However, I suspect that the kitchen is the one room where most people would instinctively consider mixing different types of lighting.
Common sense dictates that a kitchen should never be lit solely by a single central light as it will cast a shadow onto working areas and will not provide sufficient illumination. Many kitchens have a combination of central and under-unit concealed lighting, which is usually quite sufficient.
Fluorescent lighting has been used in domestic kitchens for many years. It is energy-efficient and gives out very little heat. However, the strips can sometimes emit a buzz and the light produced is very harsh and must be covered by a shade or shielded from the eyeÂ it can cause damage if you look directly into its light. Fluorescent bulbs are also expensive to dim as they require additional connections to achieve this.
There are many styles of light switch now available, but this particular one is definitely the most discreet. It would look good in either a traditional or a contemporary bedroom setting.
Halogen lighting has become increasingly popular. It takes its name from the fact that it is filled with halogen gas, enabling the bulb to reach very high temperatures which creates a very white light. This is part of the attraction as halogen lights produce true colors which do not distort.
Halogen spot- and recess lights are very small and unobtrusive, ideal for use with other forms of lighting. The bulbs are available in various strengths and widths of beam. This means you can use one bulb to create a wash of light while another can add a direct shaft of light using a narrow width of beam. In the kitchen, it is practical to install light switches at elbow height so they can easily be flicked on or off if your hands are full. Two-way switches are also essential if you have both an outside and inside door, and in rooms where there are two entrances, such as hallways and staircases.
In the bedroom, a reasonable quality of light is needed throughout. The lighting should encourage a calm and restful atmosphere, conducive to relaxation. At bedtime, the lighting should focus on the bed alone, making the remaining space less obtrusive and the bedroom appear more intimate and cosy. Recessed spot lights in the ceiling and side lights positioned at the bedside appear to be the ideal compromise as spots give an Even light across the room Â required for dressing, for example and they can be attached to a dimmer switch to give the option of varying the intensity. Bedside lights offer soft reading light and are easily controlled once in bed.
Spotlights can also be purchased with a narrow beam, enabling features or accessories to be highlighted, for example, the bed as well as a fireplace or favourite
painting. But always consider the balance of the room lighting acts as an accent and is very powerful, so it can make a room look one-sided and out of proportion.
Other types of lighting that you could consider include recessed spot lights, uplighters, down lighters, and lighting troughs, to name a few. And, of course, there are also the more traditional sidelights and pendants.
Now that halogen light is being used more and more, the style of fittings is becoming increasingly wide ranging. Here, frosted-glass sails and a fine metal mesh add a soft and original filter to the white light.
Think of the atmosphere you want to create, both in the day and at night. If your bedroom is multifunctional and you have a work area within the room, your lighting requirements will need to combine the practical with the aesthetic. For home studies, you will need to install the three main types of lighting: general, ambient and background.
As most living rooms serve several different purposes, the lighting needs to be as flexible as possible. Aim to have several different circuits, separately controlled, and to fix dimmer switches to one or two of them, to help you adjust the lighting for different moods. Have plenty of socket outlets for table and standard lamps to avoid the problem (and danger) or trailing flexes. Other fixed lighting, such as wall lights and pendants, will need to be positioned to light various surfaces clearly. It might well be worth your while making a scale plan of the room on some graph paper(see pages 9-10 for more details). This will help you to plot the position of all the lighting services accurately at the outset.
If the room has a second door or access to the garden, dual-switch the lights to operate from both points of entry.
Chandeliers are the epitome of traditional elegance.
Antique versions can be expensive, especially when re-wired for today’s use. For a less costly option. buy re-production, straight from the shelves of lighting departments or DIY stores.
Task lighting is necessary to illuminate a dining table without causing glare, to light any desk area, to enable you to see to read or sew, and to see inside units and cupboards. Accent or display lighting can be used to light a picture, wall-hanging or a floral lamps are reasonably portable, and are usually referred to as decorative lighting.
Whatever fittings you choose, they should be in sympathy with the architectural style of the room, and its decorations and furnishings. Eyeball spots in the ceiling, for example, may suit a hi-tech interior, but would look inappropriate in a period home or with a country cottage decor.
Finally, when lighting bathrooms think safety-first as water and electricity do not mix. Switches must be positioned outside the room or on pull cords. Shades should be ceiling fitted and sealed from damp. Consult a qualified electrician if in doubt.
The interesting shafts of light reflected in the metal splash backs are produced by short lengths of concealed strip lighting.
This is a good example of the effect that simple sidelights can have on a room, high lighting the bed and
casting shadow on the remaining space.