13 Aug 2022

Interiors column: Ideal lighting solutions for your home

With Louise Higgins of Aspire Design

Interiors column: Ideal lighting solutions for your home

During Covid-19 we are spending more time in our homes so it’s a great time to make some updates to your home's interior. Statement lighting makes a real impact and in this week’s column I wanted to share with you some information on choosing the right lighting for your home, whilst showcasing some of our stunning statement lighting.

A key component for any room, good lighting can enhance your interior space but choosing the wrong lighting can have the opposite effect. Some lighting types to consider are general lighting, accent lighting, task lighting, and atmospheric lighting. Lighting should be chosen to suit a room's function, avoid glare and create the right mood.

General Lighting

General lighting should turn a darkened room into daylight at the flick of a switch and is considered the main source of lighting in any room. General lighting can be provided by ceiling fixtures, chandeliers, recessed down lighters or wall lights. Recessed directional down lighters can also be installed in the ceiling and directed to emphasise a specific wall feature.

For a dining room, you could consider a large ceiling pendant or decorative chandelier as the focal point of the dining room. Suspended over the dining room table, it serves as a decorative style element that enhances the beauty of the room. When used in conjunction with a dimmer it can create a soft and glowing atmosphere similar to that achieved by using candlelight. A chandelier over a dining table provides task lighting for the table and accent lighting for a centrepiece.

Atmospheric Lighting

Atmospheric lighting is the term used to create the perfect ambience and can also be referred to as mood lighting as it can be easily adjustable depending on the mood required for the room. Wall lights work well in formal dining rooms and hallways. Wall lights can provide both upward and downward lighting. Wall lights should be mounted at a reasonable and comfortable height. Below the level of the top of the room’s doorway is a good position as it takes into account a person of average height.

Accent Lighting

This is for highlighting pictures, bookshelves, wardrobes, mirrors and any other area that needs a bit of extra illumination. For example, wall lights can be used to highlight a sideboard or console table. Care should be taken to select wall lights that compliment your ceiling pendant.

Task Lighting

This is the term used for lighting which illuminates a specific individual workstation e.g. reading, cooking, studying etc.

Reading requires lighting that comes from behind the readers shoulder. This can be done by placing a floor lamp at the right or left of a chair. The bottom of the shade should be located at eye level to avoid a glare.

Studying requires a desk light that is positioned to minimise shadows, veiling reflections and glare. A desk would typically be illuminated from the left-hand side (for a right handed person) so that there are no distracting shadows or veiling reflections. The eye should be protected from the lamp with the use of a shade.

Supplemental task lighting is very important for your kitchen, particularly for work areas e.g. Sink, oven, and countertop. Recessed down-lighters work well here as do fluorescent tubes installed under the cabinets to reflect onto the work surface. Down lighters can also be used inside glass cabinets to highlight collections of glassware etc. Picture lights are used to highlight paintings or photo galleries.

Some areas of the home require further attention. Bathroom lighting can be limited due to the many regulations concerning the type of lighting that can be used. The main priority in the bathroom should be safety. The bathroom needs plenty of even, shadow free lighting for putting on make-up, shaving etc.

Thanks again for taking the time to read my column and I hope this post has given you some guidance and inspiration when choosing lighting for your home.

Louise is a former winner of TV3’s Showhouse Showdown. Contact 086 3999926; email;

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