Feature Article: MetroElectricians.co.uk and NIC EIC - Lightening up your Life

Interior designers know how the importance of good lighting can transform a home, but it’s a difficult task to master. Homeowners often spend a great deal of time and money on home improvements only to get stuck when it comes to lighting up. Whether your property is large or small, traditional or modern, good lighting design can help transform the mood at the flick of a switch. Our electricians are masters at creating that perfect light setting to reflect your usage of the room and lifestyle.

Here are some useful tips:

It’s best to place lights at a height where the bulb can’t be seen directly to avoid and reduce any glare. Don’t hang pendants so high that the bulb is clearly visible underneath from below and if lights are to be positioned over or near reflective surfaces like glass then make sure they have a diffuser.

How much light?
One way to determine the correct light levels for a home environment is to measure the room size in square metres and multiply this by 25 for incandescent lamps, 15 for halogen lamps or 19 for compact fluorescent lamps. This will give you the total watts required to light the room. The lighting for each room in the house will depend on it’s function, but this guide will help you decide which light sources are best.

Living Room
Used for relaxing, entertaining, socialising, reading and watching TV, the living room is a multi-functional space so it’s useful to work out where your furniture will be positioned and then where you need lighting. That way you can advise your electrician if you need a new socket installed and so avoid long cables and flexes running across the floor. Aim to use plenty of different light sources so you can create different levels of lighting.

One central pendant light can be added to with up lighters and table lamps placed around the perimeter of the room to create a feeling of more space as the light radiates inwards. Floor lamps are effective at brightening up dark areas where it’s tricky to fit wall lights. Just one chandelier situated in a living room can provide an element of glamour. They were traditionally lit by candles so use a low wattage bulb to give the same subtle affect.

Lots of light is required in the kitchen. Under unit lighting is important to cast efficient light over work surfaces and ensure you can prepare food safely. A good ambient light is also useful. Downlighters in the ceiling create a glare free effect while remaining functional, but it’s important that each spotlight is fitted properly with a fire hood. Pendants aren’t best suited to kitchens as they attract grease and dust.

Dining Room
How you light this room depends on its style, but usually the main light source is hung over the dining room table, which can then be supplemented by wall lights and table lamps. You could also fit a rise and fall pendant, which can be adjusted to the desired height. Be aware if using candles that they are far enough away from the light fitting. Long dining room tables look great with long lights suspended on wires. 

For make-up application and shaving it’s best to have a bright light, but if relaxing for a soak in the tub you’ll want to be sure you can dim the lights. Wall lights must be out of reach, or enclosed to keep water out, especially spotlights that are installed above a shower. Lighting can be controlled by a wall switch, which must be mounted outside the bathroom. Some mirrors even have sections of the reflective surface removed and lights fitted behind. You can also use LED floor lights, which are set into the floor and come in different colours. 

Here you can really be creative with your lighting scheme, using bright neon colours or sparkling fairy lights. The right lighting will help you create a relaxing retreat to wind down and get a good nights sleep. But be sure to include more general lighting for getting dressed in the morning. Adjustable reading lamps are ideal if one of you wants to read or watch TV while the other sleeps. They can be mounted on the wall, hotel style, or they can be fixed to the bed head or you can simply use table lamps. To make the most of your dressing table make sure it is lit from both sides of the mirror, so it doesn’t cause shadows across your face. 

General tips for lighting your home:

  • Bright light is not always good light
  • Different effects are produced when light is reflected by surfaces, so consider this when you are deciding where to situate lights
  • Direct lights are best for reading or working
  • Lights can also be used to highlight features such as paintings or objects and help add atmosphere to a room
  • For multi functional rooms it’s useful to install a dimmer switch so you have the option of more light for reading or working and lower light levels for relaxing
  • Incandescent bulbs give off warmer colours and will help achieve a cosy atmosphere, while fluorescent light bulbs will offer a cooler but more efficient light for utility rooms
  • Dark coloured rooms absorb more light, so additional light will be needed, where as lighter colours reflect more light
  • If you have a feature wall or coloured surface, you can illuminate it with lighting to add colour

Call us on 0800 619 0085 for more advice and free consultation.


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