When you work hard and have a busy life there’s nothing worse than walking into your home at the end of the day and being hit by how dim and gloomy it looks. You don’t want it to be like this. Your home should be a lovely uplifting place to return to, where you can relax and enjoy your time away from the stresses of work.
One of the quickest and easiest ways of transforming your home and making it a more relaxing, nurturing place to be is to upgrade your lighting.
There are three main types of lighting to consider, each of which serves a different purpose.
Types of lighting
Ambient lighting is the overall illumination of a room. It is usually provided by wall lights, lights set into the ceiling or pendant lighting. You can use the ambient lighting to create a particular atmosphere, for example, use bright lighting to bring energy to your office and lower lighting in rooms where you want to relax like your bedroom. Dimmer switches are also good, allowing you to adjust the lighting levels and therefore the atmosphere.
Task lighting refers to lights you need for specific purposes. These include lights around mirrors in the bathroom or bedroom, reading lamps whether in the bedroom, on a desk or next to your favourite armchair, and lights in the kitchen to highlight the work surfaces when you’re preparing food.
Finally, accent lighting is lighting that’s more about the aesthetics. Common accent lighting includes picture lights or spotlights to highlight an alcove or feature wall. Candles also fall into this category being mainly used to create a specific ambience rather than as a functional light source.
Do a lighting audit
Take a walk around the rooms in your home (you’ll probably want to do this later in the evening when it’s easier to analyse) and consider the different types of lighting in each room.
- Is the ambient lighting sufficient? Does it create the atmosphere you want for that room?
- Do you have the right task lighting available? Is there sufficient light in all the places where you might want to read, craft, put on your make-up or do other close work?
- Are there any areas that would benefit from accent lighting?
Make a to do list of improvements as you go round and keep a particular eye out for opportunities for quick wins.
Quick and easy lighting improvements
- Replace outdated pendant lighting. There are some really beautiful pendant lights available that make a real statement in a room.
- Add reading lamps anywhere that you find yourself peering at the newspaper!
- Install dimmer switches in rooms where you would like the option of softer, lower-level lighting.
- Use floor lamps to light specific areas of a room and provide an alternative to the main ambient lighting.
- And probably the quickest and easiest, update existing lamps or pendants with bright new lamp shades.
Finally, if you want to bring a splash of colour to any room then my top recommendation would be the Funk lighting from Danish lighting designers Nordlux. This beautiful, affordable range allows you to mix and match acrylic shades in 2 different sizes and 13 different colours with low energy lightbulbs and 15 different colours of light fittings to create exactly the effect you want. You can see the whole Nordlux Funk range here.