Top 10 Lighting Tips From Design Director Sally Storey

Below are top 10 Lighting Tips from Design Director, Sally Storey of John Cullen Lighting.

1. Always plan your lighting scheme at the beginning at the same time as the plumbing to achieve the top results. 

2. Consider how you will use the room before any decisions are made on lighting. Think how different activities will alter the room at different times of the day. In the kitchen you may need a bright light to prepare food and children to do the homework whilst at night an atmospheric setting for an intimate dinner. 

3. Always fit dimmers so that you can change the mood of the room. Having more than one dimmer will allow you to create a variety of lighting effects. For example, put your table lamps on one circuit, downlights emphasizing pictures on a second, downlights focusing on the centre of a table on a third and recessed uplights or shelf lights on a fourth. 

4. Your eye is always drawn to the brightest point so the key is to find downlights which conceal the bulb (lamp). If the bulb (lamp) is well recessed within fitting, the object you are lighting will become the key focus rather than the light source itself. The John Cullen Polespring LED has been designed to achieve this and more with accessories.

5. When using downlights, avoid becoming obsessed with symmetrical ceiling layouts. Instead think of what you want to light and focus the downlight in the centre of a picture or over a dining table. Don’t create lines of downlights as it could end up looking more like an office. Symmetry does not matter, what you light is important. 

6. Think of layering lights at different levels as seen in the pictures. Build up a palette of effects just as the interior designer plays with texture. Using the latest energy efficient LED fittings are ideal for this. Be imaginative and use low level uplights such as the LED Lucca to uplight an archway or a corner of a room, wall recessed floor washers such as the LED Oslo along a corridor or staircase, individually light shelves and niches and combine effects with table lamps. 

7. Do not be afraid of combining traditional lighting effects with modern solutions i.e. chandeliers with downlights etc. The chandelier should always be dimmed separately to a decorative sparkle leaving the discreet downlights to do the work. The room will seem conventionally lit but the magic will be the other effects.

8. In a low ceilinged room or basement introducing uplighting and wall washing increases the feeling of space. Uplight can be either on the floor or concealed above units in the kitchen. Think creatively. 

9. Rather than have a bank of dimmer switches, consider adding a pre set scene lighting control system either for just one room or a whole house. Lighting scenes can be changed at the touch of a button to suit the mood. 

10. To get the best of your lighting, use a lighting designer whether for the whole house or even a single room which can be achieved from just £95 p/h plus VAT.

{Images courtesy of John Cullen Lighting}


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