Functional Lighting & Lighting Design for the Home
This blog post was updated in December 2022.
Lighting design, primarily for functionality but also for aesthetic reasons, is about creating a plan for the lighting of a particular room or your entire home. Spending some time thinking about the functional lighting in your home, before you purchase any lights, will make sure you install the right lights, in the right place, in the right rooms (the first time!).
Functional Lighting Considerations
When it comes to lighting your home, it's important to consider not just aesthetics, but also functionality. After all, the right lighting can make a huge difference in terms of how comfortable and usable a space is.
The important factors to consider when doing a lighting design plan for a house are:
- Style (aesthetics)
- Dimensions and details of the space
- Furnishings and layouts
- Functions and space
- Lighting budget
Key Points to Consider
Here are some key points to consider when it comes to functional lighting in the home:
Task lighting is lighting that is specifically designed to help you perform a certain activity, such as reading, cooking, or doing crafts. This type of lighting should be bright and focused, and placed in a way that illuminates the area where you'll be working. For example, in a kitchen, task lighting might come in the form of under-cabinet lights or a pendant light over the island. In a living room, it might be a floor lamp next to a reading chair.
Ambient lighting is general, overall lighting that helps to create a comfortable and inviting atmosphere in a space. This type of lighting should be soft and diffuse, and should provide a consistent level of illumination throughout the room. Ambient lighting is often achieved through the use of ceiling lights, wall lights, or floor lamps. It should be bright enough to allow you to move around the room safely, but not so bright that it feels harsh or uncomfortable.
Accent lighting is lighting that is used to highlight certain features or areas of a room. This might include artwork, plants, or architectural details. Accent lighting should be focused and directional, and should be used sparingly to avoid creating a cluttered or overwhelming effect. Some examples of accent lighting include track lighting, recessed lights, or spotlights.
Dimmer switches are a great way to add functionality to your lighting. These switches allow you to adjust the brightness of your lights, which means you can create the perfect lighting level for any situation. For example, you might want bright, focused lighting for tasks like cooking or reading, but softer, more ambient lighting for relaxing or entertaining. With a dimmer switch, you can easily adjust the lighting to suit your needs.
Overall, functional lighting is an important aspect of any well-designed home. By considering the different types of lighting and their uses, you can create a space that is both beautiful and functional. Whether you need task lighting for work, ambient lighting for relaxation, or accent lighting for highlighting your favorite features, functional lighting can help to make your home more comfortable and enjoyable.
Lighting Design - How to Get it Right the First Time!
Lighting design is an important aspect of creating a beautiful and functional home. The right lighting can help to enhance the look and feel of a space, and can also improve the way you use and enjoy your home. Here are some key points to consider when it comes to lighting design for the home:
One of the most important things to consider when it comes to lighting design is the function of the space. Different rooms and areas of the home have different lighting needs, so it's important to think about how you'll be using the space and what kind of lighting is best suited to that use. For example, a kitchen might need bright, focused task lighting, while a bedroom might need softer, more ambient lighting.
- Layering. Layering is a key element of good lighting design. This involves using multiple light sources in a single space to create a balanced and comfortable atmosphere. This might include task lighting, ambient lighting, and accent lighting. By layering your lighting, you can create a space that is well-lit and conducive to different activities.
- Style. Lighting can also be used to add style and character to a space. This might involve choosing light fixtures with unique designs or interesting materials, or using colour to create a certain mood or atmosphere. For example, you might use chrome pendant lights or rose gold pendant lights to add warmth to a space, or choose vibrant colours to add a pop of personality.
- Control. Finally, it's important to think about how you'll control your lighting. This might involve using dimmer switches, smart lighting, or other methods to adjust the brightness and direction of your lights. By giving yourself control over your lighting, you can easily create the perfect atmosphere for any situation.
Here's a few things to consider when creating a lighting plan or design for your home:
Establish the style of home
- Ultra modern
Find out the dimensions and details of the home
- Ceiling height
- Room sizes
- Exterior landscape plans e.g. pool, fountains, garden layout
Consider the decor
- Colour of walls and ceilings
- Colour of flooring: carpet, tiles, timber etc
- Brick colour
- Cement rendered - colour
- Timber or aluminium windows and doors colour
Consider furnishings and layoutsIt is necessary to know the working and non-working areas in each room. For example locate where the wardrobes or work stations such as desks or computers are, so that ample light is directed to these areas. It also should be noted if furniture will be re-arranged occasionally.
Define the function of the spaceBe aware of the activities taking place in each area. For example is it a leisure area, entertaining area or work area?
Consider the budget
You will have a budget in mind for your lighting requirements. This will dictate the styles and brands you are able to work with, as well as the total number of lights you can afford.