Lighting tips and tricks for your home
Lighting is an incredibly important feature of any home. It can change the way you see and use your spaces, accentuate particular features of your home, add a sense of style and sophistication, affect your mood and even impact on your health and wellbeing. Not to mention, getting your lighting placement right can also affect your energy costs. Here are some tips from our lighting experts on ways you can improve the lighting in your home.
The most important form of lighting that people tend to forget about is natural lighting. You can bathe a room in natural light with the help of windows, skylights and reflection. Even the orientation of your home can help enhance the amount of natural light in your home.
You can bring natural light into your home by ensuring you have plenty of large windows and limit how you use heavy curtains. Skylights are great for illuminating hallways or closed off areas that don’t get much natural light. You can also reflect natural light around a room with the help of mirrors and by painting in lighter, cooler colours, which are more reflective than darker tones.
In the southern hemisphere the sun is always slightly to the north. Orientating the living areas to the northern side of your home will bring in more natural light throughout the day. Placing bedrooms on the southern side of your home will help create darker and cooler spaces for sleeping.
Research has proven that natural light can help you be more productive, happier, healthier and calmer. Natural light is also free, so it’s easy on your wallet too.
Cool vs. warm lighting
When buying light bulbs, you might be confused about which colours to get for which rooms. Should you go for warm white or cool white? Generally speaking, warm white is more relaxing and is best for most rooms of your house. Traditionally, homes have used warm white and this is the lighting that you’re probably most used to.
While cool lighting may be a bit harsh for relaxing areas, it excels in spaces where you need a bright clean light for working, like in kitchens, laundries, offices, workshops or garages. Cool white contains more blue light helps brighten dark spaces. Some people prefer the crisp light that cool white gives off and paint colours like blues and greys can also look brighter with cooler light.
So, whether to use warm or cool lighting depends on how you use the room you’re lighting and your individual preference.
Using a mix of light sources at different levels creates a more sophisticated and flexible lighting plan. Overhead lighting is very common and while important, is not the only way to light your room. Using layers of light gives a room more function and character.
Task lighting through lamps and down lights will ensure you don’t strain your eyes when you need to read or concentrate. By using lamps with shades, you can create a cosy atmosphere for when you’re relaxing. Accent lights can add interest and highlight works of art or the interiors of cabinets.
Accentuate your space
There are some lighting tricks you can use to make your ceilings appear taller or your rooms larger. But be careful! Some lighting mistakes can actually do the opposite, so it’s important to think about how lighting will accentuate your rooms.
You can make high ceilings appear taller by using vertical light beams or by hanging pendants. The bottom of any pendant, chandelier or fan should hang at least 2.1 metres from the floor. If your ceilings aren’t very high, it might be best to look at other options as they can make the space seem lower. In these homes, a flush mount fixture is the best way to go.
Another tip to make your rooms appear larger is by bouncing light onto the ceiling and walls which will help lighting every corner of the room. You can also make a room appear larger by lighting one side of the room more than the other.
Still have some questions? Don’t worry! Designing a lighting plan can be complicated so don’t be afraid to consult a professional.
When building with us, our lighting specialist will take you through different options and help you select what will work best in your home. That’s just part of the personal service you get at National Homes.