How To: Creating a Lighting Plan for your home.

Maybe you’ve moved into a new house, renovating your home or building a new home and need to plan the lighting from scratch or you’ve simply decided to update the lighting around your home – you should never treat lighting as an afterthought. Creating a proper lighting plan can be very useful as it makes searching for and buying appropriate light fittings and bulbs a whole lot less stressful, whilst ensuring the lighting you have decided on will have a positive impact within your home.

Many interior designers agree that the light you use within your home has just as much of an impact as the furniture – a poorly lit room can make even the most beautifully decorated and furnished room feel dull and lifeless. You may be thinking that creating a lighting plan requires a qualified electrician and an understanding of much of the technical jargon, but fear not, The Lighting Company has come up with a handful of simple steps that you can take to create your first ever lighting plan.

Getting Started

If you’re looking at new lighting solutions for multiple rooms in your home, you can begin by simply visiting each room with a pen and a piece of paper to write down the answers to some important questions you must ask yourself. You should ask yourself questions such as ‘what do I use this room for?’ ‘What time of the day does this room get used?’ ‘Where is the source of the natural light?’ By writing down the answers to these questions you can get a good idea of why your current lighting isn’t working for you. For example, you may find that the room is only used on an evening where you like to relax, such as the living room, but you only have a main ceiling light with no dimmer switch installed. You may also be interested to have a quick read of a fun interesting article by Robbie Lockyer, who walks you around a typical home offering insights and inspirations. An enjoyable read for if your looking at home to light your home!

Ellie+Plan
“Something like this!” – EllieD

Creating the Plan

It’s easy to point where you’d like to place your lights around the room, but to get a clear idea and an understanding of why you’re putting a light there, and if it’s necessary, then you need to draw out a plan of your room. It’s a good idea to use graph paper here as it helps if the drawing is somewhat to scale, although there’s no real harm if it’s not. Start by marking out the shape of the room with a pencil and ruler, including fixtures that can’t be re-arranged such as fireplaces, windows and doors. You can then add your large pieces of furniture such as your sofa and sideboards.

Now, using arrows mark which way people in the room are more likely to be facing – for example, if it’s the living room it may be the television. This helps because it’s rarely beneficial to place lights in your direct eye line. If this is the only place a light can be sighted make sure it’s a softer diffused light. Finally, using the answers that you wrote down during your initial walk around, you can mark where you’d like to place each light source and what sort of light it will be. For example a wall light that points downwards or one that points up.

Next you’ll need to consider how much light will be generated by the light fitting. Each room in your home will be a different size and need a different amount of light, a larger room will need more light, which means more bulbs in one light or multiple lights with a single bulb. A quick guide for working out how much light you’ll need is length times width of the room will give you the the square meterage of your room, allow about 25 watts per meter (or 250 lumens) as a guide. That tells you if your room is 10 meters square you’ll need 10 times 25w (or 250 lumens) that light can come from multiple sources a ceiling light and a couple of wall lights, or a lamp or two depending what you have room for.

Need to know more about LUMENS? if you like lots of detail you could lose yourself for hours in the tech blurb from light bulb manufacturers, our quick guide to lumens may help also there’s also lots about lumens on Wiki which gives an independent view

Often professional lighting designers will draw a line from the light switch to the light fittings. This represents the electrical cable and will show you if you need to add additional lighting circuits. Consulting an electrician is a great idea they’ll tell you how easy it would be to achieve another circuit in your home. If you have the chance to add additional circuits for lighting do this before decorating. As mentioned earlier sometimes lighting is an after thought and you may be looking at improving your lighting without disturbing your decoration. Sadly it’s at this point most people wish they’d considered lighting before decorating.

We can help!

I know I’m showing off here, but our team are experts in lighting – it’s our specialist subject! Speak to sales@lightingcompany.co.uk There are always ways to improve most lighting schemes and if anyone can help it’s The Lighting Company.

Once you’re happy with the plan you’ve made, go shopping for your fixtures and fittings. It makes life a lot easier when you’re browsing through a store already knowing exactly what you need!

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