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Smart lighting

Smart lighting

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Smart lighting

Mix and layer
A single glaring light source at the centre of a room may well be a fast-track illumination solution, but it won’t add depth, character or options to bring the space to life with shadows shapes and accents. A combination of bright conventional lighting, warm halogens and tinted bulbs across ceiling fixtures, uplighters and a range of lamps will allow you to easily orchestrate the ambience of the room according to the occasion.
Function first
Think beyond just eye-catching elegance when creating your home lighting landscape – a beautifully lit room that falls short in fulfilling your everyday needs is a design failure. So, take the time to map out all of your functional needs within each room before purchasing any lighting. For example, a soft glow creeping from a table lamp in a sofa corner may well seem the perfect way to capture a sensuous mood, but if your couch is a reading hotspot, a focused and adjustable downlight would be a more appropriate solution.
Dimming flexibility
Introducing dimmer switches to your network of lights will afford you the luxury of changing the gear and mood of a room with minimal effort. Maximum bright light may be necessary for kids to play safely or for you to perform tasks and chores, but once they are tucked up in bed and your to-do list is done, you can kick into low-level ambient lighting with a simple twist of the wrist.
Highlight your best bits
Whether it be a beautiful architectural feature or prized purchased possession, we all have areas or items in our home that we want to showcase – and lighting is a great way to pull focus. Uplighters are an effective way to accentuate decorative ceiling coving, directional spotlights or standard lamps will beam attention to a classic piece of furniture and presentation wall lights will make a piece of art pop.
Work your corners
If you have a diminutive room that is crying out for a greater sense of space, illuminating all four corners will emphasise its maximum proportions and trick the eye into thinking its dimensions are grander than they actually are. Similarly, it you are spoilt for space and want to work up a more intimate cosy factor come nightfall, keep corners dark.
Illusionary length
Disproportionate rooms that are markedly wider than they are long can be a bit of a bugbear, but a bit of crafty lighting can help redress the imbalance without shifting a single wall. Creating a lighting feature or installing a panel of light at one end of the space will pull focus with the eye and make the room appear longer than it actually is.
Light for height
If you have tall rooms, hanging grand pendants and chandeliers is a great way to create aesthetic impact and theatre. But if you are working with modest height, hang suspended fixtures low or sidestep them altogether as they will make your ceilings appear even less ample. Recessed ceiling spots as a primary lighting source are a good way to avoid cluttering limited overhead space, and vertical and upward light beams will make a room seem taller.
Northern know-how
A north-facing room receives little direct natural daylight, and requires careful consideration in order to counterbalance the dark, dense and steely character that will generally impair it. Introducing halogens into your lighting design will inject an artificial sense of natural daylight into the room, providing clear task lighting without glare. The use of tinted bulbs in lamps will also add warmth when tasks are done and you want to kick back and relax on the sofa.
Walkway drama
Hallways and stairs are two of the most neglected areas of homes when it comes to lighting, yet harbour amazing potential to create a wow-factor if you dare to think beyond commonplace pedestrian lighting solutions. Ditching over-head spots or pendants for floor-level illuminations will add a more inviting ambience to throughways, stretch their dimensions to the eye and create a more organic flow between the different fractions of your living space.
Zone space
If you have multifunctional rooms or live open plan, lighting is the perfect way to zone the different areas and create a sense of practical order. Cutting or dimming lights in areas that are not in use – a desk lamp in a work corner, a pendant over the dining table or spotlights over your children’s play mat – will make the overall space feel less chaotic and allow you to fully engage the illuminated area you are inhabiting at any one given time.
The key to cosy
Everyone craves a bit of cosy ambience from time-to-time, and the best way to create it through lighting is simple – dim your primary sources and switch on low-level table lamps. The small pools of light that well-shaded table lamps radiate will draw your focus downwards, soften hard lines in the room, make austere expansive areas melt away and create a proper snuggle factor.

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