Which light first? Another very confusing question we get from clients. Today we will give you a brief overview on the order in which to choose your lights. Not focussing on style or colour, but just the order of importance to help you make the right decisions.
1. UTILITY AREAS
Yes, you have to choose the boring ones first! They might not be the prettiest, but they are the ones you will switch on the most and they will help you in your daily tasks. Focus on what you will be doing in each room. For e.g. In the kitchen you might need lights over the benchtops, in the bathroom you need lights to be able to put on your make-up and brush your teeth. Most people install downlights in all their rooms. Do you also need dimmers? Where must the lights be switch on or off? Do you need two-way switches? Do you want wall lights or ceiling lights on your staircase? Once you have specified all of these, you will know how many room are left with spots for fancy focal lights.
2. KEY PIECES OF FURNITURE
Certain pieces of furniture need specific lighting options. The furniture will determine where the power points and lights will be installed. You have to think about your furniture placements when your electrician and/or builder is on site. For e.g.: Where will the dining room table be placed? What size will the table be? It will probably need a pendant light. What size is your TV cabinet? Maybe you need strip lighting or lights in the cupboards behind glass doors. Decide where you will place your side tables in the living room, because you might need power points there for table lights. If you have are planning to place a coffee table, you will probably need a pendant light placed above the coffee table. Make sure in your bedrooms where the study nooks and bedside tables will be. You need lamps, pendant lights or USB ports. This list is endless, but the important thing is to go through each room, think about the where the key pieces of furniture will be placed, and make sure you have enough power points and that the size of each light suits the furniture piece it accentuates.
3. ART WORK AND ORNAMENTS
Even though many clients don’t think about art work and ornaments during the building process, it is very important to think about where you might place feature items, to get the lighting specifications right. By now you know where all the utility lights and featured lights will be placed, so you can start making decisions about the art work. These lights should not be as prominent as those in point nr2. Think of where you might need this understated lights for e.g. in the hallway, foyer, inside cupboards, above key furnitue pieces like sofas or beds. They are not meant to be prominent as they should rather complement the art and ornaments in stead of the lighting being the feature piece.
It is important to spend time on a proper electrical layout plan when renovating or decorating. This cost can be more than you expect, and a good electrician can easily cost a few thousand dollers to install your preferred new layout. (Then you haven’t even bought any lights yet!)
We usually include an electrical layout plan when we quote for Interior Design projects. We believe this will save the client money in the long run. It also forces the client to think and plan about the future decorating options even though the construction is still under way. Make sure your lighting planning is just as important as choosing your new flooring, wall colours or tiles.