North East Connected

How to avoid these common home lighting mistakes

It’s easy to forget about lighting when you’re planning your interiors, but it can make all the difference to how a space looks and feels.

Coupled with the fact that it’s incredibly difficult and expensive to move electrical junction boxes once they’re installed, being clued up on common home lighting mistakes can save you time and money.

To help, Matthew Currington, Technical Director at leading online lighting retailer, The Lighting Superstore, has given his top tips to help you get the most out of your lighting…

Mirror, mirror

As well as showing off your room in the best light, the right lighting can also help you look (and feel) your best too.

In your bathroom and bedroom, it’s essential to have flattering light sources near mirrors that you use to get ready.

Overhead lighting is the worst kind for this. It can cast dark and unflattering shadows on your face and body. Instead, two softer light sources on either side of a mirror can give a clearer and more flattering reflection.

Alternatively, a mirror with pre-installed lighting can kill two birds with one stone and give you the best light possible for personal grooming.

Layer up

Particularly in larger spaces like the kitchen or living room, layering up on lighting can draw the eye to focal points and help divide the space into zones for different activities.

It’s a mistake to focus on just one source of light in a large room, as this will lead to overexposure in a concentrated area, creating a glaring effect while underserving the rest of the space.

Instead, consciously layer your lighting. There are three key types of fixtures you should cover: ‘ambient’ for the general atmosphere; ‘accent’ to highlight chosen areas of the space and ‘task’, which will assist you in fulfilling the room’s purpose. Combining all three will help to maximise illumination and the versatility of the room.

Out of the dark

Many people don’t think about lighting in small spaces like pantries and cupboards, but this can make everyday life so much easier.

While these spaces are hidden away, lighting can give you a better view of your possessions and avoid the frustration of losing things.

Many people make the error of installing a single overhead lighting fixture to try and cover the area, but this will cast light unevenly and mean you lose areas of visibility, especially if you have shelving installed. Instead, opt for a functional tubular wall fixture to flood the space with light at all levels.

Be warned though, you may feel the sudden urge to “Marie Kondo” your cupboard once you can see the chaos and disorder.

Dimmer time

Dimmers are a secret weapon when it comes to lighting design. Rooms are usually multi-serving and need special lighting levels at different times of day, and throughout the year.

As an easy and cost-effective way of adding versatility to your lighting fixtures, dimmer switches can help you conserve energy by giving-off the perfect level of light instead of running on full output all of the time.

Ceiling, wall, table and floor lighting can all be controlled by dimmers, giving you the flexibility to choose your ideal lighting levels at any time of day or night.

Aesthetic value

Functionality is key when picking lighting for your home, but so too are aesthetics. Picking the wrong lighting fixture can ruin the aesthetics of a space, making a room feel disjointed and dull.

Lighting fixtures can be used to make a design statement or to subtly tie your room’s décor theme together.

If you’re looking for statement lighting, opt for a stand-out colour or material but keep within the right era or theme (whether it be Scandi, vintage, modern or art deco). You can also play around with sizing; over-sized floor lamps can add an impressive design feature to the corner of the room.

If you’d prefer your lighting to whisper, not scream, choose a colour or material which picks up on other design accents within the space, such as soft furnishings, wallpaper, surfaces or flooring. Pendant lighting made from natural wood or industrial-style antique brass can help give warmth to a room without taking attention away from key furniture items.

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