Lighting Guide

Lighting is one area of interior design that is very often overlooked, yet when done well, can transform a space from the ordinary to the spectacular. With advances in technology, in particular LED, there are more choices today than ever before. Traditional conventions of what type of lighting fitting should go in what area have largely gone, and more and more customers are making more emotional decisions combining both design and practicality, and we think that is a good thing.

Always remember that if you are stuck or need detailed advice, our knowledgeable staff are in store or on the end of the phone ready to help.

As previously stated, there are no hard and fast rules, but the following paragraphs are designed as a guideline and to promote ideas for consideration when choosing lighting products for the main areas of the home.

Always remember that any successful lighting scheme will always be built around the concept of Layering. Ceiling lights are one layer as are wall lights and portable table and floor lights, as well as accent lighting such as under cupboard and hidden LED strip lighting. By have having the ability to switch between more than one layer of allows for practical and dramatic control over mood and ambience, depending on when and how the space is being used.

Living Rooms

As the heart of the home, the living room needs to feel comfortable and inviting. From a relaxing evening on the sofa to hosting a party, living room lighting should cover a variety of functions.

For higher ceilings a statement piece such as a chandelier or large pendant might be considered, even if they are used less frequently than other lighting layers, as they still provide a decorative centrepiece and often a talking point.

For lower ceilings there are a wide variety of flush and semi flush fittings available, covering every conceivable style from period traditional to ultra-modern LED.

A mix of table and floor lamps give a cosier ambience when it’s time to relax, and subtle attention can be drawn to particular elements of the room with picture and wall lighting.

Hall, Stairs and Landing

Hallways are commonly the main thoroughfares of the home connecting one area to the other. Consideration should be given to ceiling height and those with lower ceilings should consider a more flush style fitting that fits close to the ceiling to allow a suitable clearance. Alternatively, many customers choose recessed spotlights or wall lights in place of conventional ceiling lights with great success. For those with higher ceilings, modern pendants or traditional hallway lanterns can be installed for dramatic effect.

For those with open galleried style stairwells, an opportunity to create a real statement exists, with the wide variety of dramatic spiral and cascading pendants that light the entire length of the staircase.

Kitchen

The modern kitchen often acts as the hub of the home where lighting needs to be functional and decorative. One of the first areas to address is under cupboard lighting, in particular cupboards over work surfaces. Having this layer of lighting provides a good level of illumination for food preparation and prevents shadows from being cast on to the work surface. For general overhead lighting recessed down lighters will always be a popular choice due to the ability to deliver light from across the whole surface area of the ceiling. Where recessed lighting is not possible, consider light fittings that for directional adjustment to get light where it is needed. There are also new more stylish LED alternatives to the conventional fluorescent tube fittings for those who prefer a more uniform distribution of light.

A common feature of modern kitchen design is the kitchen island, and it is here where you can introduce a real element of style. Whether you have a clinical modern, vintage or traditional kitchen, there are a wide variety of pendants that can be installed in twos, threes or fours, over the kitchen island. And when hung much lower than light fittings in normal spaces, pendants create real drama as well as accentuating the kitchen island feature itself. If you do not have the ability to introduce cable feeds for multiple pendants, many of these ranges have fittings featuring multiple pendants in a row which only require one feed.

Dining Room

Dining tables, whether they are in a self-contained room or part of a kitchen diner space offer the possibility of adding a touch of drama without sacrificing practicality. Feature light fittings should be hung lower over a dining table than in conventional space where people can pass underneath them, as not only does it create real visual impact, but it also gets the light where it is needed.

If you habitually move your dining table around for parties and so on, some modern LED light fittings allow for height adjustment on the fly, meaning you can raise them out of harm’s way when the table is moved, and then lower them again when the table is back to its normal place.

We are also able to offer solutions where the wiring point for a ceiling light is not centrally located over the table.

Also remember that the dining table is the one space in the home where we would consider the use of a dimmer switch as almost essential. The ability to dim the lights for dinner parties, and then have full brightness when you’re sat at the table doing some paperwork, can often prove invaluable. Not all light fittings are dimmable, however, so check the technical information before making your decision.

Bathrooms

Bathrooms are rarely single purpose rooms. The lighting scheme needs to be both ambient for a nice relaxing soak in the tub, and practical for washing, shaving and makeup application, and using different types of lighting helps achieve this.

On the ceiling many people still opt for the simple flush style centre light or recessed down lighters. There are more options for the more adventurous however, ranging from chandeliers to modern LED fixtures, some of which even have integrated Bluetooth speakers allowing you to stream music or audio books whilst you’re relaxing in the bath.

The sink area is where the light should allow you to perform those personal grooming tasks in an even, shadow free environment. The use of bathroom wall lights either side of a mirror, or even better, an integrated illuminated mirror do this admirably. When the overhead lights are switched off, they double up nicely as gentle background ambient light when you’re relaxing in the bath.

Bathroom lighting needs to be stylish and practical, but above all safe. Most bathroom installations will require the light fitting to carry a minimum IP (Ingress Protection) rating of 44 to ensure it is safe. IP ratings may need to be higher for light fixtures which are in very close proximity to the bath tub or shower cubicle.

Bedroom

While the bedroom might be considered a restful place where minimal lighting is required, vanity areas do need to be considered. A central pendant, semi flush or flush fittings remain a popular choice for the primary layer of light when it is needed.

Separately switched bedside wall lights are a practical and rather stylish solution for the bed, especially those designs featuring LED reading lights which focus a pool of light over the reading material only, allowing one side of the bed to sleep and the other side to read.

Of course bedside table lamps will always be a simple and stylish way of lighting the bed area with hundreds of different designs and styles to choose from. And for the fashion conscious, positioning long small pendants either side of the bed hanging from the ceiling is a strong trend for bedroom lighting.

Outdoors

Lighting outdoor spaces is as varied in choice as lighting interiors. Primary outdoor lighting will normally come from wall lights and we have a large choice in either classical coach style lanterns all the way through to cutting edge LED products which can produce spectacular lighting effects over the walls. For the security conscious, there are PIR security lights which will activate as they are approached.

We supply an array of products dedicated to lighting patios and pathways, and for flower beds and raised borders simple mains voltage adjustable spike lights are perfect for highlighting garden features and architectural plants.

The difference between a well and poorly lit outdoor space is literally night and day, and you will always be pleased that you spent that extra bit of effort getting it right.

Home Visits

For many customers, a great deal of pleasure is taken from discovering products that provide solutions to lighting problems. However, with the boundless variation design, finishes, materials and technology available in lighting now, the prospect of coming up with a successful scheme can be daunting. For customers who are in reasonable proximity to us, we offer a home visit service where we can offer you the benefit of our experience, discuss potential types lighting for different areas, and create a plan for you. This service costs £50.00 and is refundable if you place an order of £500 or more.

If you would like to learn more about our home visit service please call us on 0115 9537088 or email us at [email protected]mlightingcentre.co.uk we look forward to hearing from you.