As we light up the skies tonight with amazing firework displays it lifts your spirits to see the light and colours fill the dark evening. The clocks went back an hour on 27th October (only ten days ago) and already we are noticing the shortening days and the reducing light.
Sure, we are moving to hibernating mood and it is time to re-set the central heating and get the logs delivered for your log burner or open fire – creating a cosy home that feels bright, warm and welcoming as we step through the front door.
Lights are turned on in your home much earlier in the evening as the season progresses, with the afternoon day light becomes gloomier. So, take a moment to think how you can make the best use of lighting in your home to create the right cosy family atmosphere.
- Lighting is the key ingredient
In the recipe for the right atmosphere, lighting plays a key part. Before you can create the recipe, you need to do some preparation – give some thought as to how you are going to use the space in each room. How you decide to light a room will depend if you are creating an entertaining space, eating with family, setting a quiet reading area in a study or watching TV / films in a cinema room.
The next step is to start to mix the ingredients by deciding on the layout and the positioning of furniture and then you can start to place the lighting. Now you have done your preparation and mixing you can create the right atmosphere, choosing different levels of illumination in each area to find the right balance.
- Natural lighting
A good option is to make the best use of any natural light during the shorter days. Skylights are effective to get light flooding into an otherwise dark or gloomy space. Whether this is for an open plan kitchen (within an extension) for great family living, an ensuite bathroom (in loft space) which gives you a guest accommodation or in an existing space where you can pursue your hobbies, this give you illumination from the sun which is our main source of natural light.
However, as the evenings draw in and we get less natural light, our focus shifts to finding other ways to light up our lives.
- Task lighting
This is all about practicality and contrast. Give some thought to your regular tasks. There are some tasks that you always perform in the same place - preparing food in the kitchen for your family meal or getting ready for your day ahead in the bathroom. Other tasks can be done in different spaces – reading the latest novel or logging on to your iPad or laptop.
So, be practical and position the light source in the right place - allowing for a contrast with other lighting in the room. Under cupboard LED lights create a safe place for preparing food and keeping surfaces clean in the kitchen whereas lights on bathroom mirrors can add glamour whilst helping visual clarity. Co-ordinating just the right look is so much easier if you have internal lighting in wardrobes. For leisure pursuits, swing lamps beside a chair or on the bedside table allow you to swivel the light to change the direction for the best illumination.
- Ambient lighting
The aim of ambient lighting is to give an even light throughout, in complete contrast to task lighting.
To create an interest in a room, choose a main designer-led feature light and compliment it with LED lights set in the coving or in a ceiling coffer, wall lighting, floor lamps and table lamps. Low level lighting on the stairs can safely light your way up to bed at the end of the day.
Create a changing mood at the touch of a switch, by using dimmable lights or recessed lighting. The options are endless and with so many ways to achieve the desired effect – no two rooms look the same.
- Accent lighting
And, finally let’s not forget accent lighting. Accent lighting can make a focal point of a favourite piece of art such as a sculpture or painting or a framed family photograph. Positioned lighting or strip lighting is an excellent way to draw attention to these decorative features.
It is a case that a lot of the preparation for your lighting recipe is the work that is hidden once the building works are completed. Whatever your decisions on lighting, your building contractor will be able to deliver your choices. Multi-awarding winning London builder can advise you on your lighting requirements - find out more at www.kisiel.co.uk.
The days will get shorter as winter creeps up on us, but you can design a cosy atmosphere with the right combination of lighting in every room in your home. A unique fabulous place to entertain or just kick your shoes off and relax – your choice!