Diy living room lighting ideas
The lighting plan in this living room, with lights from John Cullen, takes into account natural light, which is reflected in the large mirror opposite, as well as including a selection of wall lights, table lamps and spotlights
A excellent lighting plan allows you to start to store around for the types of fitting you need early on, but it is also a vital reference for your electrician, who will need to know the location and type of fittings and switches.
As a guide, you should ideally start planning and making provision for your lighting scheme at the same time as you are planning the plumbing.
Try to plan for every possible use of a room when thinking about your lighting scheme — in a kitchen, for example, focused task lighting such as these Original BTC Fin Horizontal Pendants, over working areas is essential.
A successful lighting scheme takes into account each possible use of every room.
Start methodically, ‘walking through’ your plans, or home in the case of some renovations, and in each room, enquire yourself the following questions:
- What will this space be used for? Consider every possible uses of each room. Will the kitchen double up as a dining or homework space? Will a spare room also be a study?
- Will there be pieces of furniture, architectural features such as fireplaces or artwork that you desire to highlight in any of these rooms? This will determine your accent lighting.
- Who will be using this room? It is exciting to note that someone of 60+ years generally needs 15 times more light than a ten-year-old.
- At what time of day will the room be used the most?
For example, if you only use rooms in the evening for relaxing, then setting lights on a dimmers is a excellent idea.
- Where does natural light enter the room and from what direction?
Once you own the answers to these questions, draw a plan of the room to assist you determine the best points for lights to be situated.
On your plan you should mark below permanent fixtures, such as windows and doors, alcoves, fireplaces and other heat sources, such radiators.
Next, mark the direction in which occupants of the rooms are likely to spend most time facing, for example the television, a desk or the cooker. Mark where light switches will be most conveniently placed, concentrating around doorways and at the top and bottom of stairs. Finally, own a ponder about where you plan to site major items of furniture, such as beds and sofas.
Your lighting plan should include sources of natural light and take into account where artificial lighting will be most needed — such as over the dining table in this contemporary space.
These three pendant lights from Original BTC act to supplement the natural light coming from above as the sun goes down.
Use your findings from your stroll around to mark where you would love each light source, be that a pendant, side lamp or downlighter, to be located.
Who Will Design my Lighting Scheme?
A lighting plan is something you can come up with yourself, having assessed the uses, size and natural light levels in each room.
Alternatively, an interior designer, your architect, electrician or a specialist lighting company can come up with one for you.
Rooms with extremely high ceilings work well with low-level pendants, particularly when they are grouped over tables or kitchen islands
Using Natural Light
Before you start to devise a lighting scheme, consider the quantity and type of natural light entering the various spaces you are working on.
The role that natural light can frolic in the overall feel and ambience of your home should not be overlooked when creating a lighting scheme — it should in fact be a starting point.
Self-builders should consider the orientation of their rooms when looking at layouts.
Main living areas and kitchens should, where possible, be south facing, as south facing light is warm and bright every day endless. West-facing light tends to provide sunlight at the hottest part of the day, so locating rooms where you spend time during the tardy afternoon/early evening here means they will get a softer light at this time. North-facing rooms often get a freezing, rather harsh light, whilst those facing east will be bright first thing in the morning, followed by periods of almost no sun later in the day.
In spaces used for entertaining, use a combination of light sources in order to switch the light levels up and below according to the mood you wish to create.
The eye-catching pendant here is from DelightFULL
The lighting takes centre stage in this split-level space, with a row of brightly-coloured pendants adding an element of enjoyment, whilst elsewhere a spray of recessed downlighters provide background lighting
How Much Light is Needed in a Room?
Consider the quantity and type of light that will emitted from each fitting. Bigger rooms obviously need more light that tiny ones, but to easily calculate the quantity of light needed for a specific room, work out the size of the space in square metres. Permit roughly 25 watts per meter ( lumens).
This light need not come from a single source, it can come from a combination of diverse lights.
Lighting Jargon Buster
There are three main types of lighting — make yourself familiar with the various terms used for each. You might love to consider using a combination of every three types in most rooms for a excellent layered approach.
Using dimmers and asking your electrician to install your lights so that each type can be independently operated will make creating diverse moods easier
- Ambient Lighting: Also called general or background lighting, this is the lighting that gives overall illumination to a room.
Sources include large pendants, recessed downlighters, and even wall lights in some cases
- Task Lighting: This provides additional, targetted illumination to those areas where everyday activities take put, such as reading, cooking and working. Floor, table and desk lamps are every excellent sources of task lighting, as is that incorporated into cooker hoods and vanity mirror:
- Accent or Mood Lighting: This is used to highlight objects or architectural features you wish to draw attention to, such as artwork, cabinets or sculptures.
Directional spots on tracks, low-level chandeliers and recessed and hidden LED strips are every excellent examples
Lighting and the Building Regulations
Installing low-energy light sources in new build homes is now a must and building regulations state that 75 per cent of the lights in a new home must be energy efficient. This means that light fittings must produce a entire of at least lumens, own a minimum efficacy of 45 lumens per watt and be over 5 circuit watts.
Fittings under 5 watts are excluded from the overall count, so too is any exterior lighting. Fluorescent and compact fluorescent lamps (CFLs), LEDs or discharge lamps would conform to this, whilst fitting low-energy bulbs with bayonet or screw-cap bases do not.
Use your lighting to highlight points of architectural and design interest in your home. Here, wall lights and a striking contemporary chandelier from Nedgis ensure every eyes are on the spiral staircase and make the dining table a welcoming gathering point.