As many of you will know, I am a huge advocate for good lighting. It doesn’t matter how well your space has been designed if it’s not lit properly. As each room will have its own purpose, and the lighting design should reflect this to enhance how you use the space.
Particularly for open plan spaces, adjustable lighting will help to control the light levels depending on the time of day and activities taking place. For example, the maximum lighting will be required for cooking and dining, while a more muted and dimmed lighting will be more suited for watching television.
Installing Adjustable Lighting
Installing adjustable lighting in your home is relatively straightforward, however, there are some key aspects that you need to keep in mind.
First, your existing light fixtures may not be compatible with dimmer switches. Depending on how long you have had them fitted for could influence this so it is important to check the specifications of your existing fixtures.
Second, if you don’t already have dimmer switches in your home, these will need to be swapped in and replace single on/off switches. Dimmer switches are one of the easiest ways to have adjustable lighting in your home. Subsequently, when shopping for light fixtures it is important to ensure they are dimmable, and therefore compatible with dimmers.
Always consult with an electrician before shopping or attempting to make any changes yourself! A professional should be hired to make these upgrades in your home.
When discussing your lighting changes with an electrician, it is also worth discussing how your lighting is set up for the switches and which light fixtures you want to isolate or group together. More on this in the next example sections!
Example – Cocktail Party
Setting up lighting for a cocktail party is relatively straightforward should you have good lighting options available. In this instance, low-level lighting will be required. Think table lamps, floor lamps and the main ceiling fixtures dimmed, perhaps at 50-60%.
As cocktail parties are generally hosted between dining and living rooms, these are areas of the home that require both good general lighting (for cleaning, eating, and daytime socializing purposes) and task lighting too. Being able to adjust your lighting in these areas with dimmers and having different types of lights on different circuits will enable you to customize the lighting levels according to the mood of the party.
Example – Crafts
Any activity that requires focus such as crafts, will need task lighting. This is normally in the form of table or floor lamps depending on where these crafts take place. If you have desk space for crafts, an angled desk lamp will be the best option that is also supplemented with good general lighting for the space in general. For crafts that take place in the dining room or kitchen for example, the main ceiling lighting should be adequate.
Example – Dining
The dining room is often a multi-use space for families and so adjustable lighting is required. Most importantly, good general lighting will be required for eating and preparing food. However if there is a dinner party or event, the lighting may need to be dimmed to create the right atmosphere. Using different types of lighting in the dining room, such as wall sconces, a main flush ceiling light, and spot lighting, can help to create a balanced lighting scheme that is adjustable. Put these light fixtures on different circuits so they can be controlled individually for different purposes.
Have you got adjustable lighting in your home? What has your experience been with adjustable lighting? I’d love to hear all about it in the comments below!