Whether the room you are designing is large or small, has natural light or no windows at all, your lighting scheme can add the ultimate wow factor. As with all other aspects of the design it’s important to understand how your client wants to use the room so that you can ensure they have the right lighting to perform all the tasks they need to do. And if you want your customer to feel a personal connection to the design space then utilising clever accent lighting to make their pictures or prized ornaments a focal point will create an immediate association which could well help them sign on the dotted line.
Here are six tips on lighting up your designs
1. Base layer
A central source of ambient light is an essential part of a good lighting plan. It’s the base upon which you add all other layers of lighting. Ambient, or general, lighting is the most basic of the 3 types of lighting – ambient, task and accent. It provides the room with overall illumination – a comfortable level of brightness without glare.
Ambient lighting can be accomplished with chandeliers, ceiling or wall-mounted fixtures, track or recessed lights, and even free standing lamps.
2. The job in hand
In kitchens and bathrooms, as with other rooms, we all perform tasks which need good lighting. Task lighting adds brightness to areas of a room where daily activities such as food preparation, cooking, ironing, applying makeup, shaving or styling hair are undertaken. Effective task lighting should be free from distracting glare and should not create shadows. This helps to enhance visual clarity and prevent eyestrain. Great task lighting can be achieved by recessed and track lighting, pendant lighting and under-cabinet lighting, as well as vanity lights and freestanding lamps for floor, table, and desks/cabinets.
3. Right direction
Adding accent lighting to your designs brings added visual interest to a room by creating different focal points. It is another important element of lighting design.
Accent, or directional, lighting is typically used to highlight certain objects or architectural features, such as pictures, sculptures, a decorative range hood or recessed bathroom shelves.
It should always be about three times the general illumination level. Accent lighting is meant to work without being seen and should never be the focal point itself.
Accent lighting can be provided by recessed and track lighting, chandeliers with dimmer switches, over- and under-cabinet lighting, and wall sconces.
4. All things great and small
If you are designing a small room, the careful use of light can help produce shadows and reflections to stop it feeling claustrophobic. Spotlights are the best option for lighting as they take up less space and generate a good spread of light. Wall mounted lighting above mirrors and in wall niches will distribute light upwards and outwards to create a more spacious feel. Use 2020 Fusion to design a lighting scheme that produces shadows and variable light intensity. Show your clients different options and make immediate changes as you work collaboratively on their design.
5. Heart of glass
Glass has light-reflecting properties, helping to naturally bounce light around a room. And if you are creative with your lighting design, glass can help add depth and the illusion of space to a kitchen or bathroom, making even the smallest areas feel both lighter and bigger. Glass splashbacks and worktops can be lit from behind or below with LED lighting. The lights sit behind or within the splashback units or worktops and provide impressive task lighting. Dimmers can be added to create mood lighting.
6. See inside
If you’re designing a utility room which has good natural light that brightens it up and eliminates that consigned-to-the-basement feeling that is a great bonus. But just as with the kitchen, your customers need good task lighting over work areas. Use under-cabinet LEDs to illuminate the worktop so they can match socks or check clothing for spots and stains that might require pre-treatment. Good lighting for the ironing area is also essential. As a nice finishing design touch provide lighting that lets them see inside the washer and dryer to make sure nothing is left inside.
CAD software such as 2020 Fusion eliminates the complexity of adding task, accent and mood lighting, making it simple for designers to quickly and easily experiment with lighting options in Panorama and 3D views for new designs with just a few clicks of the mouse, creating a more practical and functional space.
Plus with 1000s of products to choose from, in both the universal lighting catalogue and the catalogues from leading lighting brands such as Edge, Sensio, Task, Tresco, Legrand and, new for 2017, LED lights from Häfele, you are not only improving your designs you are also specifying the requirements.
We’d love to know about your favourite worktop solutions. Join us in the 2020 Community and share your thoughts.
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