LEARNING ABOUT LIGHTING
The harmony of light
Light is one of those essentials one tends to take for granted in the home environment and yet without it, life after sunset would literally come to a standstill. It is an integral part of one’s lifestyle and with modern technology and design, has come to mean so much more than a simple globe. With light one can create atmosphere and moods, extend space and change the shape of rooms. One can create colour and highlight areas of focus. If one designs light sources to interact, the possibilities are almost endless and an environment can be created which offers both the appeal of harmony and the practical benefits of light where it is most needed.
Choosing the right light sources for one’s home requires much forethought and analysis of one ’s real needs.
It also requires knowledge of lighting options available today. The House of Illumination outlines a practical run down on the basic techniques of lighting.
Downlighters and Wall-washers
Downlighters and ‘eyeballs’ can be surface mounted or recessed into the ceiling. They give a direct light, which is also totally adjustable.
Track Spot &Tube Lighting
The ceiling light track and tube-light are recognised as being flexible as a system with many different uses. A good suggestion is to mix 220-volt spotlights with fluorescent tubes and hologen lighting which can be angled in different directions. Such a alighting system would be particularly effective in a room which has one centre point housed in a existing concrete ceiling.
Two of the greatest advantages of uplighters is that one can use a wide variety of different reflectors along with a specific lamp to create pools of light exactly as required. Wall lights and pendants are still a popular choice in the home environment as they fit in perfectly with a myriad of interior designs.
Table & Standing Lamps
Both table and standing lamps are particularly great tools when it comes to creating soft ambient lighting in the home. They can be positioned anywhere a soft focussed light is needed, and are as much an aspect of interior design as they are practical sources of light.
Dimming is a popular device with many lighting systems but there are a few essential facts one should know: Dimming of incandescent lighting is possible by using a standard dimmer, for example, 600-watt or up to 1000 watt. If one wants to include dimming controls on a low voltage system, be aware that this is not an easy feature to install. It is essential that fully comprehensive dimming controls are used along with the correct transformer. When using a torodial fused transformer, one can apply a standard dimmer.
If one decides to install lighting into concrete, it is important to remember that the light will generate heat and enough space must be created to allow sufficient circulation of air around the light. Specially designed sleeves or boxes can be installed to keep the transformer 200mm away from the actual fitting. Before plastering, a plate can be installed which will accommodate the light at a later stage.
A few Pointers:
When lighting up a room, be careful to not create hard shadows, which will disturb the harmony and overall effect of a room. Play a little – for example, spotlights trained on a painting or even a vase of flowers produce an interesting three-dimensional effect. Decorative lights contribute towards creating a an overall harmonious look with the interior design. Be careful of glare – this is particularly important when planning the lighting for an indoor work area. Lighting designs should become lighting schemes rather than a row of individual lights. Create an interacting luminaire system for the best results.
As a rule, choose clear light for work, relaxing light for the home and direct beams for highlighting. A home shouldn ’t end t the patio door – extend living areas by introducing several light sources in the garden. Energy saving should always be a consideration when planning your lighting requirements.