Posted by Thomas ● Apr 7, 2020 5:31:10 PM
Lighting Ideas To Brighten Up Your World
Lighting is one of the most important aspects of any room. Yet unlike furniture, lighting can be a little tricky to master. Whereas a table will always stay where you leave it, it’s often difficult to wrangle those millions of photons to look just the way you want them to. Sometimes lighting will be too harsh causing lighting fatigue, and other times too soft making it hard to see. In this article, we will take a dive into each individual room in the house and recommend how to avoid common lighting mistakes. We’ll make recommendations to ensure your home is as bright as it needs to be, while also being cozy when you want it to be.
1. The Kitchen
Lighting in the kitchen is one of the most practically important yet it’s also one of the most neglected. When lighting a kitchen you have three main areas: ambient (whole room), working or task (lighting the working area), and accent lighting (highlight your favourite elements). Please note, the majority of these suggestions for the kitchen will require an electrician as well as renovations.
For ambient lighting, we recommend recessed or flush-mounted fluorescent lights. The idea behind ambient lighting is to light as much of the main floor area as possible, and fluorescent lighting achieves this very well by not only having a long lifespan, but also being incredibly bright.
While most new homeowners or renovations will stop with ambient lighting, it’s not very practical or helpful for the spaces where most of the work is being done. Cabinets, stove ranges and even your own body can block the light causing shadows over the work area and potentially leading to a lost finger. This is why it's important to have proper workspace lighting to ensure you have full lighting when mincing that garlic. A cost-effective way of achieving this is by using something like the Omlopp worktop lights from Ikea.
Lastly, for accent lighting, you want to use these to highlight certain areas for focus - such as your island, cupboards, and skirting. For islands, we highly recommend pendant lighting as this allows for more focused lighting on the surface of the island and helps blend the lighting from the kitchen to the dining area if the kitchen is open planned.
2. The Living Room
The living room is one of the most used rooms in the house and one where lighting can be almost as tricky as the kitchen. Living rooms generally have three considerations to keep in mind when thinking of how you are going to light the area: the TV, the coffee table, and the couches.
The TV should be the main consideration when lighting a living room as they often have a glossy panel that can reflect light back at you, causing screen glare. However, if you don’t have any lighting then you can’t see the board game you are trying to play, or you might accidentally put your hand in your soda instead of the popcorn. For times like this, indirect lighting is your best friend. If you are renovating or are able to modify your house, ceiling accent lights will create a nice uniform lighting around the living room, allowing you to see everything without giving you any screen glare. We also highly recommend adding a dimmer as well so you can set the mood even more.
If you are renting, there is nothing stopping you achieving the same goal using upwards wall washing lamps. These lamps will direct the open light up the walls beside the couches while the shade will filter out the harsh lighting that causes screen glare.
A bonus option is using the Philips Hue Sync lighting system which sits around your TV itself and syncs up its colour changes to the movie or shows you are watching. It’s a very cool bit of technology but may not be everyone’s cup of tea.
3. The Dining Room
The dining room is relatively simple to light with the main attraction being the dining table itself. You want to make sure you have a pendant light or a chandelier above the table that is able to light the whole area with softer light while also focusing the majority of its brightness on the food itself. One common mistake we see is people making is having a shade around the outside of the bulb but nothing underneath the bulb, leading to unfiltered light landing on the table and if you or your guests decide to pull a Donald Trump, accidentally blinding themselves. Another consideration to make is using LED bulbs instead of harsh fluorescent lighting as this can lead to headaches.
4. The Bedroom
Like the lounge room, indirect lighting is your friend for the bedroom, especially if your girlfriend is a bookworm like mine and enjoys a spot of late-night reading. Bedside lamps with lampshades and dimmers achieve three main things:
- Creates softer lighting that will reduce the negative effects of light on your sleep cycle
- If your partner is reading late or needs to go to the bathroom, using a dimmed wall washing lamp is less likely to wake you up.
- Dimming the lights is a great way to set the mood, if you know what I mean.
Sexy lighting aside, for lighting the rest of the room recessed spotlights around the edge of the room and a central pendant light will provide tons of lighting and allow you to see what your clothing looks like in multiple lighting types as well as help you wake up in the morning if they are all simultaneously turned on and your girlfriend is yelling at you telling you that we’re running late.
That said, we only use our bedside lamps because the lighting is warmer and makes the room feel cozier so the importance of the ceiling lights to us are not as important. So renters, don’t feel discouraged, pick yourself up a couple of nice bedside lamps and make your room feel much cozier.
5. The Bathroom
The last room we will be covering is the bathroom. The most important lighting will be for the mirror. Using lights around the edges of the mirror provides uniformed lighting and avoids the shadows and harsh lighting that can be blinding early in the morning and also make it difficult to get your makeup right. Aside from that, recessed or flush-mounted box lights will be an ideal fit for your shower or bathtub.
There are a lot of things to consider when lighting particular rooms but ultimately it should come down to what you like, the look you are going for, and how it makes you feel. The suggestions here are mostly subjective but lighting does play a major role in the quality of your sleep and general wellbeing. Light fatigue and headaches caused by harsh lighting are not pleasant so make sure to look after your eyes and to prioritize a good night’s sleep over selecting a lamp or light simply because it looks good.