Picture of a well lit home at dusk

The Local Heroes Guide to Lighting for the Home

Posted on 28/04/2018

Lighting can be easy to overlook. It’s one of those things you might not notice but lighting is critical to interior designing. It can instantly transform a good space into a great space.

If you’re thinking about changing the lighting in your house then here’s our handy guide to getting it right.

First up, do your research. And we don’t just mean reading article like these. We mean get up and get out into the world. Go to show homes and have a look at how those rooms are lit. Check out high street retailers and see how they light their model rooms. Even your favourite bars and restaurants can be a great source of inspiration.

Check out high street retailers and see how they light their model rooms.

Picture of a lamp on a brick wall Bars, high street stores and show homes can provide great inspiration for lighting your home

It’s a lot easier to decide what kind of lights to buy and install once you know the kind of effect you want to achieve.

What do all the best lighting designs have in common? They all start with a lighting plan.

This doesn’t have to be complicated, just map out a floor plan of the room that you’re lighting and the objects in it – and then work out where you want lights and what you want to be lit.

Simple, straightforward, and crucial to effective lighting design.

What is your lighting for?

In creating your plan you’ll need to have a good think about purpose - what do you want the light to be doing? Is this a workspace where you need to able to see clearly to focus on tasks? Or is it a living space, where a gentler ambient light would be a better approach? Or maybe it’s a combination of both, a space that needs to alternate between both functional use and everyday relaxing.

Brightness

Once you know what you need the space to do you can start making decisions about more specific things, like bulb brightness. Somewhere between 50 to 100 lux is ideal for a living space, while if the room is for working you might want to go as a bright as 300 or even 500 lux.

The room’s purpose - dining, relaxing, working - should influence the brightness of the lighting

Close up image of a washing machine drum Choosing the brightness and colour of your lighting is an important decision

Colour

Colour is another key aspect to consider, especially in a world of smart bulbs and connected lighting options like the Hive system. Clever use of colour can have a drastic impact on rooms, and can give the illusion of paint when used as washes on walls.

Clever use of colour can have a drastic impact on rooms, and can give the illusion of paint when used as washes on walls.

Studies show that colour can big impacts on your mood too, so be sure to consider your choices for rooms where you and your family will be spending your time1.

Natural light

Finally, as obvious as it sounds, make sure you explore ways to get the most out of natural light. Do you have bookshelves or thick curtains that block windows? You’ll be amazed how maximising the amount of sunshine in a room will change how it looks, and can alter how you plan to light it.