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  • Writer's pictureJames Treble

The Right Light

For a home to function well, it is necessary to unsure that the right combination of lighting and electrical requirements are sorted and in the correct place. Whether it’s enough brightness into a room, light onto a work bench or a fancy feature pendant above the stairs, the correct type of light fitting and its placement can make or break a room. Good Interior Design must focus on practicality first, before beauty. My first advice is to consider for good lighting is the task or activities which will take place in each part of a home, and there are three main types of lighting to consider: Ambient, Task and Accent lighting.

lighting above a kitchen bench

Ambient Lighting is the main lighting source in the room, the one we switch on to see and which creates the general ‘ambience’. In a standard home design this may be a basic pendant light, a central oyster fitting or a set of down-lights.

TIP: Depending on how large the room is and how we plan to use it, we must decide if one light hanging from the middle of the ceiling is enough or a grid of multiple downlights could be a better solution.

ambient lighting in a living room

Task Lighting as the name suggests, is about illuminating a space for a specific function, and it’s directed towards key areas, such as the lighting above your kitchen bench top, a strong table lamp on the study desk or the small lights along the steps of the staircase.

TIP: Understanding what task will be done in each room, and where, will help provide for the practical lighting that is needed there, at a fraction of what it would cost if added later.

task lighting above the kitchen bench

Accent Lighting allows us to light up a specific space to create a mood or add interest to the interiors. This kind of lighting helps add personality to a space, like pendants above the kitchen island (also task lighting) or the table lamps on the side of the sofa.

TIP: Having an idea of the furnishing layout will help greatly with a successful planning of the lighting needs of any room and avoid unsightly and possibly unsafe extension cables snaking across the room.

accent lighting in the living room

So, if building or renovating, let’s ask practical questions, like where will we sit to read a book, which bench will we stand at to prepare the food, and where will the children sit to do the homework?

Beacon Lighting have a great gallery on their website, filled with inspiring images to get you started with your lighting choices, whilst Practical Design has an extensive section on Lighting needs and looks, sharing James Treble’s award-winning professional experience, and Real Estate advice to increase the appeal and value of your property.

James Treble is an ambassador for Planet Ark and firmly believes in sensible purchasing, recycling and creative re-purposing. James has three decades of accumulated experience in the Building Industry, Real Estate and Interior Design and regularly shares his knowledge and experience in adding value to properties through effective design & styling. Watch his free videos on YouTube, and follow him on Facebook and Instagram for more free information. More of James' knowledge is now accessible via Practical Design Online Course.


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