3 steps to light up your home
The best lighting schemes mix layers of ambient, task and accent
lights. Check out our ways to introduce them to your home.
1．USE AMBIENT LIGHTING TO CREATE THE MOOD
Get an elegant background glow in your lighting scheme
Create ambient light that mimics daylight
Ambient lighting should be diffused, inconspicuous and blend into
Don't rely on a single ceiling light as your main source
This tends to be the cause of most problems as it creates a stark,
flat effect. Adding several more lights at different levels will
create a more balanced result.
Fit a diffusing shade to your central ceiling light
Try a shade in frosted glass, paper or opaque acrylic to soften the
Use uplighter lamps and light shades
These will cast light upwards, so it 'bounces' off the ceiling and
is thrown around the room. These work best in rooms with white or
pale ceilings, and are great for home offices as they don't produce
Fit dimmer switches
These will enable you to control the level of ambient light
according to the weather and time of day - they're useful in living
rooms and bedrooms.
Check the height of a chandelier or pendant
It should be at least 7ft above the floor. If you have very low
ceilings, consider flush-mounted fittings to gain extra inches.
Always have a light behind the TV
This will prevent eye strain. It reduces the contrast between the
brightness of the screen and
the darkness of the room.
2．ADD FOCUSED TASK LIGHTING
Task lighting is the direct light you need to cook, read or work by
Tailor lighting to the task at hand
If you're engaging in a specific task, such as reading, computer
work, or close-up needlework, supplement ambient lighting with
on-the-spot lighting so you can get the job done without straining
Create bright pools of light
Use lamps to direct a concentrated beam onto a specific spot, so
that you can see what you're working on in detail without straining
your eyes or having to hunch closer to it.
Choose the right light bulbs
Go for a minimum of 60W for light bulbs - so make sure your light
fitting and shade can take a bulb of that wattage. Task lighting
should be three to four times brighter than the surrounding ambient
lighting to prevent eye strain.
Use solid shades for task lights
It helps to create a concentrated shaft of light - any seepage will
bounce off surrounding surfaces, especially computer screens,
causing glare. Go for a task light with a metal, ceramic,
solid-coloured glass or leather shade.
Opt for a fully adjustable desk lamp
An Anglepoise-style lamp, with a cantilevered arm that can be
pivoted, angled, raised and lowered is ideal. Go for one with a
longish stem - if it's too short, you won't be able to position it
high enough over your work, which will produce shadows.
Find a floor lamp with a tilting shade for reading
It's important not to have too much light reflecting back into your
face, so prevent glare with an adjustable light shade and position
the lamp behind you, at a level higher than the top of your head.
Boost kitchen lighting
Go for task lighting in the kitchen to highlight working areas,
such as the sink, worktops and cooker. To avoid working in your own
shadow, lights should be positioned so that light comes from either
in front of you or from the sides, not from behind you. Opt for
additional worktop lighting with a run of spotlights on the
underside of cabinets to direct an even, glare-free light from
above, and go for a cooker hood with built-in lighting. Avoid
portable lighting in kitchens, as trailing cables can be hazardous.
Light up your bedroom
Try task lighting in key areas of your bedroom. Your dressing table
or area should ideally be lit horizontally from both sides to avoid
shadows being cast across your face. Try two slender lamps either
side or an illuminated mirror. Spotlights directed towards
wardrobes will give you a better view of the contents, as will
interior lights that flick on automatically when a door is opened.
Go for low lighting in the dining room
Put your dining table in the spotlight by hanging light fittings
directly over it. Leave a gap of 60-90cm between the table and the
fittings, so they bathe the tabletop in light without swinging too
close to diners' heads. Choose deep, bulb-shielding shades so your
guests won't be dazzled.
3．DECORATE WITH ACCENT LIGHTING
Add depth to your room with accent lighting - the contrast of light
and shade gives a dramatic effect. It's the perfect way to
highlight a specific part of a room - an interesting piece of
furniture, an eye-catching architectural feature or a favourite
Always combine accent lighting with ambient lighting
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