The right choice of interior lighting can add so much to the look and feel of your space. You may want cosy, clean and minimalist, make a feature of a specific piece of furniture/art or simply just light up the room. There are a few things you should consider from the start of your light purchasing process to ensure you have all your ducks in a row to really optimise your home’s lighting. Todd from Rossiter Electrical helped us with our lighting in the villa, so we catch up with him for some professional advice.
Natural always trumps! There’s nothing better than walking into a space that is lit up naturally. If you’re like us an have issues during the winter with lighting, you may want to consider your skylight options, many houses have the ability to have a skylight built into the roof or installed in verandahs that are designed to shade during the warmer months.
A key thing to consider here is how you work with the light. Fresh walls and reflective objects allow the sunlight to bounce throughout the room. If you want to let the sun in during the say and hide it at night, consider roller blinds so you don’t block any sunlight with curtain gather during the day.
What’s the use of the light?
“A lot of people don’t know what they want. When choosing lighting, start with what the light is for ie: prepping meals in the kitchen or adding more light to a lounge” Todd says this will help you start looking in the right direction.
People are using pendants in kitchens, however, finding that the level of light they produce isn’t great for preparing dinner so look to have task lighting installed instead. “Talking with your electrician when you’ve found the lighting you would like saves a headache and an empty wallet. Your electrician can tell you before you’ve purchased it if it will be enough to light your space and to your needs” Lighting store staff are always helpful also.
“I’m seeing a lot of feature lights above dining tables connected to dimmers. This creates a dining experience at home that can be tailored to your requirements. There are so many ways you can add ambience to a home through lighting eg: amber bulbs have an amber light that can add a vintage vibe, LED strip lighting can be altered via a remote with different colours and levels of light”
Pendants are a universal feature style of light. They are great for villas with high ceilings like ours and to make a statement in areas like lounges, kitchens and foyers. Pendants come in all shapes and sizes and allow you to accessorise your lighting with the style of your home. We’ve chosen oversized LED bulbs with black pendants. We like the glass and black contrast so will flow this throughout the house.
You can also choose from a range of lengths, sizes and styles of rope, you can even wrap the rope around hanging bars to create an industrial effect. You can get pendant lights with upward of four bulbs, historically this would mean high electricity bills but today LED completely eliminates that and you have a much larger range of bulb style to choose from.
“LED downlights are popular as you don’t need to cut bats, can generally swap with existing units and are up to 88% more efficient than standard lights,” says Todd who installs many of these style lights in new and existing homes. “Downlights are the perfect spacial light, install them wherever you want to light up and they don’t cause any distraction to the eye. Downlights are installed in modern homes as they keep the room clean from shades that date or handing lights when the ceilings aren’t as tall as that of a villa”.
LED strip lighting
You see these in architectural builds, negative details with non-intrusive LED lights. LED strip lights can be used to illuminate a stairway, for kitchen lighting and creative lighting like ceilings and surrounds “clients sometimes prefer to source these themselves via sites like Aliexpress. The issue I’ve found with those lights is while they are cheap they are time-consuming to work with because of their low quality. You are always better off going with local companies that guarantee their product and you don’t risk dead LED’s or rework”.
Switch Plates – “It’s increasingly popular to have clients ask me to replace all of their switch plates in their homes. Whether you are renovating, building or going for a more modern plate the options are endless… Illuminated backlights, push on – push off, various colours and textures and push on – push off dimmers.”
LED bulbs – The majority of lighting today is LED, why? because it’s energy efficient and safe! LED bulbs also come in all shapes and sizes. Work with companies like lighting direct, we found them extremely helpful to recommend the colour and size of bulb for our spaces
Smart bulbs – Like everything else today, you can control your lights from your phone. The bulb talks to your smartphone and can be dimmed, change colour and even turn on when you want them too (read more here).
So what should you look out for?
Gone are the days of the 99 cent bulb.
- Always go LED, it last for years and you’ll never have to change the bulb.
Avoid buying off aliexpress
- You lose quality and won’t have the lifespan. Downlights are often NZ made and affordable and it’s worth investing in quality LED.
Be careful with pendants
- Pendants are more permanent so consider resale or a change in room use, the last thing you want is two pendants at the foot of your bed….