Earlier this week, I was fortunate enough to attend a presentation by ERCO Lighting aptly named “Language of Light”. The presentation by Ana of ERCO was sensational. I learned a huge amount and will attempt to give you some key points below, however, to get the full benefit I can’t recommend highly enough visiting their showroom yourself. You can find them here
For the last few years I have wanted to understand more about lighting as it can have such an impact on the way we feel when within a space and therefore how we live and work in that space. SAD (Seasonal Affective Disorder) is now accepted as a genuine form of depression that usually strikes in winter when people don’t get enough natural light and this has an all too real impact on their mental health.
When people build or renovate, lighting is one of those things that is often forgotten or left in the too hard basket and they let the electrician have free reign. I may upset a few ‘sparkys’ out there, but you have to remember they get paid per light installation so of course many of them are going to take the opportunity to put up lots of unflattering LED’s, that give your ceiling an acne-ridden look.
One of my colleagues recently moved into a new-build apartment with said ‘ceiling acne’. He commented that it is so bright in there that it was like living in an operating theatre and as a result he ended up taking half
of the lights out! What a waste of time that was
by the designer and the electrician.
Here are my tips for lighting your room successfully:
Lighting breaks down into three main types:
· Ambient | (not to be mixed with ambience) Ambient lighting lights up the space, it provides a focal glow, sense of brightness
· Accent | is focused and guides your eyes to a particular subject like artwork or architectural feature
· Scenic | is decorative like pendants and lamps and provides movement like a colour, pattern or LED strip
Consider how you use the space that you are lighting. Most rooms are multifunctional these days so its best to have a few options like ambient lighting as well as task lighting like a lamp which you can curl up on the sofa to read your book.
You should barely see the light itself if they are properly installed, you should only see the lumiere which is the glow that it provides rather than the lighting product itself.
Light the walls not the floors. As humans, our vertical vision is 80 degrees so why would we light up the floor? Downlights also make us age as they really are the most unflattering lights out there. Plus, it takes three times more light energy to hit the floor and appear the same as the wall, so it is better for the environment and your bank balance.
If you’re going to use downlighting then consider the finish you are going to use. White flooring is reflective, whilst dark finishes suck up the light.
Ensure all lights are on a dimmer switch, that way you can change the brightness to suit your mood.
Have your lights on different circuits so that you can change the atmosphere.
If anyone else has any lighting tips then please feel free to share them and don’t forget to visit the Erco Lighting Showroom for further tips and advice.