room you may opt for something with fabric silk shades, frosted glass or crystal. If you opt for something with multiple arms or bulbs take the size of your bedroom into consideration.

This can also be used to decide on whether or not wall lights will be required. Most people would opt to have wall lights fitted on either side of their bed, this is great for those moments when you get all cosy in bed and then realise you’ve left the light on *sigh*. Getting individually switched wall lights is a perfect solution for this, if you’re the sort that also likes to have a little read before going to sleep then there are some great bedside wall lights suited to that exact purpose. Some are even adjustable ranging from swing arm to flexible arms.

If you don’t have the space for wall lights then worry not, a desk lamp beside your bed is just as good! You could even go for a touch lamp to save fumbling around for a switch should you awake in the night. Even if you have do have space for wall lights that extra touch lamp never hurts and is always handy in those moments! Keeping things as cosy and mellow as possible is probably a good idea so warm colour temperature bulbs around 3000k would be advised.

There we go! Now you can sleep soundly knowing you’ve properly illuminated your home! Lights out.

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