Get your lighting right from the startSaturday 10th March 2018 09:00am
Considering where your lights will go, or even what sort of lighting you want to use, may seem to be a long way into the future if you are just starting out on building a new home or undertaking a mass renovation, but it’s actually the perfect time to start planning that final look.
If you’re renovating from scratch and have the chance to choose where your wiring will go then planning where you want your lights is a smart move, it’s not often you get to decide exactly at what point your sconces will sit and where your main room lighting will come from.
Plan your wiring
If you’re considering hanging pendant lights from a certain point in your home then you’ll need to make sure there are electrical cables to wire your lights to. If you want sconces as reading lights in your bedroom, there may be extra wires needed, and most likely you’ll need to get behind the walls to fit a power source.
If your home is concrete, there will be the need for some wall channeling so there’s somewhere to lay the wiring, and then you’ll need to plaster over the wires to hide them away before sanding and painting the wall. It takes a bit of work, but the results will be worth it.
Don’t leave lighting until the end
Lights shouldn’t be an after thought in your renovations. It’s much easier to do the work needed when your home is in disarray from having the builders in or carrying out some DIY.
How a room is lit can dramatically alter its look and feel. Entwining the lighting with a room’s interior design can help you achieve the desired look.
Lighting ideas to consider
1. Task lighting
Why not try lighting your living area solely with lamps?
You can even choose lamps with interchangeable shades so you easily update your look and allow for winter and summer lighting. Remember to ensure lamp points are part of the lighting plan for the room if you want your lighting automated. If you’re mid renovations and have the option to add power points and wiring make sure you place a power point in at the point you want your lamp will sit so you don’t have wires all over the room.
Make sure you place a power point in at the point you want your lamp will sit so you don’t have wires all over the room.
2. Artwork features
Make a feature of your artwork with these rod lights. They come down from the ceiling and distribute an even light to the art work – much like in a gallery. Choose a subtle colour so the light blends in with the rest of the room.
3. Down lights
If you want to use down lights in your room remember that you’ll need to have the correct holes created to insert the light fitting. For this you need to have a hollow ceiling, an older property with concrete ceilings may not allow for this, so work with what you’ve got, and consider what’s needed before you fit your floors (where possible). It’s much easier to paint without having to worry about dripping in your new flooring. If you doubt your painting skills, you can hire a professional to do the job – it could be cheaper than relaying your carpets.
4. Entertaining areas
Indoor/outdoor living has led to the integration of indoor/outdoor lighting. A flick of a switch will light up a garden bed, water feature or a decked area, as well as the indoor eating area, forcing the fusion of indoors and outdoors.
Chandeliers are the perfect way to add a bit of glamour to your home. One thing to remember is that they are a feature art-piece rather than the sole light source. If there is a feature chandelier in the room, the main light will come from down lights and up lights distributed subtly throughout the room.
6. Feature pendants
Feature pendants are great because they are a good light source as well as being aesthetically pleasing. Aligning three in a row creates a focal point for the room and distributes decent light to all corners. Try using feature pendants in the living room where good light is needed for entertaining, reading and television viewing.
Pendants made from a natural finish such as porcelain work well with the earthy natural colours that are popular in interiors, as opposed to chrome or white fittings which can sometime clash with natural furnishings. Aluminium also matches well with natural interiors. If you are using a metallic pendant, consider making it a feature. The right pendant can be used as a great piece of art.
7. Light up your kitchen
Fluorescent lighting is arguably making a comeback in the kitchen, replacing the popular cabinet lighting system. Lighting in a kitchen is about achieving the right brightness rather than creating a mood so fluorescents can sometimes be the perfect solution. They are economical and create a bright, even light which allows you to see what your chopping.
Under cupboard lighting can be simple to fit and give extra light to a dark space.
It’s all about the connection
You can only have lights where there’s power, so take some time and consider what you want before you get your renovations under way so you’re not left with a lack of power in the place you had imagined your favourite lamp to stand.