I’m kicking off my new blog page with Lighting. Poor lighting is a personal bugbear of mine and something you really want to try and get right in each room of the house. I’m focussing on lighting in your home but so many restaurants & bars have harsh, glaring lighting which makes it difficult to relax so really the same rules apply in any space.

Good lighting in a room needs to be both suited to your activity and flexible within a given space. Take the kitchen, activities may include prepping & cooking, eating & relaxing and passing through.

For prepping & cooking, you need to see what you’re doing so require bright, clear lighting directed over a given space i.e. hob, worksurface. For eating & relaxing, you want softer light so that you can relax and want to linger so diffused shades and warmer bulbs work well. You may also want to add in some lights which can be left on at a low-level for passing through the space on darker days or in the evening so some wall lights or a floor/table lamp are great for this.

Position of lighting is key so directional ‘task’ lighting for the prepping etc. mentioned above, also for working or reading. Lighting over an island or dining table works well to create zones and atmosphere and then ambient lighting would include table or floor lamps to give softer lighting and add personality to a space.

These same considerations work whatever the space, for example, an office will have more focus on task lighting, a bedroom on ambient lighting, a hallway on low-level lighting for passing through but might also require additional lighting in areas with little natural light.
As for being flexible, this means enabling different layers of lighting for when they are required, spotlights, pendants and table/floor lamps all on separate circuits (operated by their own switches) and with dimmer functionality means you can adjust the lighting to how you are using the room, the weather and even your mood.

These photos from a recent kitchen project highlight the above, showing how we carefully incorporated spots, pendants, wall lights and a floor lamp to ensure the lighting would be just right at any given time.