Great lighting has the ability to make, or sometimes break, any space. The way you should tackle the lighting plan starts with the type of renovation you are doing – a whole house or one room update. But no matter of the scale of your renovation project, getting lighting plan right for your project is so important as it can make a big difference to how your home feels. We are about halfway through our renovation project, and did our lighting plan a few weeks ago already!
WHAT MAKES A GOOD LIGHTING PLAN?
When thinking about the ambience and atmosphere in your home, lighting can be one of the most fundamental elements. Brighter lights can make you feel alert and awake, where as dimmer, softer lights can be relaxing and soothing. A good lighting plan supports the function of each room and has selection of different lighting sources. There are three major types of lighting to consider:
- Ambient lighting – the overall light source of a room. Spotlights, pendants, wall lights etc.
- Task lighting – lighting for a specific task. Light for reading, food preparation etc.
- Accent lighting – highlight things around your house that you want to draw attention. Display cabinet, art etc.
My favourite lighting plans take a layered approach to lighting with different light sources across different levels to create ambience and interest in a room. By using a combo of ceiling -, wall – and pendants lights you can create far more interesting lighting to your space . I also love using floor lamps because they reflect light up to the ceiling, giving off a lovely soft glow that works really well.
I also try to use lighting to make the most of a room’s size and shape –uplighting makes a room feel larger, low hung pendants will create an illusion of height and groups of lighting can make larger rooms cosier.
Task lighting is an important part of the lighting plan, especially in the kitchen. There’s nothing worse than a poorly lit kitchen, and if you’re not paying attention of task lighting, you’ll end up with dark corners where the ambient lighting gets blocked by overhead cabinetry or a person working in the kitchen.
Wall lights and pendants are great for reading areas in the bedroom. Not only do they look good, but you’ll have more space on the bedside table without a table lamp!
Accent lighting is a bit more of luxury to have. However, if your budget allows it’s definitely worth considering. This type of lighting can be perfect in a space where you don’t need bright lights, but are likely to have wall art that would benefit from being lit for that extra drama.
How to create a lighting plan:
- Have a few copies of your room floorplan, ruler and coloured pens.
- Start of with ambient lighting, draw dots using one of the colours and mark next to it if it’s a pendant, wall light or a spotlight. Use a mixture of lights to create layers. Consult your electrician if unsure about the number of spotlights you’ll need (if using).
- Next add task and accent lighting, using different colours. Think about the space carefully and how you or your family will likely to be using the space. Not every room needs task or accent lighting.
- Light switches and dimmers. Again, mark these to your plan using different colour. Do you need 2- or 3-way switches too? I love having dimmers but not every light in every room need to be dimmable.
- Set a budget and stick to it! A good lighting plan is also a one you can afford.
On my lighting wishlist:
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