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Planning your lighting schemes

Closing Down Sale

Getting to grips with the planning of new lighting for you home can be simple, such as a replacement for a broken reading light to the apparently daunting task of a total home lighting re-designs. With a vast array of outdoor lighting now also available this re-design can often also incorporate the garden, patio and conservatory areas, and the infinite number of choices and styles can seem somewhat onerous.

Most of us appreciate that the uses of different lighting types and “layers” can make a big difference in terms of the moods they create as well as being essential and clear in other critical and practical areas such as food preparation, sewing or children’s homework areas.

Why move when subtle changes in lighting can feel like a new home?

With property changes being a major worry in times of recession, and career changes seeming to be such a big risk, the subtle changing of lighting style and mood can be a very cost-effective and satisfying way of changing the entire feel of an existing home.

Before starting to buy new light fittings - what do I need to know?

• Decide upon just how much you are prepared to spend - and set a budget for each area of the house – its easy to blow it all on the first room

• Be honest with yourself as to the styles and types of décor that feel comfortable to you and match your furniture and soft furnishing styles

• Be certain as to where in every room you may need to have strong light for specific tasks (like reading) and soft light (for relaxing and entertaining)

• Understand that some areas will double up and do both of the above so be ready to either invest in dimmer switches and appropriate lighting or have more than one lighting type in any given area (such as lamps, up-lighters as well as down lights)

• Where does the power supply come from - you may need to put in additional sockets or even sink cables into walls for wall lighting - this needs to be budgeted as well?

• Look at the dimensions of the room and consider the height - you will need to understand how far ceiling lights may drop and decide if it is appropriate for a lower ceiling - equally you don’t want light fittings that look totally lost in a large room

• How much can you make use of natural light? The room may look very different at different times of the day.

• Decide upon your choice of colour scheme for each room and take samples with you.

It all sounds daunting, but once you are in the swing of it, it becomes perfectly natural.

In our next article we will look at the basic types of lighting (basic / accent / and task specific) and explore how we use them.

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