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Hints & Tips

Bathroom Lighting

The bathroom is used for the early morning shower and the relaxing late night soak.  It needs great lighting for putting on make-up or shaving. Bathroom lighting has to be practical and flexible to suit multiple different tasks and atmospheres. 

Layers of lighting are important when looking at illuminating any room. To create layers, different bathroom lighting effects can be created on various different levels. With these the variation in lighting can differ from task to task.

Most often, the most important place in the bathroom which needs to be lit is the mirror. Having the wrong kind of bathroom lighting can create the wrong type of shadows on a persons’ face. The best type of lighting to have on a bathroom mirror is two lights either side of the mirror. This allows the light to be spread evenly around the face and having a balanced light on both sides of the face. Lights which will draw focus to imperfections are not the best solutions as they will draw the eye to things which do not want to be seen.

Downlights are often a popular choice in bathrooms due to the way in which the vertical beam effects shadows. Shadows from correctly positioned downlighting can usually be flattering, just like in a changing room.

The most common mistake people make when looking at bathroom lighting is to use insufficient lighting circuits.  Using multiple circuits allows you change the intensity of light across the space. This is perfect for varying light levels to change the atmosphere within the room so the lighting can suit either the early morning shower as much as the night time bath.

bathroom lighting hints & tips

Bedroom Lighting

The bedroom is a place for relaxation and ensuring the lighting is right. A bedroom needs to act as both a wakeup call and a place to encourage rest.

Whether space in your room is limited or large, there is always a perfect solution to enhance the interiors of the room. In more spacious rooms, freestanding furniture can be used to provide the lighting. By lighting the front of your wardrobes with discreet LED downlights, light will be reflected into the room making it look larger. 

Creating floating effects under beds, bedside tables, and wardrobes can be beneficial to the room to create a soft glow which can be used as a nightlight. For a more discreet effect, conceal LED strip lighting or LED tape behind a baffle plate vertically either side inside of the cupboard to evenly light the shelving areas.

Task lighting is one to be considered in the bedroom. Most often this type of lighting is used for reading, and if lit wrong can strain the eyes. Adjustable reading lights are a great solution as they offer a degree of versatility. 

By using clever bedroom lighting, other aspects of the room can be lit. Lamps provide the best sort of background lighting in your bedroom.  In most bedrooms it works well to have one lamp either side of the bed, with at most one or two more lamps for task lighting purposes. 

Depending on what your interiors are like, different lighting methods can be used to create a relaxing effect in the rooms. From day to night, the lighting can alter and change the effect of the room. A wise choice would be to incorporate a light control system to set light temperature and light levels for different times of day. 

Dining Area

The right lighting is absolutely critical in the dining room. With the proper lighting design you’ll be able to make your meals an experience.

The centrepiece of any dining room is the table. You will want to base your lighting around the dining table as opposed to the whole room. This can be achieved with either a chandelier, a pendant or a series of pendants, hanging relatively low above the table. 

It’s important to scale your lighting to the size and shape of your dining table. If you’ve got a small round table then one central pendant light would work best. 

With longer, rectangle shaped tables you will want to consider a large chandelier or a series of pendant lights. Usually three or five pendants compliment a longer table extremely well. 

With the versatile nature of a dining room dimmer controls are a good idea. For example, you maybe finishing some work off at the table which will require plenty of light. However if you’re entertaining guests for an evening meal low-level warm light creates an intimate, restaurant style of atmosphere.

asco lights - dining room - hints & tips

Kitchen Lighting

The kitchen is a room for functionality and is used throughout the day. When designing your lighting scheme, consider the tasks you may undertake in your kitchen. whether preparing dinner or working at a kitchen island the right lighting in the right places can really help. 

You’ll want lights over worktops and important task areas. For example, if you’re planning a kitchen diner, you don’t want the dining table where there isn’t going to be any light.

A good level of background kitchen lighting is key, which in modern kitchens is achieved by using downlights. It is essential not to cast downlights onto the floors which leaves the worktops in darkness. The downlights should be used under cabinets so that worktops have a soft light reflecting off them. 

Including multiple layers of light will give you a kitchen that is functional and atmospheric. Task lighting is purely practical and should be designed to allow you to prep and cook safely. This may include ceiling downlights or under cabinet lighting. Accent lighting is used to highlight or softly light elements of the kitchen. LED strips under breakfast bars, beneath ‘floating’ kitchen islands, over wall units or illuminating shelves within cabinets can provide a great source of accent lighting. Ambient lighting or in other words, general background light, can be provided by wall and table lights, but also by your main task lighting if it’s controlled by dimmer switches.

asco lights - kitchen - hints and tips

Living Room Lighting

When  lighting a living room, it is essential to think of the layout of the furniture. Once you know where your key pieces of furniture will be, you can look to position your light fittings in order to illuminate the space.

Layering light is crucial to creating the desired atmosphere within the space. Think about adding a layer of uplights. Low glare uplights can be a fantastic use of accent lighting to highlight features such as fireplaces. 

Then think about adding a layer of warmer lighting in the form of table lamps. The warmer light from a warm white LED lamp (around 2700k) will create a comfy and cosy feel to your living room. By having the lamps dimmed simultaneously on the same circuit, this will provide the bespoke touch to give relaxed feel to the space. 

Adding lighting into shelving adds further interest and depth to your living room. Front lighting using an LED tape works well with lighting objects and books. You can also consider under cupboard light to create a layer of focused light onto individual items. For added drama and depth, consider back lighting which silhouettes simple objects wonderfully.

It is important that each circuit is dimmable within the room. This can be achieved by simply using a dimmer switch or consider a pre-set control system. With a pre-set control system you will be able to control light levels to suit different times of day, different seasons giving you control of the mood in your living room.

Asco lights - Living room - Hints and tips

Entrances and Pathways

As it is often said, the first impression is the last impression. Creating a warm welcoming feeling to guests when approaching your home is important as it determines the mood. 

To create a more welcoming approach, lights should be used to create a warm and approachable environment for guests.

With the entrance to your home you want to create a good first impression but you also want to provide enough light to help you find your keys late at night. You may wish to consider a porch light that comes on automatically when it senses movement via a PIR sensor. 

Visibility is paramount. It’s all very well having pathway lighting that is aesthetically pleasing but it must throw out enough light to guide you around safely. Using uplights around plants can help to create a subtle, well-lit pathway leading up to the main entrance. 

If the house has steps, lights are important to help create a welcoming feeling. Any  steps must also be well lit to avoid any trip hazards. Recessed brick lights can be placed on the step risers or an adjoining wall. Make sure that the light is directed downwards to avoid glare.

Entrances and Pathways - Asco lights - hints & Tips

Gardens & Decks

The importance of exterior lighting measures as important as interior lighting. When designing the lighting for an external landscape or garden, as lighting specialists, we should always consider these environments to be an extension of the indoors.

This means that our ideas and strategic proposals for exterior lighting reflect the same attention to detail as our interior lighting projects. When viewed from inside the home after dark, exterior gardens and landscapes should become inviting and welcoming and lighting plays the centre stage role in achieving this.

With garden projects it is vital to have the correct garden lighting that creates an areas which is an appealing and approachable exterior setting where it looks aesthetically pleasing but  also safe.

Using the right shades of light in a garden is essential. The garden should not be over lit. By spreading uplights along a garden pathway will create more emphasis than having a long walkway fully lit. By doing this, you are able to create a focal point at the end of the path which could be a statue or fountain. 

Deck lighting has many attractive options for illumination. From Lights on deck stairs to give a subtle illumination and make your deck safer, to spotlights over the decking to help direct light where it is needed most. Decking light can provide multiple light functions that can be layered with other lighting solutions to create the perfect exterior setting.

Asco lights - gardens & decks - hints & tips

Stairs, Corridors and Landing Lighting

Staircase lighting is extremely important when it comes to creating a mood and setting within any residential environment. Different lighting effects set different moods of the whole building as it leads you from one space to another. Sometimes the lighting can be very subtle or sometimes it can be very dramatic. The Staircase is the spine of the house, therefore choosing lighting can be difficult as it affects the whole house.

When it comes to creating Staircase lighting, there are many different options available. Feature lights, chandeliers, discreet lighting, LED star lights, Plaster in LED stair lights, concealed linear straw lighting solutions, wall lights and many other options such as indirect LED wall lights which can create very subtle effects. It is all about creating different layers of lighting with the hallway areas.

Hallway lights can add a real majestic feel to your home. Having them presented above the staircase and hanging down through the stairs allows for close lighting detail throughout the staircase and is aesthetically pleasing for the client to see.

Having these lights in particular are especially beneficial if you have contemporary taste. They add a luxurious feel to the home without creating too much of a cramped feel.

A variety of lighting methods can be used in corridors. A nice effect which can be created in this area is using floor washers to illuminate the floor of the area. This creates a soft light which softens the space. Alternatively high level wall lights are a clever way to illuminate a corridor functionally rather than downlights. These fittings also create dramatic washes of light onto the ceiling adding drama to what normally is a dull space.

Creating shapes on the wall using clever lighting can create drama in a long corridor, adding effects and having a bigger impact on the space. For longer length corridors, lighting should be used in blocks to create drama.

staircase lighting - asco lights - hints and tips

Work Area Lighting

Whether you work from home and your home office is your primary workspace, it’s important to light these spaces properly. While you want to create an atmosphere you feel comfortable in, lighting in your home office should do more than simply illuminate the space. A properly thought out lighting design for a home work space should Keep you awake and alert, reduce eye strain and boost productivity levels. 

To illuminate your home office effectively, you’ll need to light it in layers. When it comes to a home office, you’ll want to make sure the ambient light is providing an even level of illumination. A proper layer of evenly distributed ambient lighting makes it possible for you to introduce other types of lighting without creating dramatic shadows and other lighting problems that can cause eye strain and fatigue. With ambient lighting wired to a dimmer switch it allows you to adjust light levels throughout the day giving you the ability to suit the required light level to your work. 

In any spot where you’ll be performing tasks like reading, writing, or computer work, you’ll want a good quality task lighting. Task lighting provides you with a bright, focused light that allows you to easily see what you are doing without straining your eyes. This type of lighting needs to be used at your desk, by reading chairs, or any areas that you may like to sit down and work. Task lighting can be provided via wall mounted lights, table lamps and reading lights. 

When selecting a light bulb for your home office, you’ll want to use a similar colour temperature across your fixtures. This helps to create a cohesive space. By using LED technology it’s now possible to manipulate artificial light. When we require higher levels of concentration and alertness, we can adjust the colour temperature to provide a cool light. By using this LED colour rendering technology it will help to provide the perfect light temperature for your work space.

work area lighting - asco lights - hints and tips

Pool Lighting

Pool lighting can create dramatic impacts to completely change the way it looks. The tiles in the pool often play a key role in how the pool looks and lighting can be used to define this.

Also remember safety first! When you buy pool lighting, carefully check the IP value. These two numbers will tell you about the level of protection against dirt and liquids. For safety reasons, underwater lighting must always have an IP value of 68 – the highest possible rating. 

When we think of pool lighting, we first think of underwater lights in the walls of the pool. But most swimming pools are surrounded by plants, works of art or sun terraces. Lighting can be placed here as well.

Ground spots or garden poles are perfect to accentuate the contours of your swimming pool. If the swimming pool or terrace is higher than the surrounding area, you can use indirect lighting (via a waterproof LED strip) to accentuate this height difference.

Using wall washers as lighting can help to create dramatic effects and a focal point in the pool environment, and also creates a more relaxed environment.

Concealed Lighting

Concealed lighting is often used to create effects of light without visually seeing the light source. This lighting often works well in minimalist setting to create clean and crisp lines. 

A contemporary look concealed lighting is a versatile lighting technique. Concealed lighting can be used in various different ways to create different effects. It can be cast as a downlight or uplight and can also be used to create a floating effect in some cases. 

Concealed lighting can be used to create a soft glow around key features in a room and allows people to feel comfortable in their own space.

Whether it be creating a clean finish round floating shelving units, giving your desk a futuristic glow or illuminating under kitchen units, concealed lighting has a variety of applications. 

Popular lighting products to use include LED pixel tape and LED strip lighting. Colour tunable LED technology is partially popular as it gives multiple options to change the mood and feel of a room. Having a party? Why not tone the colour to a funky purple and create your very own dance floor! 

However, the reflection of the light must be considered. If there are shiny surfaces, the reflection will spoil the lighting effect. Matt furnishings will work best with concealed lighting to help prevent unwanted reflections.

asco lights - concealed lighting - hints & tips

Accent Lighting

Accent lighting focuses light on a particular area or object and is used to highlight art or other artefacts. Accent lighting is used to create a focus in a room, adding contrast and giving the room a bit more definition.

Accent lighting is for aesthetic purposes and can be referred to as ‘directional light’. Accent lighting can be provided by picture lights, well positioned lamps, LED tape and recessed 

When planning how to use accent lighting in a room you will want to Identify unique features you want to showcase, consider ‘blank areas’ such as hallways that would benefit from subtle illumination and consider the mood you want your accent lighting to enhance. 

Chandeliers and pendants provide most of the light in a room, but they can’t reach all four corners and crevasses. Bathrooms are especially notorious for dark spots and awkward shadows that make it difficult to get ready in the morning. But accent lighting can fill the black holes.

Accent lighting is not just restricted to the interior. It can also be used outdoors as guides for pathways or to spotlight garden art. Exterior accent lighting is a fantastic way to enhance a space with subtle splashes of light creating a real sense of ambience, especially in garden settings.

Task Lighting

Task lighting is an essential type of lighting which is important in preventing eye strain. Often task lighting refers to increasing light to better accomplish a specific activity. For instance a table lamp will help you to see the newspaper as you flick through, or a desk lamp will allow you to see your keyboard. However task lighting isn’t restricted to light for functionality. Lighting design, or layering, means you can use task lights in conjunction with ambient and accent light to create an overall effect.

Tasks vary from room to room and so must your task lighting. When you curl up on the couch to enjoy a good book or finish a crossword puzzle, a nearby lamp or reading light will improve the activity. Ideally putting the light to the side or behind improves visual performance and comfort as light overhead or in front of the person reading can reflect off the reading material, whether paper or electronic device, creating unwanted glare. 

If you love to read in bed you need a great reading light. Whether you prefer wall mounted lights or bedside table lamps both will be great sources for task lighting. If you are an avid reader and willing to install a permanent light fixture, a mounted light is the way to go. These types of lights may be mounted on the wall or attached to the side of the headboard. They also can be wired into the wall with a switch near the bed or plugged into a nearby outlet. This gives the benefit of being able to reach the switch without having to get out of bed.

If you have a home office space with a computer, you don’t want a bright source of light right next to the sides of your computer. Avoid having a window directly behind the screen or a bright lamp shining from behind the screen or on it as it can create unwanted glare on the screen and cause your eyes discomfort. You should have have low to average light sources throughout the room. If you need more light on the desk surface for reading or writing, a small lamp that doesn’t shine on the computer screen would work well.

task lighting - asco lights - hints and tips

Decorative Lighting

Decorative lighting is the fourth layer of interior illumination. Decorative lightings purpose is to add a little sparkle to your space. Decorative lighting, like decorative fashion items such as jewelry, is there to  make a space dazzle. 

Decorative lighting is often a personal choice to create a theme in the room. Decorative lighting comes in many forms including wall lamps, chandeliers and pendant lights. 

Decorative lighting has once again made an appearance in interior design. With the variety of decorative lights available, people are able to choose what goes with their personalities.

Decorative lighting comes in a wide range of varieties and colours, from simple and elegant to extravagant and elaborate. With such a variety of choices you are able to accessories a space complementing the features with light.  

Layer your lighting by adding ambient, accent and task fixtures to your space for the optimal outcome.

Background Lighting

Background lighting is generally the light which creates the ambience in a room. Different rooms will use different types of background lighting depending on what tasks will be performed there.

If downlights are used to create a background lighting, ensure they are arranged to enhance the layout of the space or use wall washing to create a softer lighting effect.

The key to lighting is to ensure that whatever the light is aimed at, the right effect is achieved. A darker surface will reduce the reflection, while a brighter surface will allow for the maximum reflection of the light making the room seem brighter than what it actually may be.

The colours of the space play an important role on how light is reflected. The brighter the walls, the less lights required to light the space. The darker the wall, the more light is required to illuminate the space. Matt walls and ceilings are also preferred as shiny surfaces directly reflect the light which may be unappealing.

Layering Lighting

The flexibility of a lighting scheme allows users to create the perfect environment. By layering lighting you are able to control the intensity and amount of light you want. Different lighting effects are required when layering to ensure a good balance. It is key to understand which lighting effects go well together to allow for the best results.

To understand layering light you must first be aware of the four main lighting principles. 

Firstly, there is ambient lighting is the basic general illumination of a room. For example, in most homes this is the light that comes from the flick of the main switch. From Pendants to Floor Lamps, Chandeliers to wall mounted lights, all can contribute to ambient lighting.

Secondly, accent lighting focuses light on a particular area or object and is used to highlight art or other artifacts. Accent lighting is not just restricted to the interior. It can also be used outdoors as guides for pathways or to spotlight garden art. Accent lighting is for aesthetic purposes and can be referred to as  ‘directional light’ and can be provided by picture lights, well positioned lamps, LED tape and recessed downlights.

Next we have task lighting. Often task lighting refers to increasing light to better accomplish a specific activity. For instance a table lamp will help you to see the newspaper as you flick through, or a desk lamp will allow you to see your keyboard. However task lighting isn’t restricted to light for functionality. Layering means you can use task lights in conjunction with ambient and accent light to create an overall effect.

Decorative lighting is the fourth layer of interior illumination and, simply put, it is like jewellery for the home: it helps your space sparkle and shine. Accessorise your house and bring out its best features by adding decorative lighting fixtures such as pendants for chandeliers.

Each type of lighting used when layering should be controlled individually to allow full manipulation of the lighting to create the lighting effects the user wants.

asco lights - layering light - hints and tips

LED Lighting

When might you use a retrofit LED lamp?

We all like decorative fittings that are projected concerning the established form factors of incandescent or halogen lamps, and a retrofit LED lamp is frequently the best power effectual light basis for these. Decorative fittings are frequently utilised for their aesthetic contribution rather than a main light source. Because LED lamps vary somewhat in size/shape it is vital to check that the lamp you should like to use truly fits into the fitting. 

Retrofit lamps can be a cheaper route; in spans whereas the lights aren’t utilized frequently and/or the number and quality of light is secondary (e.g. garages, stores, tiny secondary rooms) a fitting alongside a retrofit lamp could be the best path to go.

Reliability and longevity

LED reliability is a vital consideration.  Elevated quality LED fittings are luxurious so they have to hold brilliant reliability and longevity.  Truly good thermal association, as perceived in this example, is critical to the longevity of an LED. Handling warmth is vital.  It’s what keeps it working at all and additionally helps uphold light output and colour consistency.

Beam width

It is probable to select the fittings obtainable in a number of disparate beam widths. There is always a transactions of amid the number of light range you become versus the intensity of the beam.

By selecting disparate beam widths for fittings you manipulation the range and dispersion of light. Beam width is measured as the range from one extent of the beam to the other. The allocation of light will not normally be range consistently across the beam, alongside the centre being brighter.

Choosing a driver

LED driver sketches can hold flicker-free and fast start up dimming presentation as yet bestowing elevated manipulation factor and efficiency.

Dimming presentation of LED lamps in legacy TRIAC-based dimmers is one of the biggest trials for LED lighting designers. In countless cases, this reasons flickering and decreased dimming scope contrasted to incandescent bulbs.

The setback is that TRIAC-based dimmers were projected for use alongside incandescent lamps that have resistive loads. After LEDs commenced to be utilised alongside the dimmers, the low-current necessities, alongside alongside the non-resistive nature of the mechanisms, provoked the TRIACs to intermittently coil on and off, which creates the flickering effect.

LED Wiring Basics

Dedicated LED fittings need a disparate wiring method to halogen or retrofit LED fittings. The fittings will usually come alongside a distinct ‘driver’ that is comparable in believed to a ‘transformer’ used alongside low voltage Halogen fittings. It is not uncommon for several LED fittings to be connected to one driver. 

The driver can be placed remotely from the fittings (see cable distances below) but it has to be accessible for upcoming maintenance and in a ventilated space to retain it from overheating.

Fittings have to not ever be related to the driver as it is ran and/or not emitted as this will consequence in the LEDs in the fitting being broken beyond repair.  

Asco lights - Led Lighting - hints and tips

Visually Impaired Lighting

The human eye loses sensitivity during life, and the cornea yellows. As a result, in general, the 70 year old eye can require up to three times as much light as the 20 year old eye for the same visual performance. In addition, the eye loses flexibility, so that adaptation to changes in lighting level, or illuminance, takes longer. 

For premises to be occupied by individuals with a visual impairment, some adjustment to recommended task illuminances will therefore be appropriate. In addition, sudden changes in illuminance should be avoided to prevent adaptation difficulties. With visual impairment light transmission qualities of the eye are damaged and It is therefore very important to minimise glare. 

Important aspects of lighting for people who are visually impaired

For many visually impaired individuals, an increase in illuminance will lead to increased visual performance. However, for a significant minority an increase in general illuminance will actually lead to reduced visual performance. It is therefore normally wise not to increase the average maintained illuminance in a space significantly above the figure recommended by the Society of Light and Lighting, but instead to provide localised or task lighting to assist those who find it useful. If the type of visual impairment is known, e.g. for an individual in their own home, the illuminance can be adjusted as appropriate. However, even if the overall illuminance is increased to facilitate perception of the boundaries of the space, furniture and movement around the room, localised lighting for specific tasks will still normally be appropriate. Ensure that stairs, ramps and slopes are lit so that they can easily be identified when approaching in either direction. Low level lighting can put light onto the treads without glare. Glare should be strictly controlled, whatever the type of visual impairment. Light sources should always be shielded from view at normal angles. Task lights should be chosen which provide good shielding of the source.

Colour rendering – Colour and luminance contrast

Just as important as the lighting itself is the choice of decor and ensuring that there is colour and luminance contrast between, e.g. doors and their handles. Building Regulations give a requirement for contrast between doors, door furniture and door edges, and uses the term ‘contrast visually’. However the criterion is based on laboratory measurements, and does not take into account the colour rendering properties of the light source present in the actual room or space. To assist colour discrimination, the colour rendering index of the light source should be at least Ra80, the recommendation for most interiors, and where feasible, lamps of Ra90 should be used. Fluorescent lamps with this colour rendering performance are readily available, as are some metal halide lamps. Colours for doors and doorframes should be chosen to provide good colour and luminance contrast. Door furniture should be chosen which contrasts well with the door. Doors should not be the same colour as the walls in which they are set. The same principles apply when choosing handrail colours in order to provide contrast with the background wall. To aid orientation and navigation, floors and walls should not be the same colour; nor should walls and ceilings.

Exterior lighting

Low level lighting by means of bollards which do not emit light above the horizontal will often find favour with people who are visually impaired because it provides light on the ground without glare. Ensure that stairs, ramps and changes of level are lit so that they can easily be identified when approaching in either direction. Ensure that lights over entrances and exits do not emit glare to those entering or leaving the building. Unshielded bulkhead luminaires will not normally be suitable. Consider the need to provide a gradual reduction in illuminance from inside to outside at night. This will allow the extended adaptation times of people who are visually impaired to be accommodated.

asco light - visually impaired lighting - hint and tips

Give your space the wow-factor. Our home lighting consultants will happily create a lighting scheme for an individual room, or an entire property, depending on your requirements.

Healthcare, Education, Retail, Hospitality and much more. We’re able to combine modern technology and innovative design to offer practical lighting solutions to our commercial clients.

We can also come up with designs for lighting the exterior of a building. A variety of products and techniques can be used to illuminate key architectural features.

Swimming pool lighting to add illumination and enhance your pool. Great for its aesthetics as well as essential for safety. The right lighting can transform the look and function of your pool.

Personalised to suit your space and tailored to achieve amazing lighting effects. Finest bespoke lighting to make a bold statement or unique feature piece.

Brighten up your garden and illuminate its best features. Charming garden lights are the perfect way to lighten up your outdoor space whilst improving the functionality.

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