How To Make Good Lighting Choices

This image always makes me laugh.  It was placed on the internet last year by someone who’s friend switched on the lights in his hotel room and looked up.  As you can imagine, the image went viral on the web and there are many comments that I will not link to here but if you google “funny lighting shadows”, you will find them.

The importance of good lighting design
The importance of good lighting design

Lighting is a quite complex area of interior design and should not be overlooked, under-considered or rushed.

Here are my top tips for choosing lighting:

  1. Don’t place down lights everywhere.  You have different lighting needs in different areas of your home.  There is no one lighting answer for your whole home.
  2. Think about what you will be using the room for, this will determine the amount of light you need. Designers work to create a balance between ambient (the lighting you need to walk around a room), task (more intense lighting to help you read, cook or apply make-up) and accent lighting (highlights artwork and architectural features of your home).
  3. Consider how your lights look when they are turned off as well as turned on.
  4. Size and scale. Take measurements and make sure the lights you choose are the right size for where you are placing them.  A lamp or pendant that is the wrong size (too big or too small) will instantly look out of place.
  5. Bench tops in kitchens and bathrooms require their own lighting so that you can see what you’re doing (task lighting as mentioned above).  Placing LED task lights or fluorescent under upper cabinets or adding pendant lights are a great solution.
  6.  Don’t be afraid to add lighting where it is needed.  I recently added a light to a bar in the function room of a hotel.  It added interest to the area, additional lighting for staff as well as creating a lovely atmosphere with the shadows it created once turned on.

When you’re next shopping for lights, keep the image at the top of this page in mind, chuckle to yourself and hopefully you will make a more informed decision.

I’m always looking for more blog topic ideas. If you could pick my design brain, what would you like to know about preparing your home for sale, choosing paint colours or renovating your property? Let me know below, I’d love to hear from you.

Leave a Reply