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Bathrooms are very practical rooms, so your lighting should reinforce
this. Lighting near the mirror and hand basin is a good idea to provide
adequate light for tasks such as shaving, hair styling and make-up application.
In general, bathrooms are painted light reflective colours and so with
the addition of the mirror, less lighting may be required than expected.
Lights that emit light as well as heat may provide comfort in the cold
winter months. Generally these lights should be used as a feature in
the middle of the room so that they are unlikely to be touched. Avoid
fussy light fittings as they will be difficult to clean once moisture
and air contaminants start to settle.
A dimmable central pendant light complemented by bedside lighting is
recommended. Remember that wall lights will restrict furniture placement
so keep this in mind before placing too many wall lights. Bedrooms require
a background light with other types added, if needed, to provide accent
and decorative illuminance. Much of the time in a bedroom is spent lying
looking at the ceiling, so make sure any central lighting does not glare
into your eyes.
Children grow up faster than you think, so in children's bedrooms it
pays to install flexible lighting that can develop as they do. Dimmers
and bedside lighting are recommended. For younger children a night lamp
may provide reassurance in the dark hours. Make the most of safety plugs
in the bedrooms of young children. Plan to add task lighting to the
room if you install a working desk in the room.
With eating in mind, the dining room table is the focal point of your
dining room, so lighting should be designed to highlight this area of
the room. Pendant fittings are a popular choice to provide table light
and act as a room feature. General lighting should be controlled with
a dimmer to set the mood. Special collections or features can be highlighted
but should not detract from the table. If your dining room is dark,
heavily textured or patterned, it will reflect less light so more artificial
lighting may be required. Install a dimmer on general lighting so that
you can have maximum light on a family dinner and perhaps soften the
lighting for an intimate dinner party.
Hallways and stairs
Hallways give an important first impression, acting as a picture frame
for the remainder of the house. Like opening a present, the hallway
should offer a hint of what is to come on further house exploration.
Lighting should offer a warm welcome, inviting visitors into your home
and subtly guiding them to their next destination, such as your living
room. Highlight any feature pictures or collections through wall or
ceiling mounted lighting. Freestanding lighting is generally best avoided
as it may be a safety hazard when house members are wandering around
at night without lighting or in times of emergency.
There is nothing worse than walking into a dark gloomy hallway from
bright sunshine outside. The transition can be uncomfortable to the
eyes, which must adjust to the depleted available light very rapidly.
The use of hallway dimmers can give you more flexibility to adjust your
hallway lighting to the natural lighting in the exterior environment.
Stairs are a definite safety hazard in any home, so when planning lighting,
safety should be the number one criteria. This is one area that a dimmer
is not recommended. All areas must be well lit, and you may even wish
to consider using low wall lights to highlight the stair treads. Avoid
using strong spotlights as they can create hot spots and glare. Interest
can be added to the stairwell area safely with a single pendant light,
provided the bulb intensity is sufficiently strong to light the area.
Home offices and study areas
With an ever increasing reliance on technology, plan for plenty of power
points. This will enable you to move your equipment and lighting around
to suit the work at hand. Halogen lamps are versatile and provide the
best type of light when reading and writing. Be careful when lighting
around a computer - light reflecting off a computer screen can cause
eye strain. Install task halogen lighting for each work activity to
provide a shadow-free environment ideal for reading and writing.
The kitchen is one of the most functional rooms of any home so the main
focus should be on providing shadow-free task lighting for each work
surface. Kitchens are considered wet areas due to the predominance of
steam and moisture. Use simple light fittings as they will be easier
and quicker to clean. Save detailed light fittings for areas such as
dining rooms where they will be appreciated and less subject to steam.
Maximise any natural light that is available, ensuring that you have
a way to filter out some of the natural light on bright sunny days.
On a hot summer day with the oven and stove emitting heat there is nothing
worse than being bathed in direct sunlight while you are trying to prepare
a meal. Install lighting with different circuits and use dimmers.
Living rooms are used for a variety of reasons, therefore make sure
your lighting is flexible, generous and varied. Draw attention to feature
areas, such as special pictures, collections, feature walls or fireplaces.
Install variable control switches so you can vary the atmosphere, and
use different circuits so that selected areas of lighting can be employed
Outdoor lighting has a number of uses, enhancing your garden as well
as making it safer and more secure at night. Gardens are an ever-changing
environment, so make sure lights are flexible with lots of wiring so
that they can be moved around to accent garden features and as plants
grow. . A series of well placed low-wattage light fittings is usually
the best idea to achieve the desired result.
Install automatic security lights on pathway areas so that these areas
are automatically illuminated at night by movement.
When planning outdoor lighting, don't forget you will need to regularly
change the light bulbs, so make sure all lighting is accessible regardless
of the season and the growth of the garden. Lights should be installed
at a 45-degree downward angle to avoid creating glare.