Tips for Lighting your Home

Walk into your home, flick a switch, and your room is filled with light. But is it the right light? In this video David introduces the idea that the best home lighting mimics the quality of light in Nature.

Here are 8 design tips for your home to improve the mood of your home lighting as well as offer you improved health and well-being. Keep reading or click on the link to download your pdf copy here 

Making it Natural
There is nothing better to fill your rooms with than natural light. In addition to how it looks, it’s free and it has practical benefits, including how sunlight is able to reduce mould and odours. You can increase the amount of natural light entering your home in several ways.

  • Add reflective features such as mirrors
  • Paint walls and ceilings with brighter colours
  • Replace dark and heavy curtains with thinner fabric
  • Use skylights

Darkness is Good for You
Some of us are afraid of darkness, but it is a natural state for our bodies. Experts tell us the absence of light is essential to sleep – the more darkness the better. Light exposure at the wrong time will alter our “sleep clock”. In your bedroom please consider:

  • Black-out curtains that block out all daylight
  • No cool-white coloured light
  • If you require night lighting use red or amber coloured light sources placed at a low height

Colour of Light – is Blue Light Bad for Us ?
White coloured light has a range in tones from bright daylight tones (cool white light with more blue light component) to warm, candle tones (warm white light with more red light component). This range in colour triggers different physiological effects in us. Cool light gives us energy and helps us to concentrate while warm light relaxes us and prepares us for rest. Neither are bad and, in your home, you can balance both to your benefit.

  • Use warm white lighting in your home in the evening when you want to make a relaxed mood.
  • Use cool white light for doing task work. The cooler light can be a higher intensity by concentrating it over work surfaces.
  • Limit the use of cool light after dark as exposure to blue light in the evening will reduce the quality of your sleep and therefore health.

A Gentle Change
As humans, we have evolved to respond to a natural cycle of light and dark, day and night, that changes gently and dynamically over time. This is known as our circadian rhythm. When our home lighting mimics this, we will support our well-being. You can introduce gentle change into your home lighting by…

  • Install a dimming system so you can reduce the brightness of the lights as the evening progresses.
  • Split your lighting over separate switches and switch off overhead lights to make a cosy mood nearer bedtime.
  • Lighting rooms to suit their function so that different rooms have different moods and intensities.
  • Use lighting that allows you to adjust the light colour – this can be the colour hue of the colour tone – warm to cool. This is what happens in the real world as time passes.

Light in Layers Using Bounced Light
When light bounces off surfaces, it fills the room with soft ambient light to give a relaxed, ambient background illumination to the space. It is the perfect fill light which allows you to then add lamps or light accents to art in a room. Try and avoid using only downlights which push light down onto the floor and reduce the feeling of space and volume.

  • Aim lights upwards toward the ceiling, or install wall sconces to bounce light off the ceiling and walls. Make sure the light bulb is hidden inside the fitting as this can create glare.
  • Conceal light in coves or inside shelving units to give a soft glow of light.
  • If you are stuck with downlights try to aim them to the walls to bounce the light back into the room.

Task Lighting
Lighting the tasks you do in the home rather than lighting your home evenly is a good strategy to lower your energy bills. Generally living in your home needs only about 1/5 to 1/10 the light you need for working tasks (50-100lx compared with 300-500lx). So, it pays to light specifically to the areas where you need more intense light. Some good ideas are…

    • Install concealed strip lights under overhead cupboards above the kitchen counter.
    • Install glowing wall lights at your mirrors to effectively light your face.
    • Have task lamps at your home working locations, desks.
    • Consider reading lights at your bedhead if you read at night before sleeping.
  • Controlling your Lights
    Good lighting is made great by enhancing it with lighting control. Switching and dimming allows you to alter the ambience of a space to suit your mood and activities. It also allows change of colour and intensity to support your natural circadian rhythm. Thing to consider are…

    • Separate your lights into groups and place each group on a different switch so you can vary the effect. For example, control downlights separate from concealed lighting separate from decorative lighting.
    • Dimming is a good idea but keep the dimming simple and easy to use.
    • Place decorative lamps on their own switches in living areas. The house lighting can be turned down, or off, and the lamps turned on to create another softer more relaxing mood.
  • Lighting for Disinfection
    Can LED light kill mould? The answer is Yes, LED lights with a colour temperature around 5000k and above emit a high amount of light in the blue spectrum which is great for inhibiting mould growth. This wavelength of light is visible and not harmful to humans under normal conditions.

    • Install a Cold white LED lighting strip in your shoe cupboard and put on timers to wash your shoes in violet light each day.
    • Install a secondary cold white flood light in your bathroom to run each day for a few hours.
    • Install a cold white LED light strip under you overhead cabinets to wash the food preparation counters in your kitchen.
  • If you’ve found this article useful and would like to know more you can download our free PDF of residential lighting tips here and also contact us directly on our contact page.

    Share this post with your friends