How To Plan For Lighting In Your Home

Interior design by Haire Living

One key component of the home to consider when you're renovation your home is lighting. More than choosing a fancy light fixture, you want to plan out the lighting in your home based on your needs and the ultimate look and feel of the space. So before you start shopping, ask yourself these questions:

1) What will that area be used for?
Your activities are the deciding factor on the type of lighting you will need. The three main types of lights are:

+ Ambient (or general) lighting provides the area’s main illumination.
+ Task lighting is used to focus light on areas where specific activities are carried out, such as cooking or homework.
+ Accent lighting is A decorative light to emphasise on certain features in a room, like an art piece.

Choose a suitable mix of these lights for all areas in your home.

2) What is the mood you want to create?
This boils down to the colour temperature of the lights used in the room. For example, a cool white light of 4,000 kelvins (light measurement unit) is appropriate for the living room, and a warmer coloured light of 3,000 kelvins is best suited for the rest areas so you there is a sense of cosiness. Plan out rest and work zones and then decide on where the warm and cool lights should go.

3) Who’s using the room?
The members of your household may have different perceptions of lighting. An older person’s perception of the brightness of a room is much dimmer than that of a younger person. So install dimmer switches for your light fixtures if you live in a multi-generational home. In this way, the light intensity can be easily adjusted depending on the user.

4) How will the room be designed?
+ Floor and surface finishes all influence the amount of light you need. These factors can swallow or reflect what light you have, so choose carefully.
+ Ceiling height impacts the way you illuminate the room. With higher ceilings, higher wattage lights can be spaced further apart.
+ Walls that are dark-coloured or those with finishes such as cement screed, stone or raw brick tend to absorb light. White or glazed tiled walls will reflect light, making the room appear brighter.

Other points to consider:
+ Colour rendering

Colour rendering is the ability of the light to replicate the colours of objects seen in ideal lighting conditions (i.e. daylight). You’d notice skin tones looking duller under fluorescent lighting, and this is due to its lower colour rendering index (CRI). Incandescent lights have a CRI of 100, which makes the surroundings appear more natural. Lighting experts recommend incandescent lights for ideal home lighting.

+  Glare control
Glare controls usually come in the form of reflectors, diffusers or shades.

Ultimately, home lighting is personal and subjective, you decide if you want to live in a dark, moody cave or a brightly-lit abode!

Information provided by Chee Su Eing, principal designer at D'perception Ritz; Jack Tan, Sales manager for Samsung LED; and Joe Chua, managing director of Lightcraft.

For ideas and inspiration on Lighting, head over to our library of Homes & Products.