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Hints & 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.

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 area 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. 

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 a 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.

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 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.

Decorative Lighting

Decorative lighting is the fourth layer of interior illumination. Decorative lighting’s purpose is to add a little sparkle to your space. Decorative lighting, like decorative fashion items such as jewellery, 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, 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.

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 possible to select the fittings obtainable in a number of disparate beam widths. There is always a transaction amid the number of light ranges you become versus the intensity of the beam.

By selecting disparate beam widths for fittings you manipulate 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 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 run and/or not emitted as this will result in the LEDs in the fitting being broken beyond repair.  

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