See the Light!

Added on December 13th 2016

See the Light!

Lighting isn’t just functional, it’s an important element of interior design. Most people don’t know much about it, but they know when it’s wrong. If you’re selling, you need to get it right, so here’s how.

Understand your lights

Not all lights are the same (OK, it’s all photons and all that stuff, but…), you can use different sort of lights for different areas and purposes in the home.

Task lighting

This lighting helps you to perform various tasks – reading, chopping vegetables or sewing, for example. It’s bright enough so you can see what you’re doing without getting a headache, but not so bright that you end up with a headache!

Ambient lighting

This is general lighting – overhead, usually. Ambient lighting should be bright enough to light every corner of a room, but not to the extent you think you walked into an operating theatre.

Accent lighting

This picks out features you want to draw attention to – a cosy corner, or a painting or interesting cornice. The laws of interior decorating (yes…) state that accent lighting must direct three times as much light onto the feature in question than onto the surroundings.

Decorative lighting

This is for decoration. So, an ornate chandelier over a table, or a set of lights that is a feature in itself, for example. They may or may not cast much light over their surroundings – it’s not obligatory.

Each room needs a different light

The dining room

This room needs the table to be the focal point, so a set of hanging lights will make this happen. You can also have ambient and accent lighting, but the lights over the table are the main feature.

The kitchen

You can really go to town here, as the kitchen is a place of activity and of socialising. Downlights are important here, as you need to focus on your cooking and prepping, but you also need ambient lighting and under-cupboard lights to create layers of lighting.

The living room

Downlights and corner lamps are great here, so you can adjust the lighting according to mood. Turn lights down for watching TV or talking and use lamps for reading.

Stairs and halls

Safety takes precedence here, so make sure these areas are well-lit at all times.

The bathroom

Again, lighting should be functional rather than mood, although you can always have adjustable lighting for relaxing soaks.

The bedrooms

Dimmable ambient lighting as well as task lighting (AKA bedside lamps) is what you need here.

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