Monday, September 25

How to light a house well

Bet on warm lights and combine LEDs with halogens to create different environments

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It is not about putting points of light without rhyme or reason, or placing lamps or spotlights throughout the house as if it were a shopping center. The lighting of a home goes much further. So much so that interior designers such as Natalia Zubizarreta consider it “70% of a project”. In addition to its obvious practical function, lighting “is an aesthetic resource with many possibilities in terms of space design because a good command of the different lights can provide contrasts, textures, color nuances or even depth to any room,” he adds. a spokesman for the lighting department of the Novelec Group. Getting the lights right is one of the keys to making a house practical, pleasant… and more spacious.

lighting types

Natural, general, punctual, layered…

Before explaining how to correctly illuminate the different spaces of a home, it is important to have some basic notions on the subject. The natural lighting that bathes the house will depend not only on its orientation, but also on the number of openings (windows, skylights, skylights…) it has towards the outside. “This light cannot be controlled, but it is essential to take it into account when designing the rest of the lighting in the home,” explains the expert.

As for artificial light sources, lighting specialists usually distinguish three types: general (the most traditional form is the one that uses a point on the ceiling and is usually complemented with wall lights); punctual (used to delimit a space and highlight it, be it a work of art, a wall, a piece of furniture…); and decorative (the objective is not so much to illuminate as to provide warmth. This is the case of the dim light of the bedside tables, for example). And from the correct combination of all these light sources – the technique is called layered lighting – magic arises that makes a space more or less pleasant. “Lighting planning can even influence mood,” they point out at the Novelec Group.

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Living room

Warm, dimmable ambient light

Where do you start? “Thinking about what activities we carry out in the living room (reading, watching TV…) will give us the keys to know how and where to light it”, they explain in ‘The great decoration guide’ (Ed. RBA). As for general lighting, experts recommend placing warm light bulbs embedded in the ceiling (between 2,000 and 3,000 degrees Kelvin) and, if possible, adjustable. «Ideally, they should be leds of a minimum of 7 watts with a distance of one and a half meters between them. It should also be taken into account that the higher the ceiling, the more power is needed.” If what is intended is to create different atmospheres within the same space, “indirect lights can be placed on both sides of the sofa or a lamp base to create a reading corner. Combining LEDs with halogens also helps to achieve different sensations”, add the experts of the decoration guide.

Another option is to place ultra-warm LEDs (about 1,600 degrees Kelvin) in specific areas of the room that simulate the light of a candle. Special wall lights to illuminate paintings or decorative pieces can also function as ambient lighting.

Dining room

Ceiling lamp about 70 or 80 cm. of the table top

The dining area also requires warm lighting (3,000K), although not too reddish so that it does not interfere with the color of the food. Natalia Zubizarreta is in favor of placing a ceiling lamp that illuminates the entire surface of the table at an approximate height of between 70 and 80 centimeters. “If the table exceeds a meter and a half in length, it is advisable to place more than one point of light hanging from the ceiling. In this way, a more uniform lighting without shadows will be achieved, a fundamental aspect when it comes to lighting a dining table”, they specify in ‘The great guide to decoration’. It is interesting to have reinforcement lighting, either with table lamps or wall sconces.

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Kitchen room

Powerful light and LED strips to illuminate the worktop

“The kitchen is a workspace that needs powerful light, about 15 watts, and more technical than in other areas of the house,” the experts agree. Now, although a cold light (from 4,000 k) has traditionally been used to illuminate this room, in the case of open kitchens, interior designers advise unifying the color of the light with that of the rest of the house.


Light up the vanity and use a light as close to the sun

The most important thing in the bathroom is to avoid shadows on the face. “For that, the ideal is to illuminate the mirror from the front, with dressing room lights or with two wall lights on each side. It is key that there are two lights. If it is not possible, illuminate the dressing table with a single wall light above the mirror », they propose in ‘The great guide to decoration’. Another tip. The light must be as similar as possible to that of the sun, especially in the dressing table (3,000 k LEDs with a high Color Rendering Index, between 85 and 90).


The objective is to invite rest

“In the bedroom, use lighting that invites you to rest and avoid overhead light on the bed.” Interior designers and lighting experts also recommend resorting to spot lighting to highlight specific areas such as the dressing room, bed or bedside tables. Another option that is very eye-catching is to place integrated LED strips in the headboard.

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