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.
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