Lighting is important for creating atmosphere. Lighting for the Main Bedroom should generally be provided as follows:
1. Bedside Locker Light: I advise that a switched 5-Amp plug socket be provided behind each locker, on both sides of the bed, for a locker lamp. The 5 Amp socket should have a switch to operate it just over the bedside locker (about 750mm over finished floor level).
2. Ambient Lighting: I advise that approximately 3 No. switched 5 Amp plug sockets be provided in the corners of the bedroom, or other locations. The sockets should be 2-way switched i.e. switched at the bedroom door entrance and also over the beside locker.
3. Main lighting: It is advisable to locate spot-light fittings around the bed (not directly over, as this will cause glare). The lights should be 2-way switched i.e. switched at the bedroom door entrance and also over the bedside locker.
In children’s bedrooms, it is not necessary to have such elaborate lighting. A central pendant will usually suffice. However, it should be considered to provide a switched night-light or under-bed light in the room. This will give an ambient glow for sleeping. This is also a good idea as a soft-light for any other type of room. I advise that a "warm white" LED type of light be used.
LIVING ROOM LIGHTING:
1. Ambient Lighting: I advise that approximately 3 No. switched 5 Amp plug sockets be provided in the corners of the living room. The sockets should be switched at the main door entrance.
2. Main Lighting (option 1): Pendant lighting is generally used as a central feature for the ceiling. Often it is best if used with a dimmer switch.
3. Main Lighting (option 2): Spotlights are either evenly placed on the ceiling (usually 4 or 6 fittings) or alternatively they can be placed to emphasise details (corners, doors, furniture placement).
HALLWAY / STAIRS LIGHTING
Long hallways and stairs can be provided with low-level lighting, PIR activated (they come on with a motion sensor). These are great for night-time, especially with young children.
Also, the underside of a stair handrail can be fitted with a 3528 SMD LED strip (warm white advised), which can downlight a stairs and make it safe. These can be activated by a movement sensor.
1. Under-counter task lighting: Either low-voltage spot lights or SMD 5050 LED Strip. It is important to use an SMD 5050 strip, which is generally brighter than other type of SMD chips usually....
2. Plinth lighting: Used under the plinth to light the floor and emphasise the kitchen units. Usually SMD 3528 LED Strip. Colour changing LED can also be used!
3. Dining: is best to be a directional pendant light (do not place at eye-level). Dimmer switch is advisable.
KITCHENS /LIVING AREAS WITH VAULTED SPACES
Spotlights in a vaulted ceiling may be too high to replace if a bulb blows, and may generally only end up lighting the ceiling area, and not 'spill' to the floor. This would be a crude lighting design, with no atmosphere, and should be avoided.
Often it is best to up-light such vaulted ceilings with wall-mounted up-lighters. These up-lighters should be placed over the top of entrance doors, or central along walls at door height. The remaining lighting may be supplemented with long-hanging pendants, or filament bulbs which can create an industrial / modern look. Lighting colour should be warm white.
Light colour is important for certain tasks. However, it is generally considered that “Warm White” bulbs be used domestically and that “Natural White” be used for home offices and utility areas. Some LED spotlight fittings are coming now with a switch option on the rear to change the light colour on-site!
UTILITY / DRESSING ROOM LIGHTING:
These areas are best served using motion activated PIR switches. These lights ensure that lights are not left-on all of the time and automatically switch off. The lighting in such areas needs to be as bright as possible. I would advise the use of plat -panel LED lights (akin to those used on offices) for the highest light output and brightness.
In building a new home, it is prudent to look to the future, where most appliances will be “smart” and require an internet connection over WIFi. TV’s and homes offices may require a higher capacity internet connection and are best connected to the internet using Ethernet cable. Both WiFi and Ethernet are connected to your home broadband router (typically provided by eir, Virgin or Vodafone).
Good WiFi is needed in any home with a large floor plan. We advise the following:
1. Place your broadband router in a central place (i.e. utility or home office).
2. Hard-wire all TV & computer points with Cat 5e or Cat6 ethernet cable to the broadband router location.
3. Hard-wire Cat 6 ethernet cable for WiFi extenders to your broadband router location. Typically, 1 per floor, or 2 for larger floor plans. This will spread your WiFi throughout the house.
Another product to use for WiFi distribution is to use a WiFi mesh. Typically the Deco M5 from TP Link is a great product and offers parent controls over the WiFi using a smart phone app. https://www.tp-link.com/us/home-networking/deco/deco-m5/