With all the areas that go into making plans for a new build or renovation, lighting can end up last on the list… Last on the list when in fact lighting is such a crucial part of our homes and can very much make or break the wow factor of your house design efforts. Lighting really needs to be closer to the top of your list when renovating or building, this is not an aspect you want to overlook!
Lighting brings out the effects and the architecture which you’ve been working so thoughtfully to put together, DIY-ers often undo their excellent work through buying the most inexpensive lights they are able to find without any appreciation for what the impact is going to be once they set them up. Even more overlooked is outdoor lighting, some people think this part can be skipped but even if you’ve just finished a small reno, wall lighting, path lighting and down lights on the outside makes a big difference. This is especially important where outdoor living and entertaining is important such as in Australia, there are plenty of LED light stores in Australia that can help you to find the right lights to really make your outdoor area stand out from the crowd, it is a worthwhile investment whether you are renovating to sell or to stay.
So where should you start when you’re redesigning the lighting in your house?
The best way to determine what lights your house requires, is through comparing how you want to use the spaces and which activities you are likely to be doing in which zones of your house. Functionality is key here, there has to be a reason for a light; for instance, in a bedroom, think about whether or not you want to read in bed in the evening as well as having dim lighting options to ‘set the mood’ or do you tend to apply your make-up in the bedroom or in the restroom? Then, if it’s a laundry, you may simply need bright, useful light. Or in a multi use lounge room, you may need to be able to manage your light ranges to get options between dim lighting for a softer atmosphere later in the evenings and a vibrant light for earlier on so that the youngsters can do their homework at the table.
Utilitarian vs Aesthetic Lights
There are basically two main varieties of lighting fixtures required for your home, sensible utilitarian lights and effect / aesthetic lights.
For utilitarian lights, it’s simpler: you position the lights over the spaces which require them. This mean in the kitchen there should be adequate bright lights to provide lighting over areas where you need to carry out tasks like cooking and cleaning. And then in the bathroom, you need clear lights to see your face and be able to pluck your eyebrows correctly, poor lighting in the bathroom can have you leaving the house with food on your face and ungroomed hairs sticking out of your ears!
For aesthetic lighting, it’s more about creating an effect, a mood and a style, these are the lights that add wow factor and bring out the best aspects of your home architecture and styling. Think about how you want to feel in the space and what parts of your home you want to highlight. For instance, you may have a beautiful sculpture in a nook, highlight this with the use of cove lights or outside have blue lighting shining up from the base of your palm trees around the pool. An excellent and underused lighting type that creates a great effect is ground or strip lights which may be used in many creative ways such as alongside the kickboard in an open plan kitchen, this is perfect for at night when you’ve moved into the lounge area after dinner, turned the lights off over the kitchen, but also still need a way to see to put a plate in the dishwasher in the ad break of your tv show.
Lighting might be the finishing touch on your home but if you don’t put adequate thought and investment into your lighting you might just condemn your home to seem lack lustre and not quite finished forever… Don’t neglect the lighting when renovating or designing your home!