Tech website Pocket Lint recently featured advice by Mary Rushton-Beales of Lighting Design House headlined ‘Eight lighting tips for your home: an expert shares her design secrets’. The article by Stuart Miles carries this advice from Mary:
- If you are doing a new-build or an extension, don’t leave it too late before you start thinking about lighting. Make it one of the first things you do.
- Get ideas from as many places as possible, including department stores, restaurants, bars and hotels. ‘Go to John Lewis or Ikea, for example, and look at how they’ve lit their rooms to see what their settings are like.’
- Think about how are you going to control the lights including where the switches are going to be and whether you even need them at all
- Light working surfaces in the kitchen. ‘Use everything you can: pendants, down-lighters, strips under the above cupboards. It is about creating layers of light rather than it just coming from a single source.’
- Do everything you can before you add downlights. Nobody has ever said ‘don’t those downlighters look good’.
- Don’t use cabinet lights if you’ve got solid shelves. It’s better to add lights under the cabinets to light your work surfaces.
- Maximise daylight. It will get your body working and up to speed.
- But sleep in complete darkness or use red/amber shades of low-level light.
Mary’s technical advice ties in with the ‘Light Diet’ she has devised based on extensive research into the light and well-being.
Other practical tips include making sure you have extra light to do specific tasks and the lights you are buying are up to the job. ‘50 to 100 lux is good for general living, but for working, the recommended levels are around 300-500 lux,’ she counsels.