Lighting is an essential element of any interior and can certainly make or break a room. It’s important to understand the basics of functional lighting vs. decorative lighting to achieve a balance between the two.
The key to creating a successful interior is by incorporating elements that add visual interest. Just as you would introduce colour, pattern and texture into a space, layering lighting to create interesting scenes is equally important. Lighting can be layered by uniting ambient, accent and task lighting to achieve a balanced, visually pleasing space.
Functional lighting refers to general (or ambient) lighting and task lighting. Decorative lighting refers to lighting that is not only decorative but also helps to create a mood or ambiance within a room.
When addressing how best to light up your space, consider your needs. Think about what activities take will place in the space and what atmosphere would you like to create? For example, a bedroom requires general lighting bright enough to illuminate the entire room, but it’s also important to be able to create a softness in this space for relaxing, (this is considered mood lighting). In addition, you will require a reading light beside the bed, (this is considered task lighting, however, a lamp can offer both task and mood lighting).
Below is a chart to help you understand the basic forms of lighting.
|TYPES OF LIGHTING
- The best form of lighting. Why? – high colour rendering (colours are shown in their true form), constantly changing (daylight changes throughout the day), daylight is ingrained in the way that humans have evolved and how we interact with the outside world.
- General lighting is usually applied through soft, uniform light, and is the base layer to any lighting scheme.
- Usually found in the form of wall or ceiling fixtures
- Task lighting is also referred to as ‘functional lighting’, and is applied to areas where higher light levels are required to perform tasks such as reading.
- Usually created through the use of desk/floor lamps or reading lights
- Used to highlight an area to create a dramatic effect or accent a particular element in a space.
- Usually created through the use of LED strips integrated into joinery eg kick plate of a vanity
- Can also be created through the use of floor and table lamps
|TYPES OF LIGHT FITTINGS
- Low voltage (12 volt) down lights are the most commonly used form of illumination.
- Lamps for downlights are available in a variety of different light sources such as fluorescent, LED and halogen. LED lamps are energy efficient and have a long life.
|CEILING MOUNTED LUMINAIRES
- Great for general illumination.
- Used in areas where you may not be able to recess into the ceiling for downlights.
- Lamps are available in a variety of different light sources such as fluorescent, LED and halogen.
- Create a visual statement.
- Decorative element for a space
- Used in addition to downlights or other ceiling fixtures
|FLOOR / TABLE LAMP
- Create a visual statement
- Decorative element in the space
- Can be used both as an accent and task light
- Can be used to illuminate an existing room without having to change fittings that are hardwired or permanent features and fixtures.
- Place in corners to make a room feel larger, or dividing up spaces when placed between two sofas for example
- Can enhance and create focus.
- Can be used to illuminate a corner.
- Can be used as a task light beside a chair for reading.
- The ideal positioning of the lower edge of the lampshade should be at eye level when you are seated – varying between 970 mm and 1007 mm above the floor.
- It gives three forms of lighting; uplight / downlight, task light or ambient background light. This is especially useful if the lamp is attached to a dimmer.
- Uplights are usually either wall mounted or in-ground fittings. These can be used to highlight architectural elements such as a wall or a ceiling.
|MAIN TYPES OF LAMPS
- Halogen lights are a type of incandescent light that uses a tungsten element.
- Halogen lights are more efficient and longer lasting than incandescent bulbs.,
- They are frequently used in downlights however in large spaces, results in higher levels of energy being consumed than necessary.
- Like incandescent bulbs, some varieties of halogen lights are being phased out by the Australian Government.
- Predecessor to the halogen lamp
- Have now been phased out and replaced with Energy saving alternatives.
- Produce warmer, more yellow light.
- LED alternatives in the shapes of traditional incandescent are now available
|ENERGY SAVING (Compact Fluorescent)
- CFLs are cheaper and much more efficient to run than incandescent or halogen lights.
- CFLs shouldn’t be used in fixtures unless especially designed for themYou can choose CFLs in a variety of shapes and sizes, and in different colour temperatures. For example, warm white for living rooms, cool white for bathrooms and kitchens, or bright daylight for garages.
- Lamp lifetime of about 20,000
|LED (Light Emitting Diodes).
- Highly efficient – 4 to 7 times more efficient than the typical incandescent or halogen equivalent.
- Long lasting – a lifetime of about 30,000-50,000 hours.
- Environmentally friendly
- Work well in cold conditions
- RGB options
- More variety in luminaires available in LED
- Most manufacturers are moving all fittings across to LED
- More expensive to buy but cheaper overall when considering lifetime energy use costs.
- Dimmer controls allow you to sculpt the mood of a room from efficient to intimate.
- Once dimmed, help to create a layered lighting effect when combined with decorative lighting such as lamps.
|INTERGRATED LIGHTING CONTROLS
- Allow you to create pre-set lighting scenes inside a room. Scenes can be adjusted with the touch of a switch from a box or with hand held remote controls. Some can even be controlled from a mobile phone or another mobile device.
- Automatically offer convenience and energy saving as lights switch on when they detect a motion and switch off when the area is not occupied for a specified amount of time.
• Generally furniture in a room will be moved around from time to time so it’s important to have a range of freestanding lighting options that can be moved around.
• It is good to allow for varying intensities of light. Incorporating a dimmer switch will offer flexibility. This is will provide both task light and mood lighting in one.
• It’s worth noting that rooms decorated with dark, deep hues absorb light, these spaces will require more lighting and light, neutral painted space.
• Dark flooring will also absorb light while light floors will reflect it. If you have any LED strip details be mindful if your floor or surfaces are polished as this will reflect the dots of the LED. If this happens you can use a diffuser to remove the dots.
• When selecting a colour temperature of a lamp, always choose 3000K (for general light and task light) or 2700K (accent light) as these are the warmest coloured lamps and will help to make your room feel cosy.
With thoughtful consideration and clever planning, you can create a balanced lighting scheme with flexible lighting effects that will greatly enhance the look and feel of your home. Feel a light bulb moment coming on?
We would like to thank London based lighting designer Erin Slaviero, of elektralighting.co.uk for offering us some insight into the wonderful world of lighting design.
Image Credits: home-designing.com | freshhome.com | wildriversareana.org
When it comes to organizing your home, many people are often left feeling stuck and confused as to where to even begin to de-clutter. With the hectic schedules that many of us have today, organizing our home can often be the very last items on our to-do lists. So, just to make things nice and easy, here are five nifty little tips and tricks on how to organize your home today.
Divide Your Drawers
If you’ve got lots of old shoe boxes that you can’t seem to find any use for, why not use them as drawer dividers? Many people with large drawers often complain that everything seems to get a tad mismatched, so the easiest way to combat this is to use shoe boxes to separate different parts of your drawer. If you wish, you can even paint them in pretty shades!
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Store Food in Glass Containers
If you find that food packaging is taking up too much of your cupboards, try storing them in air-tight glass containers instead. Not only will this free up storage space in your kitchen, but it’ll also enable the food to last longer.
Build Floor-to-Ceiling Shelves
For those of you who actually have a couple of hours in the week to spare, a great way to make your home more organized is to install floor-to-ceiling shelving units in areas of the home that you don’t use very often – for example, the hallway. Use the bottom rack for shoes, and the middle and top racks for whatever you wish. Shelves are a great way at preventing clutter from forming in every inch of your home.
Color Code Your Books
A great way to make your home more organized and prettify your shelves at the same time is to color code your books. It takes less time and energy than organizing them according to title, and is an awesome home organization idea for those who own many books!
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Invest In a Good Coat Rack
Believe it or not, even the most organized of people can often end up leaving their coats on chairs, tables, and even the floor, after a long day at work. To tackle this clutter, invest in a good coat rack for your hallway to store coats, hats, and umbrellas. Your home will thank you for it, for sure.
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Sydney’s Vivid festival is the world’s largest outdoor festival of light, music and ideas. The phenomenal cultural event takes place each year to showcases a number of installations of epic proportions throughout the city. These awe-inspiring installations are designed by some of the most brilliant leading creatives in the industry.
One installation to particularly stand-out this year is ‘’Momentum’’ designed by the sensational design duo Stephanie Shehata and Erin Slaviero. Following the success of their award-winning ‘Kaleidoscope’ at Vivid 2015, the girls returned to this year’s festival of light with a new dazzling installation.
We were fortunate to chat with Stephanie and Erin about how they created the concept for Momentum and what it’s like to be part of such an extraordinary event.
Could you tell us about the design for Momentum?
‘Momentum’ picks up where ‘Kaleidoscope’ left off. It comprises of three freestanding infinity boxes that house illuminated 3D objects. These objects create kaleidoscopic optical illusions that explore the way the addition of motion and speed affect the interactions of infinity, light, material and form.
How can visitors experience and interact with the installation?
Participants can interact with the installation by rotating a wheel, which in turn rotates the 3D light element. The object stays dimmed, statically glowing, until the wheel is spun, activating a burst of light.
The installation becomes dynamic causing a kaleidoscope of colour and reflection. To visitors, the installation initially presents as a series of tall, dark three-dimensional boxes. Their key to interacting with a box is to do so with a partner, with a person standing on either side of the box. As one spins a wheel activating the light element inside, their partner views the spinning form as it is reflected into infinity.
Your previous installation, ‘Kaleidoscope’, featured at Vivid in 2015, won the IES NSW Lighting Sculpture and Installation Design Award of Commendation. How has that impacted on you as designers?
Stephanie Shehata: “Both Erin and I are home-grown and independent artists who understand the impact Vivid has both in terms of tourism but also in terms of pushing boundaries in multi-disciplinary collaborations of art and technology. Vivid has opened doors for both of us, globally, in terms of industry recognition—winning the IES NSW award—and as artists. We’re incredibly grateful that Kaleidoscope was so well received, and we’re pleased to be back with our best work yet’’.
Can you tell us about your background as designers and about your design ethos?
Stephanie Shehata: ‘’I’m a recent graduate of the UTS Master of Design in Lighting Design and have previously completed Bachelor of Design in Interior Design/ Bachelor Arts in International Studies, also at UTS.
My production of design solutions are based on a balance of function, value and aesthetics while also bridging the gap between the physical environment, behaviour and the being in space’’.
Erin Slaviero: ‘’I graduated from the UTS Master of Design in Lighting Design in 2012. Since graduating from the program I have had the opportunity to work on a range of lighting projects around the globe and work in design offices in Sydney, Melbourne and London.
I believe that light is a crucial link for creating a spatial interaction between people and their environment. To me, light is an experience that generates and controls the way we feel and interact with the world around us’’.
Momentum was produced in collaboration with Peter Favelle (Australia), Simon Milligan (Australia) and Paul Dadd (Australia). It was commissioned by Destination NSW for Vivid Sydney 2016 and sponsored by KF plastics and Light Project.
The Momentum installation is an absolute must see! It can be viewed as part of Vivid Sydney in Walsh Bay. The festival runs from Friday 27 May to Saturday 18 June and is open from 6pm–12am every evening.