We’ve spent a fair bit of time looking at lighting for our clients over recent weeks. It’s one of my favourite elements within interior design as they are crucial for the functionality of the space i.e. will you actually have enough light to do what you need to do? But they can also make a fantastic statement in their own right and really contribute to the aesthetic.
There is so much choice out there at the moment, with some quality pieces available at a good price. But, with so many to choose from, what are our top tips for choosing the right lights for your space?
Think about the different types of lights that you’ll need
The key to the success of any lighting plan is having a mix of different types of lighting: task lighting, mood lighting etc. So, think carefully about how you’re planning to live in the space and where you’ll need these different types of lights.
A kitchen example might be that you need a number of spotlights or downlighters above the main worktop areas where you’ll be prepping food or washing up etc. But you might then want to have 2-3 pendants above an island that are on a different circuit, allowing you to create a different mood while you’re sitting at the island having a coffee with friends.
Don’t just use the current wiring if it’s not what you need
Most homes have rooms with just the one pendant light in the middle of the ceiling. This might suffice but before you decide you should think about where your furniture will be placed.
If you’re looking to light a bathroom and want separate lights above the shower and bath you may need a couple of separate pendants. Or if you’d like to light up a larger or L-shaped sofa, you may want more than one pendant.
Even if one pendant is sufficient for the space it needs to be placed appropriately. So, for example, you may want a statement pendant above the dining table. But if that dining table isn’t centre to the room then the pendant won’t be centred to the table, so make sure you’re got your furniture layout planned upfront.
If you can’t change the wiring that doesn’t mean you can’t change your lighting scheme
There are lots of clever ways of getting around having limited wiring in a space.
There are lots of great wall lights that are plugged in rather than wired into the wall
You can create your own bespoke lights by buying individual ceilings roses, bulb holders, pendants, hooks and long lengths of flex. You can then drape the flex from the centre of the ceiling to where you need the light to be
Good old table and floor lamps will also do a great job of adding mood lighting in certain areas and can create statement pieces at the same time
How much do you need to project the light around the room?
Many of the currently on-trend lights don’t always allow the light to project around a room very well. So, if you do need a ceiling light to work hard for you, then it may be better to consider a chandelier or cluster style light, rather than a drum shade or large pendant.
There are so many chandelier styles you can choose from, all the way from the more traditional glass clusters/beads and gothic candle-style through to futuristic Sputnik options and clusters of smoked glass pendants.
Don’t ignore the bulbs. They can make such a difference.
You may buy all the right lights for your space but if you don’t then have the right bulbs then everything will fall a bit short. The key things to think about with bulbs are:
The specific bulb type that your light fitting supports (E27, E14, B22)
LED lights will provide a warmer tone than Fluorescent bulbs so think about the combination of colours in the space. If you have a colder bulb projecting onto a colder coloured wall it may not help you create a cosy space.
Do you want the exposed filament look that is very popular these days?
You can get all sorts of shapes and sizes of bulb these days, so think about whether you want the bulb to make a statement. If you do, then you can go to town with oversized bulbs or geometric shapes
There are so many things to think about when it comes to lighting and we could have written a much longer blog about it. If there are any specific elements of lighting design that you’d like us to focus on in future blogs then do let us know.
And if you are thinking about making interior design changes to your home and need some help or inspiration, do get in touch with us here. And don't forget to follow us via Instagram, Facebook and our upcoming blogs.