Lighting design guide: Ramp up each room with creative lighting
Knowing the basics of lighting design isn’t just for interior designers anymore. Every Australian home owner or apartment dweller can reap big rewards with lighting to make everyday living comfortable, energy-efficient and beautiful. First up, take a quick tour of your home to see what you have to work with and what you’d like to achieve.
Remember, the golden rule for lighting design is layered lighting. Allow each room to have the essentials of ambient light for general illumination, task light for specific purposes and accent light for highlights.
Pendants, downlights, batten-fixed and track lights come in all shapes, styles and finishes. Lighting choices for bedrooms, bathrooms, kitchen, dining, lounge, entry and hallways can be unique to each room or follow a lighting design theme throughout your home. For outdoor areas, consider entertaining and security lighting as priorities for the garden, deck or street front façade. Then add flair with decorative wall-styles, built-ins (floor or wall) or garden and pathway bollards.
Here are a few trends and hot tips for room-by-room indoor and outdoor home lighting:
Lounge or living room
Bring flow and harmony to your number one living space simply by using light and shadow to its full effect. Dramatise separate spaces like a bar area or home theatre zone with linkable lighting – perfect for a modern look to ceiling recesses or accent walls. It’s all about the right combination of comfort and style.
Hot Tip: Consider a zone within a room
Create dedicated ‘comfort zones’ with fusion and illusion – where you use spot or track lights to highlight an area. Accent them further with a pendant to complement the colour or textures of your furnishings. Click here for more ideas on zone lighting.
For a regular family feast or entertaining for friends, make your dining setting the hero of the room. Modern pendants make a statement when clustered or repeated, so don’t stop at one. Ambient lighting plays an important part in candlelit dinners, as well, so be sure to have all lighting levels (and layers) covered.
Hot Tip: Pick a design trend
Some popular themes today are natural, industrial, Scandinavian and black & white. Match your lighting to your décor with a great range of lighting from these design trends.
Home office or study
The workspace should be inspiring. The right task lighting makes it comfortable and functional for desk or screen reading while ambient lighting offers a good contrast to a bright screen. Go for an overall look of clean, lean, effective light fixtures.
Hot Tip: Look at potential accent lighting spots
Cabinets or book shelves make a great feature when properly lit (and make things easier to find) with strip lights. Highlight personal achievements or awards with gallery-style under shelf downlights.
From the first morning coffee to final wash-up, your kitchen is the workhorse of your home. Give it the full work up with lighting style variety like downlights, pendants and recessed lighting. It can make a dramatic difference with the right light intensity, whether you’re putting the family to work for dinner prep or sneaking in solo for a midnight snack.
Hot Tip: Match the lighting finish to your fit-out
Stainless steel, brushed metal and natural fibre finishes are popular in kitchens today.
Make it your oasis for relaxation with perfect lighting. Wall mounted luminaires are petite and elegant to draw the eye to artwork or shelving. Ambient lighting should be adjustable for full flexibility for both night and daytime.
Hot Tip: Adjust the length of a pendant for the right effect
Location, location, location is the first priority to make pendant lighting work. Add to that the flexibility of how far down it hangs and you’ve got the perfect solution to inviting lighting.
Low ceilings? Small spaces? Look at options for wall lights in the bathroom for versatile lighting effects. Moreover, so you never need stumble in the dark again, see what under-cabinet low-lighting space is available.
Hot Tip: Add a touch of vanity – Hollywood style
Look at ‘pamper-lights’ surrounding a mirror for flawless make-up or manscaping with track lights –also dimmable for low-level lighting. It’s important to know where best to position lights to avoid shadows.
Floodlights or sensor lights, path and driveway lighting and wall batten door lights help make your home warm and welcoming after dark. With a range of styles and finishes, light fixtures can create a beautiful aesthetic to walls and gardens.
Hot Tip: Add dramatic street appeal with lighting
Look for the architectural angles of your roof, entry, levels and pathways. Accent them with directional lighting.
For more information on lighting styles, click here.
Words and text by Crompton Lighting.