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As lighting determines how you use your home and feel about it at night or when it is dull outside, it is difficult to overestimate its importance. The subject is sometimes made needlessly complex, with much bandying-
The right lighting can reveal space that was formerly hidden. It can make rooms look bigger and turn awkward or unused areas into intimate corners. It can enhance architectural details and decorative fixtures, reducing the need for additional furnishings and clutter. It can even alter colours and textures.
Lighting needs to be considered from the earliest stages of planning a room. In fact, the position of the major light sources should be determined at the same time as the furniture layout. A scale plan of the room and the main items of furniture is invaluable as it allows you to work out the best positions for built-
Most lighting needs can be met by a mix of three different types of light. Ambient or background light, from uplighters or wall-
It also helps to vary the direction and intensity of light fittings. A desk lamp with a pivoting head, for example, can be used as a small uplighter or wall-
There are plenty of ways to improve the quality of existing lighting without having to endure the mess and upheaval caused by chasing cables into walls or running them above ceilings. If your current arrangements consist simply of a central pendant fitting, try replacing the existing flex with a longer piece, so that the fitting can be moved to where it will be most useful, perhaps over a dining or display table. Alternatively, for greater flexibility, replace it with spotlights on a track system.
The range of plug-
If there are several light sources in a room, but you are still unhappy with the effect, check the bulbs. They may simply be too bright, or dim, for their surroundings, or glare could be reduced by replacing a standard bulb with a crown-
Changing shades also makes a big difference. Dark colours glow softly when the light is turned on, while translucent materials allow more light into a room and thereby help to make the space seem brighter. Those with a spreading shape cast a wider pool of light than upright examples. Repositioning a shade in relation to the bulb can help: the closer the bulb to the bottom edge of the shade, the larger the pool of light.
If adding extra power sockets or rerouting cables and conduits is inevitable or if you think the wiring system in your home might need to be updated, call in a qualified electrician. The installation of electrical systems and the use of fittings near water are governed by safety regulations. You may also be prevented from using certain types of fitting in very old buildings if the heat they emit cannot be sufficiently well isolated from the surroundings.
Designing with light
As well as working out which types of light fitting would best suit your needs, it is vital to ensure that they are correctly positioned. If you adhere to the principle that good lighting is efficient yet unobtrusive, it follows that fittings should be placed where they can do their job without casting unwanted shadows or creating glare.
One way to do this is to shine light indirectly into a room by using an uplighter to bounce it off the walls and ceiling. To do this effectively, the light source needs to be far enough away from the ceiling to create a broad glow yet high enough to be above the eye level of anyone standing in the room. Most floor-
Local pools of glare-
glass or paper, or by traditionally shaded lamps. These are best used in places where you can get away with low levels of background light, such as bedrooms or dining rooms. They are not really suitable for lighting your path through a space or for use as task lighting.
When used on its own, however, indirect lighting can make a room look flat and uninteresting. Visible sources of light, such as ceiling spots, some pendant fittings and even candles add sparkle and life; perhaps they remind us of man's original light sources, the sun and fire. But they need to be carefully controlled to avoid glare, which can be done in a number of ways: by reducing the size of the fitting's opening, as in an eyeball fitting; by using reflective material around or inside the bulb; or by making them appear less bright, by using low-
Special care needs to be taken with task and display lamps, as the bulb is more than likely to be exposed. When a table or floor lamp is being used as a task light, the bottom edge of the shade should be positioned high enough to allow light to fall on your work area or lap, but not so high that the bright inner surface of the shade can be seen.
The distribution of light around a room matters too. The areas where you are likely to sit and relax or work should obviously be brighter than the background, so that you are drawn into a pool of light. And displays need to be highlighted, but not to the same extent that they become distracting. In general, it is best to avoid over-
Of course, compromises will have to be made, especially if you are furnishing on a tight budget or find your options severely limited by a tenancy agreement. If the only source of light is a centrally-
Make the most of plug-
Finally, consider the style of the fittings. Choosing all the fittings from a single range or made in the same material can help give a co-
As well as drawing attention to objects and pictures, display lighting subtly adds sparkle to interiors. Picture lights and cabinet fittings are two of the fixed or built-
As they are often to be found hanging from a single central point on a ceiling, pendant fittings echo the old-
Compact and unobtrusive, downlights can be fixed directly onto the ceiling or partly or totally recessed. If they are fixed to a track, they can be removed
or repositioned, which is an advantage in areas where the furniture is regularly moved around. A row of downlights may be used to provide a wash of background light while individual lamps can be turned into display lights with the help of lenses and cowls. It is easy to recess downlights into a ceiling, as fittings are supplied with a template for cutting the hole and the wiring is the same as for a pendant lamp. Apartment dwellers may not be allowed to install these types of fittings, however.
Modernists may well sneer, but old-
Wall lights have obvious advantages in areas where floor space is limited and need not involve chasing cables into the wall if the flex is attractive. The output of wall lights is usually directed up at the walls and ceiling, making them a good source of ambient light. As they are on display, their visual impact can be significant. A sconce can be used to give a bare patch of wall a sense of purpose while a row of lamps in a hallway adds rhythmic pattern.
As much of the furniture in a room tends to have a strongly horizontal feel, the vertical lines of floor lamps often add a welcome contrast. They vary enormously in style and function, and range from traditional standard lamps which provide both ambient and task lighting, through spindly uplighters, to tough and powerful studio lights. Floor lamps are easy to move, some are even mounted on wheels, but for safety try to avoid having trailing flexes across thoroughfares and do not place the lamps in a position where there is a risk of causing an obstruction.
High quality Designer Lighting.
ADS are now stocking Franklite lighting in Northampton. The nation's top decorative lighting producers and suppliers. If in search of Traditional or Contemporary you're sure to see something in Franklite's latest collection. Franklite have produced the highest quality quality lighting products for household and trade use since 1973. Being a member of the Lighting Industry Association, you can be sure that all of the lights are examined and electronically subjected to testing to abide by all existing and applicable industry requirements prior to leaving the manufacturing plant.
Designer Ceiling & Wall Lighting
Abstract 460mm Flush Cream laser-
Aphrodite 10 light Fitting in chrome finish with crystal candle pans. Supplied with integral transformer and G4 halogen lamps which are only suitable for dimming with a trailing edge dimmer..
Artemis 5 light Fitting in chrome finish with a crystal glass column and sconces. Shown with translucent silver fabric candle shades which have black tied thread detailing.