Lighting Design Tips

The lighting we put in our homes has diverse uses and does much more than simply brighten up a room. Soft and subtle lighting can, for example, create a cosy and romantic atmosphere, whilst an office or study requires much brighter illumination to ensure documents and books can be read with ease.

If you are thinking about modifying the lighting in your house or want to create a different atmosphere through using different fixtures, then have a look at the following lighting design tips.

Use natural lighting
If your house is on the dark side then nothing will give it a brightening lift more than natural lighting. Instead of simply fitting brighter light bulbs into lamps, you may want to consider replacing smaller windows with bigger ones in order for more daylight to flood into the room.

Of course replacing smaller windows with bigger ones will be a costly, time-consuming and not to mention messy procedure and if you do not have the time or financial resources to make such a renovation, there are less ‘drastic’ approaches you can adopt to give your home a greater soaking of natural light.

Techniques such as replacing dark and heavy curtains with lighter and brighter ones that don’t soak up so much light will help create more daylight. Likewise, placing mirrors opposite windows will reflect the light, making the room appear sunnier.

Combine natural light with artificial light
There is only so much daylight a room can occupy, particularly during the winter when the sun rarely comes up behind the trees. A general rule of thumb is that the average room requires 200 watts of light for every 50 square feet. Exploiting the benefits of both natural and artificial is a good way to achieve a bright and cheerful room that is not swamped by artificial lighting or, by the same token, is not resonant of a greenhouse.

Layering lighting
Many lighting experts assert that a room cannot be efficiently illuminated by one ceiling fixture alone. The term ‘layered lighting’ refers to placing several different types of fixtures into a room, such as a ceiling light, a couple of lamps and perhaps a spotlight or two, in order to add depth and greater character to the lighting scheme of a room.

Task lighting
In rooms where a more intense filter of light is required it is a good idea to use a technique known as ‘task lighting’. This tier of lighting provides a direct and brighter stream of light into a specific area, and is typically used for bring greater illumination to certain tasks such as reading, cooking, using a computer.

Lighting expert Rosie Higgins wrote this article on behalf of