Tips on efficient lighting design for your home
Lighting design is an important factor that should be considered at the early stages of designing or renovating your home. Its impact is apparent not only on how it affects the appearance of your home but also on your energy consumption. According to YourHome.gov.au, the average Australian home has 37 light bulbs installed and electric lighting consumes around 10% of the average household electricity budget. So it’s crucial to plan ahead when creating an efficiently well-designed lighting environment.
First of all, what makes a good lighting design? Simply put, it should fulfil two main goals:
• To provide a visually appealing environment that feels safe and comfortable
• To support energy and cost efficiency
With these goals in mind, here are ways on how to plan out an efficient lighting design for your home.
Understand the purpose of the room
First and foremost, you need to understand the function of each room and space in your home. This will guide you on the kinds of lighting fixtures that you want. Consider also the placement of your furniture and reflective surfaces in your home, such as mirrors. This will give you opportunities to optimise natural lighting to brighten up certain areas.
For example, a task-heavy room such as the kitchen would ideally need an overhead light that’s strategically placed to illuminate work areas such as the sink and the stove. For energy efficiency, consider adding a skylight to allow natural light to come in.
Draw individual room-by-room plans
Create a floor plan for each room and draw it to scale. Indicate important details such as furniture placement, position of windows, location of doors, and any large-sized artwork that will be displayed in the room. This will give you a clearer idea on how to set up your lighting style and how much is needed.
For example, you may want to consider using two wall washers as your light fixtures to focus on your artwork. For rooms where people will spend more time in, make sure you choose the kind of lighting that brings brightness in the space but not too heavy on the eyes. For large rooms, try using a central lighting fixture then partner it with smaller ones such as spotlights or table lamps.
You may also want to look into daylight design aspects (windows and skylights) for your home that will allow natural light whilst maintaining good thermal performance for optimum energy efficiency.
Layered approach to lighting
To help you decide on what kind of lighting will work best in every room, consider the appropriate lighting layers. Here’s a quick guide:
• Task lighting: this layer of lighting is ideal for areas where you need to focus on your tasks. For example, desk lamps work well for the study or home office.
•Ambient lighting: This uses light fixtures that provide a “natural” illumination to the room that’s not harsh to the eyes. Examples are chandeliers and other overhead or wall lighting fixtures that give off a warm, welcoming, and soothing vibe. Perfect for living rooms and the bedrooms.
•Accent lighting: Examples of these are decorative wall lights, wall washers, and picture lights that are designed to attract attention on a particular area of the room, such as a painting. It can also be used outdoors to highlight remarkable features of your landscape, such as a garden fountain.
Knowing how you’ll use the space and what style do you want to achieve will help you to determine the best way to efficiently combine these lighting layers. For example, uplighting will make a room appear bigger whilst clustered lighting fixtures can make large rooms feel cosy and welcoming.
Consistency is key
Whilst layering is a good approach to lighting, ensure a consistent balance of colour schemes and material finishes throughout the home. Too many lighting style variations can be an eyesore. Keep it simple and consistent. Lighter tones can make the room appear more spacious. Use pops of colour to highlight areas of interest. Darker tones give off a luxurious and cosy vibe.
Set your budget
Now that you have an idea on what kind of lighting you want to achieve in your home, it’s time to crunch the numbers on the cost. As an additional guide, collect photos of different lighting styles and create a mood board for a clearer picture of what you have in mind. Do your research thoroughly so that you’ll get the best value for your budget.
Choose your light bulbs
You have your lighting “blueprint”, you’ve done your research, you’ve prepared your budget. It’s time to go shopping for your light fixtures! Remember that one of your goals is to use energy efficient lighting. Here are some reminders to help you stick to your goal and to avoid splurging unnecessarily:
• Choose bulbs based on how much light it can produce (lumens) using less electricity. For example, light-emitting diode (LED) bulbs are a popular choice. It uses around 80% less electricity to produce the same amount of light as a halogen bulb.
• Consider how much illumination do you need within the identified spaces (watts)
• What kind of atmosphere do you want to achieve in the spaces of your home? Do you want a lower colour temperature that’s similar to candlelight? Or a higher colour temperature that’s the same level as a bright blue sky?
• In terms of shape, scale, and colours, will it complement your overall design or is it intended as a focal statement?
Your partner in efficient electrical lighting for your home
At Brady Electrical Contracting, we fully support energy efficiency initiatives for a sustainable home. As the number one electrical services provider in Kyabram, VIC, we are more than ready to assist you with our award-winning expertise, quality workmanship, lighting design, and excellent customer service.
If you need advice and tailor-made solutions for efficient lighting in your home, feel free to get in touch with us on 1300 613 205 or contact us here for a friendly chat or on-site consultations.