Some general tips to remember
- Dimmer switches help avoid harsh lighting.
- Uplighters above a picture rail make a low ceiling appear higher.
- You should always use a qualified electrician, so review your lighting requirements whenever you are calling one in to fit extra power points or rewire a room, and be prepared for future lighting needs. Remember, the wiring for wall lights may have to be built into plaster and need to be planned from the start, when you are refurbishing.
- Low-energy bulbs last for up to five years and use about a third of the electricity of normal bulbs. Each room in a home has its own lighting requirements, and the main considerations are outlined here.
- In a kitchen, choose track lighting or recessed low-voltage lights as a good source of ambient light.
- Use extra task lighting, such as strip lights fitted beneath wall-mounted units and recessed low-voltage lights, to illuminate work surfaces. Kitchen cabinet lights.
- Invest in a cooker hood with integral lighting to illuminate the hob.
- Use an overhead pendant or low-voltage halogen downlighters above a dining area.
- Use low-voltage halogen downlighters to add sparkle on tiles and provide good directional light (ensure that they are approved for bathrooms).
- Be aware of the safety aspects of bathroom lighting. All electrical sockets should be outside the bathroom for safety reasons, except for shaver sockets, which are covered by different regulations.
- Provide task lighting around shaving and make-up mirrors. Vertical lamps on each side of a large mirror are effective.
Living room comfort
- Choose discreet lighting that can be varied to create different moods, such as a combination of wall uplighters with table and standard lamps.
- Light areas of interest, such as display cabinets, pictures and plants.
- Have table lamps wired to switches near the main switch by the door.
- Make an impressive entrance using a striking pendant light, such as a chandelier.
- Use uplighters to illuminate stairwells and corridors. Wall lights along staircases and adequate lighting at the top and bottom, aid safety.
- Illuminate hidden corners and recesses for added interest.
In the bedroom
- Many adults require bedroom lighting that is both romantic and functional. Table lamps or wall-mounted lamps on either side of the bed give light that is both soft and suitable for reading purposes.
- Experiment with forms of lighting other than just a central pendant. Use standard lamps in large rooms, wall lights, strip lights on paintings and task lights in dressing table areas.
- Use either strip lighting or central track spotlights in walk-in wardrobes, depending on the size of the space.
- Use either wall lights or an overhead pendant with dimmer switch to give dim light during the night.
- Glowing plugs also provide gentle light.
- When planning electrical sockets in a small child’s room, remember that most children eventually need extra task lighting for homework, plus sockets for computers and hi-fi.
- Avoid freestanding lights that can be pulled over and fit sockets with safety covers in a young child’s room.
In the study/home office
- Use a classic task lamp on a desk, such as an Angle poise, to provide strong, directional light.
- Avoid shining light on computer screens.
- Highlight bookshelves using down lights or spotlights.
- Supplement task lighting with additional ambient light, especially for late night working, to avoid unnecessary eyestrain.
- Use good-quality surge protector extension leads for computer equipment – it’s shocking how many sockets you need for everything.
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