As the seasons change so does the amount of natural day light within our homes, however there are fundamental ways to effectively light-up our spaces and working environments all year round.
Optimising these levels of light not only improves the look and feel of a room but can also help to increase our energy levels and productivity.
As lighting designers ourselves (check out our latest case pendant) we know the true value and importance of creating the right ambience, feel and flow of a space through the use of light.
Whether you want to achieve an uplifting and energising mood through brighter lights or a softer, more diffused atmosphere to induce relaxation and sleep below are our...
top 4 tips to consider when planning your lighting scheme
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1. plan your lighting
This applies to those of you who are starting a renovation or redecorating a room. Begin with a simple brief that covers the key elements and activities that take place in each room for example eating, sleeping, working...
Some questions you may wish to to ask yourself include whether there are any features within the room you want to accentuate? What structural restraints might there be? Do you want to create a decorative focal point within the room? How can you avoid sharp shadows?
It's also important to consider the style, scale and light output as part of the room design before you make your purchase.
2. functional lighting
Lighting can bring warmth and atmosphere to a room but it should also be functional and useful. For example, pendants can provide essential lighting over a kitchen island or breakfast bar to help with cooking and entertaining. Desk lamps with a rotational head or height adjustments provide targeted and directional lighting as you work or read to help reduce eye strain. Floor lamps can illuminate darker corners of a room, whilst more decorative lighting can create a focal point.
You may also wish to consider using lights that are compatible with dimmers as this provides an energy efficient and effective way to easily change the ambience and mood of a room.
3. layering your lighting
Using lights at different levels, heights and angles helps to create a 'layered' look and can provide essential light sources to different aspects of the room whilst also creating interest.
You can use lighting to highlight a room's size and shape. For example lights with an upwards projection can make a room seem larger, low hung pendants will create an illusion of height and clusters of lights can make larger rooms feel cosier. In fact smaller pendants are ideal as clusters too as you can tailor them to fit any space, large or small.
We'd recommend rooms have between 3-4 layers of light (depending on the size!) for example choose a pendant overhead and then 1-2 table lamps at lower levels with a supplementary floor lamp to create that mid-height glow.
4. bulb choice
Never underestimate the importance of choosing the right bulb! Not only for the compatibility with the light fitting itself but also for emitting the desirable level of light you require.
Take time to consider the following; how bright do you need your space? (this is reflected in the wattage), what mood are you trying to achieve? e.g. colour temperature (measured in kelvins - with a lower temperature providing a more yellow candle light, while higher temperatures emit a brighter blue light). For lights which are frequently used then perhaps consider energy efficient alternatives e.g. LED options? Is the bulb visible and therefore should it be a decorative feature in itself? (see our case pendant which has multiple bulb options).
Top tip: stick to either a warm or cool light in one single space rather than attempting to mix the two.
our edit of stylish lights which are useful, tactile & clever
1. case pendant
Our very own in house design co-created with Vitamin. Case pendant is a great affordable option and can be used simply as a single drop pendant - hung as a bedside light or over your office desk. Cluster a few together to create a statement chandelier in your hallway or living room or display as a series over a kitchen island. With three finishes to choose from: natural, blush and charcoal and 3 bulb options available you can pick from clear, round opal or the designer tala oblo - each creating their own personality. All are low energy LED and compatible with dimmers so you can switch up the mood with ease. Prices start from £65.
2. control lamp
Our control lamp by Muuto has neat and compact proportions so a great option as a desk lamp or positioned on a shelf or sideboard. It has a playful element too - with design references to the tech and industrial world, the light output can be controlled by a dial allowing you to brighten or dim the light as needed. Price £135.
3. pitch pendant
Our pitch pendant by Vitamin is a popular choice. Through innovative design the shade is poised on an internal dome, allowing the outer shade to be positioned to guide light in any direction. Great for accentuating areas of your room or dispersing light at an angle. Price £160.
4. collect lighting
Our collect lighting series by ferm LIVING is a clever and interchangeable lighting system allowing you to create your own design combination from a fully compatible 'mix and match' collection of shapes, colours and finishes. You simply select your chosen shade and pair it with one of two socket pendants, have a go here. Prices start from £59 for a disc shade.
5. pull floor lamp
The pull floor lamp designed by Whatswhat for Muuto is a great example of simple, nordic design. With an adjustable shade that changes both the lamp's light and character, this floor lamp appears to have a personality of its own. Made from solid oak with a soft textile shade it has a friendly and welcoming appeal. It's partly visible and partly hidden cord connects the elements and provides the mechanisom to adjust the shade position - allowing you to lower the light output when needed.
6. grain pendant
Chosen for it's tactile quality the grain pendant brings subtle changes in colour and shade - you can actually see the natural stains and patterns of the material itself which makes it a great option if you're wanting to introduce an element of texture to your scheme. With its modest proportions, it works well hung as a series over a dining table or kitchen bar. Price £109.
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